ITO Newsletter: Meet the Team

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Meet the Team 

July 2013

Mark Wilcox, British Cycling Tutor

Mark has worked for British Cycling for just over 7 years. He was originally recruited to deliver coaching courses and later spread his wings to deliver ride leader and cycle training instructor courses.

How did you get into cycling?

I've had a bike for as long as I can remember. My dad didn't have a car until I was 16 so having a bike was my main means of transport. I joined the Holme Valley Wheelers when I was 12 and my first club run was over to Langsett, across the Strines followed by the Snake Pass to Glossop and back over Holme Moss. Thats a very tough 60 mile circuit. I seem to remember being pushed a lot!

What are your experiences of delivering Bikeability?

I worked in schools following my initial training but after a short while I started work with the British Cycling team developing and accrediting the first instructor training courses. Thats why I'm on the Level 3 video and cover of the first course handbook!

Since then I've spent more time delivering Instructor Training Courses and doing PCAs. 

More recently I was selected to be a Bikeability Quality Assurance panel member for the DfT. This has been very interesting and quite challenging. I'm very happy to be part of the process charged with raising the standards of Bikeability training.

What would be your top tips for other Cycle Training Instructors or Instructor Trainers?

1) Remember, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts - or in other words - the aim of Bikeability is to enable children to start making journeys on their bikes. Turning left and right are only part of that process (the parts) so don't lose sight of the big picture. Trainees don't learn to make a journey practicing turns up a quiet cul de sac!

2) The more you expose the trainees to traffic, the more they will benefit from the course. 

3) Primary position rules!

 April 2013

Jackie Eason, National Standard Instructor Trainer

Jackie has worked with British Cycling for more than 6 months now and in that time has delivered several Instructor courses and Continuing Professional Development workshops.  We asked Jackie about her experiences in the world of cycling.

How did you get into cycling?

My bike became really important to me when my children were young.  A baby seat on the back and a toddler seat on the cross bar allowed me to get fit and keep the boys entertained at the same time.  We then discovered cycle touring holidays and as the boys grew, the miles increased.  My children are grown up now, but the joy of riding my bike, the freedom and the fitness are going to stay with me for life.

What are your experiences of delivering Bikeability?

I deliver Bikeability to 16 local primary schools and have built good relations with these schools over the past 5 years. There are many things I love about the job; seeing the trainees riding well and smiling confidently at other road users is the best, especially when they bounce into school telling their teacher that it's been their 'best day EVER!'. I also feel very privileged to spend time with these young people and hopefully set them up for a lifetime of safe cycling. I live in a small community, and am still in contact with youngsters that I taught over a decade ago, it's great to see them as young adults riding every day and taking cycling trips across the world.  In our small town there are now 8 children who have cycled the End to End, and the number is still growing. I'd love to think that Bikeability helped to sow these cycling seeds.

What would be your top tips for other Cycle Training Instructors or Instructor Trainers?

First one has to be to get them riding, riding, riding, aim for 80% of the time.  Secondly, support them with tonnes of positive praise as often as you possibly can and always try to be specific e.g. 'Great looks John', 'Excellent position Emily', 'Fantastic eye contact Josh'. Watch them learn, thrive and excel before your eyes.  Finally follow it up with questions. 'That was a great position you took, why was it the right place to be?’  This will help to reinforce their learning.