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HRH Princess Anne with Bike Club members in Wales November 23, 2011

Posted by admin in : Asda, Cardiff, Education, Events, Uncategorized, Wales , comments closed

Bike Clubs leaders and members were invited  to celebrate the achievements of Young people in Wales by Youth Cymru and Uk Youth.  Pembroke Primary School, Chepstow and Morriston Comprehensive School, Swansea were asked to showcase the excellent activities in their Bike Clubs, they demonstrated these through colour displays produced by the young people and presented to HRH Princess Anne at Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff.

Pembroke Primary School

 both Bike Club members showed real enthusiasm and a sense of pride when discussing they Bike Club with HRH and other guests.

Morriston Comprehensive School

A big thank you to both Bike Club for their hard work, and also thank you to Bike Club leaders and young people from other areas who attend the service to celebrate the achievement of young people in Wales.

 Melanie Davies Bike Club Development officer for Wales said ‘Bike Club Wales currently has 21 clubs funded by ASDA Pedal Power, covering a diverse cross-section of community groups and schools, providing many bespoke cycling opportunities. this is currently in the South Wales area, we hope to provide the same opportunities for groups in other areas of Wales in the future.

Bike Clubs would like to thank Youth Cymru and UK Youth who put on an excellent event and provided us this great opportunity to showcase the work of Bike Clubs in Wales, such a great day.

photography by Jules

Kaimes School show Bike Club cycling is more than just getting about on 2 wheels October 4, 2011

Posted by admin in : Asda, Edinburgh, Education, Scotland , comments closed

Kaimes School in Edinburgh makes educational provision for children and young people who have problems in the area of social communication, social interaction and flexibility of thinking.  The school had a large storage container in the playground and they have used Bike Club funding to buy a fleet of bikes and safety equipment for the pupils to access whilst at school.  Bike Club also helped them access Cycle Trainer Assistant Course through Cycling Scotland and they now have 8 members of staff able to deliver Bikeability Scotland Level 1 & 2. 

 This Bike Club project will help pupils develop socially by communicating with other pupils, learn to work cooperatively and the importance of sharing when using and fixing the cycling equipment. Pupils will understand the important health benefits of cycling and will be encouraged to cycle out with school.  They will also develop important life skills such as independence and personal responsibility that will be off great benefit to them through out their life.

I recently joined Kaimes at one of their Bike Club sessions.  The pupils were keen to show off their skills and demonstrated some of the things they have learned during the activity sessions.  P.E teacher Lynne Mckenzie highlighted that at the start of the block some pupils lacked the confidence to even get on the bikes.  They have a couple of adapted bikes which some pupils used to build up their confidence and many have now progressed onto 2 wheels.  Lynne Said ‘The difference in the pupils over the weeks has been incredible.  Some of the pupils don’t get to experience cycling at home and this is the only chance they get – they love it!’

The school has also bought some trainer uni cycles which a couple of the boys in this group were quite confident on.  They told me they were working their way up to using a normal uni cycle.  At the end of the session pupils put away all the equipment neatly back into the container demonstrating they were responsible and able to work well together.

Bearbrook Bike Club has really taken off in Aylesbury! June 20, 2011

Posted by admin in : Aylesbury, Education , comments closed

Bearbrook Bike Club smilles better!

Scooting swiftly along the Gemstone route from Aylesbury Town Centre to Bearbrook School and I can already see loads of bikes around – parents brining them for the pick up, bike sheds stacked full (50 bikes) and younger siblings rolling up on cycles, trikes and scooters.

This last Bike Club for the school year, run by Jill Henderson of  Mobile Cycle Training Service, shows the success of running a variety of activities – “The Bike Club has been used to enthuse children and build skills and confidence. As a result, many more have taken up cycle training & taken part in the Big Pedal and now ride to school regularly, through the rain too! We have had 78 children with their bikes and lots of parents too” said Mrs Hobbs, a parent who has been a cycle champion at the school and is on the School Travel Planning group. She has just handed over the reins for cycling to the Sports Co-ordinator, who happily took it on “because it is already well organised! :-)”

Jill’s skills have allowed the youngsters to enjoy a fun hour after school, expressing themselves and learning to work with others, while building their cycling skills through fun activities on the playground. All the children (this ASC session was for Year 6) cycled home after the session finished, empowered and enthused, as the rain started to spot the scorched tarmac.

