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Project Advice


Cycle Training

It is important that cycle training is included in your project whether you intend to take participants out on the roads or not, so that they are taught basic control and safety skills for their personal cycling development. Before including the cost of cycle training or bike maintenance in your funding bid, check if any of these can be funded by your Borough Council. If you are including staff costs in your budget you must indicate the hourly rate and the number of hours.

If you decide to provide cycle training through your project, you can either (a) train your own instructor or (b) work with external training providers. Please note, Cycling Grants London funding can’t fund both cycle instructor training costs and an hourly wage for the same person to later deliver cycle training. You can include the cost of an external training provider in your budget breakdown.

a) In-house cycle training – train your own instructor(s):

Cycle instructor training is an intensive 4-day course and participants will need to be competent cyclists before attending. In order to become fully qualified, there are two more assessment sessions after the initial 4-day training course.

You may choose to start your project working with external cycling instructors while training one or more of your own staff who, on completion of their training, can gradually take over the cycle training sessions.

Please contact your chosen training provider to obtain a quote to make sure you are budgeting for the right amount.

For more information about Bikeability/National Standards Cycle Training, please visit: DFT bikeability website

b) External cycle training providers:

Borough Councils may provide free or subsidised cycle training sessions so it is worth checking with your local Council if they can cover cycle training costs or provide an instructor for your project. If this option is not available to you there are a variety of Cycle Training providers in London which you can easily find using a search engine such as Google.

c) Free adult cycle training for Londoners:

All London boroughs offer free adult cycle training. You may wish to encourage your staff and volunteers to attend a 1-2-1, bespoke session before your project commences so you are assured of their riding ability. Cycle training should also be promoted to your beneficiaries once your project is established.

For more information visit: TFL cycle training website

Bike maintenance / mechanics training

You need to ensure you have sufficient resources to maintain bikes in a safe working order throughout the project and beyond. You are able to apply for funding to train individuals within your organisation or work with a service provider to deliver bike maintenance sessions and maintain the bikes your project owns. There are two kinds of mechanics training:

a) General training:

This covers a wide range of courses from essential maintenance (such as puncture repair and brake and gear maintenance) to more advanced courses (such as wheel building). Different training providers offer different courses and levels of training. Please check the providers’ websites for more details and to decide the most appropriate level of training that your mechanic(s) will need.

b) Professional training:

There are two kinds of professional mechanics training; City and Guilds and Cytech (each of them with three levels of accreditation). These are more in depth and hence more expensive courses. Please consider whether this level of training is necessary for the activities that your organisation will be delivering. For example, this course is recommended for projects running a build-a-bike scheme or restoring bikes to roadworthy condition.

Advice from 2015-16 Projects

At the 2015/16 CGL celebration event in October 2016 some of the current project groups shared their insights from their past year of activities, offering some key tips for success to other existing or potential projects:

How to engage your target group (Wheels for Wellbeing)

  • Persistence is key
  • Always consult with your group to find out what approach is likely to work for them
  • Visit your target audience directly to introduce the project so they are aware of the offer
  • Set aside some time to learn from the experts within the target group as it can help you understand how to cater for that group - for example, people with dementia are more likely to be responsive in the morning
  • Work with partners where you can, and help to promote to their engaged audience 
  • Always tailor your approach - for instance, ensure there is sufficient child care in place, or for sessions for visually impaired individuals arrange for dog sitters to cover the session duration
  • If you have a new group, start small to get to know them and focus on their needs
  • Stay flexible, test and experiment with new approaches, if one doesn’t succeed, don’t be afraid to try another.

 How to partner with other organisations (Leyton Orient Trust)

  • Know what your strengths are and be specific about how new partners can support you 
  • Consider whether your partners can help you engage with participants through them
  • Talk to your council to find out how they could support you, for example by donating bikes or through promotion
  • Partnerships need to be of benefit to both partners - identify your strengths and weaknesses in advance, and get a solid agreement in place so you both know what's expected of you
  • Keep communication alive – identify someone who you can talk with throughout the partnership. 

How to ensure project sustainability (Brothers on Bikes)

  • Getting people on board and engaged is key to sustainability
  • Proactively encourage your group to suggest what they want, so you can help them to achieve their goals 
  • Ascertain how you can use their enthusiasm and resources to spread the word, reach new audiences, and ensure sustainability
  • Get inventive and empower people to use resources for their own benefit – for instance, invest in a range of bikes, which could be used for led rides or hired by the community
  • Gamification of cycling, for example through Strava can inspire participants to get on their bikes to improve their own goals or beat their friends.
  • Host a maintenance session in advance of a ride so all bikes are ready and to reduce the likelihood of issues on the ride
  • Invest in your team - train them in maintenance skills and always share knowledge among your group.