Adult and a teenager cycling along the road with a young child in a rear cycle seat

Free cycle training sessions get people pedalling across H&F

A range of new free cycle training sessions have been launched to help get people pedalling across H&F.

The sessions cater for all levels of rider, from those who’ve never cycled before, to those who ride regularly, but want more confidence for riding on the borough’s roads.

The sessions are all provided by qualified instructors, with some including one-to-one lessons and others have bicycles provided for those who don’t have their own.

“We want everyone to be able to cycle safely and with confidence on the roads and cycle paths of H&F,” said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for Environment.

“We want to double the number of journeys in the borough being made by bicycle. So free training sessions like the ones we’re offering are vital in giving people confidence to get on a bike for the very first time, or the first time in a long time.

“Getting more of the borough cycling is a key part of our aim to tackle the climate and ecological emergency, while helping residents keep active and improving air quality.”

Woman riding within a protected cycle lane in Hammersmith
Image caption: The new sessions cater for absolute beginners as well as helping with skills for regular riders

What sessions are on offer?

A range of hour-long, one-to-one sessions is being offered by Bikeworks, the council’s established cycle training provider.

The sessions cater for complete beginners through to regular cyclists looking to learn advanced skills.

All instructors are fully trained and follow the nationally recognised Bikeability syllabus. Sessions can also include supporting and planning riding a route to school, or work.

COVID-19 precautions will be in place throughout. Riders will need to have been free of symptoms for two weeks, and to supply their own masks and gloves. Social distancing will be required throughout the session.

Sessions take place at three locations:

  • Westway Sports & Fitness Centre, Crowthorne Road, W10 6RP
  • St Augustine’s Primary School, Disbrowe Road, Hammersmith, W6 8QE (Bicycles available to borrow at this location only - outside of school hours)
  • Kensington Gardens, Queen's Gate South Docking Station (Santander bicycles available only) 

Increasing cycling diversity

Some brand new sessions have also been set up with Walk and Cycle London CIC to make riding as inclusive as possible.

On offer are two adult sessions each day, from Tuesday to Friday, from 10.30am to 12.30pm, then 1pm till 3pm. Six places are available on each session.

Saturdays are reserved for family sessions to get children and parents riding together, to help enable more children to ride to school.

You can learn to ride for the first time (morning sessions), or enjoy sessions getting more confident riding around the borough (afternoon sessions). Weekday sessions take place at four locations across the borough, with six adult bikes available to borrow.

The locations are:

  • Tuesday: Bishop’s Park, Fulham (Fulham Palace entrance), Bishops Avenue, SW6 6EA
  • Wednesday (women only): Bridge Joyce Square, Australia Road, White City, W12 7PH
  • Thursday: Old Oak Community Centre, Braybrook Street, W12 0AP
  • Friday: Ravenscourt Park (Outside W6 Garden Centre), Ravenscourt Avenue, W6 0SL

On Saturday, four adult bikes are available. Children’s bikes need to be provided by attendees. These sessions take place at: Fulham Pools, Normand Park, Lillie Road, Fulham, W6 7ST.

To find out more, or book a session, email: Philippa.Robb@gmail.com

Promoting cycling in H&F

The council’s Cycling Team and Walk and Cycle London CIC have been working hard with partner organisations and third sector groups to improve cycling opportunities.

They’ve worked with residents at the Old Oak Community Centre who had previously felt isolated from the rest of the borough, but through cycling can now access a lot more places and no longer need to rely on public transport.

Working alongside the education and volunteering team at Fulham Palace we’ve helped encourage visitors to pedal to the attraction rather than using public transport.

The ‘Women On Wednesdays’ sessions (see above) give a unique opportunity for women to learn to ride or to build their skills in a female-only setting, with a team of women instructors.

There’s also been work done with Sulgrave Youth Club, in Goldhawk Road, Hammersmith, where 40 young club members have been trained up through Bikeability.

Making cycling safer during COVID-19

In our town centres, we’ve reallocated road space so that both pedestrians and cyclists can feel safer getting to work, school or local shops and services.

The wider pavements create more space for social distancing, while our fully segregated cycle lanes protect riders travelling along King Street, Hammersmith Road and around the gyratory in Hammersmith, as well as on Uxbridge Road and alongside Shepherds Bush Green.

Find out more about cycling in H&F.

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