Empowered and Enthused


Its all about the training in Edinburgh! May 31, 2011

Posted by admin in : Asda, Edinburgh, Education , comments closed

Training up leaders to deliver cycling activities is key to ensuring Bike Clubs are successful.  Three groups in Edinburgh have recently participated in Cycling Scotland training courses thanks to funding and support they received from Bike Club.

Five Bike Club leaders from Brunstane Primary School and Niddrie Community youth group attended the Cycle Ride Leader course. This one day course is designed to allow leaders to take groups out on pre risk assessed rides on cycle paths, canal tow paths and quiet roads.  Participants were taken through the basic M check and taught some basic trail side repairs. Later in the day the group planned and went for a ride along the ‘Innocent Railway’. Whilst out on the ride the tutor discussed potential scenarios that could happen and the participants came up with possible solutions.


These Bike Club leaders are now fully equipped and confident to take young people they work with out and about to explore Edinburgh by bike.  They also now know what they should be carrying with them in their trail side repair kit out on a ride….

Kaimes School now ready to start up their Bike Club project for children with additional support needs. Twelve staff at the school attended a bespoke Cycle Trainer assistants course, again delivered by Cycling Scotland tutors.  This will allow the Bike Club leaders to deliver basic cycle skills using the Ready Steady Bike programme in the playground and for those that are more confident, to progress to on road training.

Bike Club Training and Networking in Edinburgh December 8, 2010

Posted by admin in : Asda, Edinburgh, Education, Events, Scotland, Uncategorized , comments closed

Ok so Scotland might be at a standstill at the moment, thanks to the snow last week and freezing conditions we seem to be experiencing now. However over the last month there has been a great deal of activity going on in Edinburgh to support new groups interested in Bike Club, and to ensure those in the application stages are skilled up to deliver Bike Club activities in the new year.

Networking Event

On the 16th November I held a networking event in Edinburgh for those interested in finding out more about Bike Club. There was a great turn out with attendees representing a variety of orgnaistions including: school groups, voluntary organisations, community groups, park rangers and a group working with excluded young people. This demonstrates the diversity of projects that Bike Club can potentially support and increase the opportunities available to all young people to participate in cycling activities.
Liberton High Schools own Bike Club came along to tell us all about their club. They spoke about what activities they do, what their favourite cycling trips have been and why they think more young people should get involved in cycling. They got a grilling from the audience, and offered some great advice to us all on what they see as the best way to set up a Bike Club. I gave a brief overview of the Bike Club project to date and some information about the application process before moving on to small group discussions where the real work began. There seemed to be lots of discussion around the tables, sharing ideas and even some contact details given out – which to me is the sign of success!

Bike Club Leader Training

Two weeks ago six potential Bike Club leaders have gone through the Scottish Cycle Trainer course. This qualification is aimed at those training both children and adults in on-road cycling skills from the basics of learning to ride to cycling on busier roads. It incorporates the Cycle Skills Trainer qualification and covers instructor training. The course was delivered by Cliff Smith at Bangholm Outdoor Centre on behalf of Cycling Scotland. Despite the freezing cold conditions, the group braved the outdoors to successfully complete this 4 day course. They are now fully skilled up to deliver cycling activities to the young people involved in their Bike Clubs. A big well done to you all and thanks to Cliff for delivering the training!

Over 70 people attend the launch of Bike Club in Northern Ireland November 19, 2010

Posted by admin in : Asda, Belfast, Education, Events, Team, Uncategorized , comments closed

The latest exciting development in the progress of Bike Club has been the launch of the project in Northern Ireland.  Over 70 people attended the launch event in Belfast to hear how Bike Club could benefit the young people they work with through cycling related activities.

Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride, was the guest speaker at the Belfast event that brought together key decision-makers within youth work, education, community development and transport sectors.  Dr Michael McBride delivered the introductory speech and said:

“  Obesity is one of the most important public health issues facing Northern Ireland today, with estimates of the annual related costs to the Health and Social Care Service at around £500 million.

“  We are seeing an increasing number of overweight or obese children who are storing up a lifetime of health problems for later years. Initiatives such as Bike Club can help provide opportunities to participate in quality physical activity, which can have a real benefit to the health of the entire population. Such approaches are vital if we are to see positive change in the weight of the population, and support for the delivery of the new Obesity Prevention Framework, which is currently out for public consultation”

Barry Flood, CTC Councillor for Ireland and Overseas  chaired the event and raised opposition to a proposed helmet law for young people in Northern Ireland.   This  issue is extremely notable and a potential  barrier to young people participating in cycling, if passed by local government at the Northern Ireland assembly.  Research into countries where a helmet law has been applied have shown that it reduces the number of people cycling.  During the panel question time, Kevin Mayne CEO of  the CTC stressed that the CTC promotes the freedom of choice regarding the use of helmets for cycling.

