Cycle skills spread countrywide
Greater Wellington Regional Council cycle skills programme lead Matt Shipman (front, middle) leads a BikeReady programme in Blenheim.
A keen Greater Wellington Regional Council cycle instructor has put his pedal to the metal, travelling the length of the country to share his skills with other cycle trainers.
Greater Wellington cycle skills programme lead Matt Shipman has been training cycle skill instructors through BikeReady – New Zealand’s national cycling education system created by New Zealand Transport Agency, ACC and local government.
“These programmes are being undertaken by instructors nationwide and so far the courses I have instructed have taken place in Taupo, Tauranga, Nelson, and more recently on May 4, Blenheim.
“The purpose of this programme is to train new and existing instructors to the BikeReady national standard over an intensive three day course of practice and theory,” Matt explains.
The BikeReady instructor training programme includes many components such as defensive cycling, learning accessibility, duty of care and making learning fun.
“We deliver these sessions alongside another highly skilled cycle skills instructor trainers from around the country.”
Matt says while the theory work is important, the best way for instructors to learn is by “getting out there and doing it”.
“Most of the feedback we’ve had is about how good the practical side of the course is. Throughout the three day course, each instructor gets multiple chances to lead the group and teach back what they have learned.”
He says while it is important for instructors to refresh their cycle skills and create a national standard – it is important not to lose the local flavour of each region.
“Our focus is on maintaining the good aspects of existing training methods while, at the same time, creating a quality assurance through a national standard,” Matt says.
Deputy Chair of Greater Wellington’s Sustainable Transport Committee Daran Ponter says it’s great to see the regional council as the poster child for BikeReady.
“I’m glad to see we have been the first to jump on board with BikeReady, and to know Greater Wellington’s Pedal Ready is the first accredited BikeReady provider in the country.
“With cycling becoming a more popular mode of transport it is important that trainers and learners are well informed about road rules and best practice for cycling,” Cr Ponter says.