Pupils from Year 7 at the Piggott secondary school in Wargrave took part in a bike skills training workshop to make up for an opportunity they missed during coronavirus restrictions.
The 52 boys and girls enjoyed a Level 2 Bikeability course, taught by Avanti Cycling with funding from Wokingham Borough Council, after not being able to do so at their primary schools last year.
The children learned to safely navigate quiet roads with only light traffic flows in the Twyford area, having already completed their Level 1 courses in off-road locations like car parks or playgrounds.
They would usually have done this before the end of Year 6 but this wasn't possible because of rules that were in place across the country at the time to limit the spread of coronavirus.
The council’s My Journey Wokingham active travel team and Avanti worked closely with the school to work out how to fit the session around its regular timetable.
Now the pupils are eligible to complete the final stage, Bikeability Level 3, in which they can learn to tackle more challenging situations like complex junctions and roundabouts.
A similar initiative was held by the council at The Forest School in Winnersh last September, when 23 pupils who missed out on Bikeability training at primary school enjoyed a catch-up.
More confident and competent in the saddle
Cllr Paul Fishwick, executive member for active travel, transport and highways, said: “We're very grateful to The Piggott School, particularly the head of Year 7, for allowing these students to take part in Bikeability training during the school day.
“The course teaches them how to ride on the roads, negotiate junctions and cycle confidently in traffic and we hope this will encourage more pupils to cycle to school independently in the future.”
One Piggott parent told the team: “I just want to say a huge thank you for organising the Bikeability course for my son. He had a fantastic day yesterday and came home feeling very positive.
“Previously he has point blank refused to entertain any thoughts of cycling into school, but this morning he cycled off with a big grin on his face.”
Helping people lead greener, healthier lives
My Journey Wokingham runs a wide range of campaigns to promote and increase opportunities for more active, sustainable forms of travel like walking, cycling and taking public transport.
It also runs balance bike sessions to introduce younger children to cycling as well as adult classes and Dr Bike clinics offering advice on basic repairs and maintenance.
It is currently encouraging residents to take part in its borough-wide challenge on the Innovation Valley Rewards smartphone app, which allows users to log active and public transport journeys in exchange for points known as Valley Coins.
These can be redeemed for high street rewards or given to charity, as well as put towards ValleyTickets for the chance to win prizes.
To find out more, including some handy hints on getting started with cycling or to order a bike helmet, visit the My Journey Wokingham site.
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