Sarah Troke, Bike Club’s UK manager, provided a wholesome overview of the project and detail about the projects achievements.  Sarah introduced the Bike Club development officers attending the event, namely Patrick, Gavin, Damian, Ross,  Mel and Belfast’s Development Officer, Tim Edgar.   Kevin Mayne CEO of  the CTC, explained the background behind the organisation’s work in cycling development including Bike Club and how the involvement of partners ContinYou, UK Youth materialised.

Delegates were then invited to discuss their ideas of how Bike Club can most effectively benefit the young people they work with. Conversation and debate took place as experts from various fields developed strategies of how best to set up cycling activities.  Notable pledge of the day came from Dr McBride, who stated that he would cycle to work at least 2 days per week, after hearing the presentations by the National Bike Club manager, Sarah Troke and CTC CEO, Kevin Mayne.

Bike Club uses cycling to create opportunities for learning and involvement among children, young people and their families. Small grants are available to youth clubs, young people’s groups and schools seeking to establish cycling-related activities within their communities.

Bike Club is a programme set up through cooperation between community learning and health experts ContinYou, youth organisation UK Youth and CTC, the national cyclists’ organisation. Bike Club’s expansion has been made possible by funding from supermarket chain Asda’s Pedal Power campaign.

The key note presentation is available to download from here:

Bike Club Launch (NI)

If you would like further information about Bike Club in Northern Ireland , contact Tim Edgar on 07500069357 or tim.edgar@bikeclub.org.uk

Bike Club funds learning as parents struggle to afford after-school activities September 15, 2010

Posted by admin in : Asda, Cumbria, Education , comments closed

Amid current concerns that the costs of after-school activities are too expensive for many families, Bike Club is successfully making out-of-school-hours activities more accessible through a series of small grants and the assistance of expert advisors.

A recent YouGov survey for Save the Children indicated that almost two-thirds of 4-18-year-olds are unable to take part in after-school activities because their parents can’t afford the cost.

Milnthorpe 005Bike Club is supporting and funding non-formal learning projects, many of them at little or no cost to parents. A year into its programme, Bike Club has distributed nearly £150,000 among 86 groups and clubs, with a further 44 applications currently being considered.

Range of activities

This funding has enabled many children to gain more affordable, sometimes free, access to the experiences provided through a range of cycling-based activities. Some Bike Club-funded groups focus on Bikeability cycle training, others have provided maintenance training; while some concentrate predominantly on encouraging inclusion among young people less likely to be involved in cycling, such as teenage girls, disabled young people, children from minority ethnic groups or those from deprived areas.

Cycling benefits lives

Bike Club national manager Sarah Troke says: “It is important that worthwhile learning experiences are not limited to those whose parents can afford them. Cycling offers so many positive benefits to people’s lives, like increased fitness, independence, confidence and reduced risk of obesity”. We’re very pleased to be making a range of activities available to thousands of children and young people, encouraginge learning, health and leadership.”

Milnthorpe 009Milnthorpe Extended Services Cluster

At Milnthorpe in Cumbria a group of rural schools, providing after-school activities as part of an ‘extended services cluster’, have been assisted through Bike Club funding. Children have been able to experience after-school learning through activities like escorted bike rides, cycle maintenance sessions, and cycling skills sessions. Parents are encouraged to participate too, many of them making huge improvements in their confidence and experience of cycling.

Sarah Troke is keen to stress that if it were not for the support of Bike Club, many of these young people would miss out on character-building experiences outside the school curriculum.

Bike Club is expanding

Bike Club is expanding rapidly, as more projects are set up with the support of funding from supermarket chain Asda. The programme’s initial funding has been provided by Cycling England and the Department for Transport. Bike Club is run by a consortium of three charities: UK Youth, ContinYou and CTC – the national cyclists’ organisation.

For more information or an interview, contact  Clive Andrews on 07717 721511 or clive.andrews@bikeclub.org.uk

This information is also downloadable as a Word.doc press release: Bike Club funds learning as parents struggle to afford after-school activities

Milnthorpe 004