Auburn residents have been jumping at the chance to learn new cycling skills at courses run by local AustCycle Provider Ian Watson Ride School.
Joint owner and accredited AustCycle Teacher Gay Chandler said the courses have been very successful so far and have been drawing in a wide range of participants.
“We’ve been running a course every week in Auburn,” Gay said. “We have back-to-back sessions on a Wednesday where people can just come along and have a go at cycling, and then if they want they can come through to one of our other courses and further these skills”.
“There has been a massive range of people turn up,” she added. “The other day we had a lady that walked past us and did a double take because she couldn’t believe that there were people teaching adults. Her son had recently learnt to ride and wanted her to ride with him but she kept saying no because she didn’t think anyone would teach an adult. But she came along and she was so excited and she learned to ride in just one session!”
Auburn is quite a culturally diverse region, which can be both a challenge and a reward for Gay.
“We just had ten Afghani men come through and there was varying levels of competency,” she said. “Some of them had ridden a bike back in Afghanistan when they were younger and some had never ridden at all. Today, one rode unassisted which was really good. We even just had a Afghan lady come to learn with them which was unusual because it’s not culturally acceptable for men and women to exercise at the same time”.
“Some of the other women wouldn’t participate so we’re going to put on women’s only sessions to accommodate this difference in culture. Auburn can be a bit of challenge from a cultural aspect, but it is really nice to see the changes in the people and to see the natural leadership emerge within the groups where one might have better English skills than another”.
Helping people discover a love of cycling is what being an AustCycle Provider is all about for Gay, and she said that she is finally starting to find a rhythm in the types of groups that she is teaching.
This warmer weather is perfect for jumping back on your bike so if you are interested in furthering your skills, or learning from scratch, then contact Gay on 0403 203 253. To find out more about AustCycle visit http://www.austcycle.com.au.