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Monday, 8 October 2012

No matter your age or skills, learning to ride IS possible

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Teaching bike skills to adults can be difficult because many believe they already have all the knowledge they need. But as accredited AustCycle Teacher and Provider Lee-Anne Fleming knows all too well, this isn’t always the case.

Lee-Anne recently ran free cycle skills training for residents in Renmark-Paringa, which were funded by the Council as part of the Australian Government's Healthy Communities Initiative. During one of these courses Lee-Anne met a lady who regularly rides to work, but who was missing some vital traffic skills.

“Di rides 4km to work from her property, so she is quite used to riding,” Lee-Anne told AustCycle. “However, when I asked her if she knew how to do proper signalling she said ‘oh no, I can’t take my hands off the bike!’ She wasn’t confident enough to scan or signal as she rode, so she would stop and then dart across when she needed to turn”.

In order to give Di the confidence to ride safely in traffic, Lee-Anne worked with her one-on-one until she had mastered the skills.

“I developed her existing skills and showed her what she can and should do with her skill set,” Lee-Anne said. “We then went on a 10km ride to Paringa. It was beautiful to see and such a nice day”.

A second ‘Learn To Ride’ course was also held, giving Renmark residents the opportunity to learn to ride a bike from scratch.

“In that group we had Cath who hadn’t ridden in over 25 years and she brought along her step-son Ashleigh who had never been on a bike,” Lee-Anne said. “With some simple instructions Cath picked up the skills as if the 25-year hiatus hadn’t happened”.

“Ashleigh developed into being able to ride and control the bike, which was a big step for him, and Cath is now looking forward to being able to get out with the younger kids and be active with them”.

As suprising as it may sound to those who regularly cycle, there are thousands of adults in Australia who don’t know how to ride a bike. Some may have learned as a child and then taken a 25-year hiatus like Cath, and some may have just never had the opportunity to learn at all.

If you fall into the above categories, or know someone who does, there is no need to feel embarrassed or worried about learning to ride later in life. AustCycle has Providers and Teachers all across Australia who are specifically trained to teach bike riding to adults. And, all of them have done so successfully.

If you would like to register your interest for upcoming cycling skills courses in the Renmark-Paringa area, contact the Healthy Communities Coordinator Carmel on (08) 8586 5745 or email cpethick@renmarkparinga.sa.gov.au. To find out more about AustCycle, or to find a Provider in your local area, visit http://www.austcycle.com.au

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