incorporating ‘Bikeability’ and bringing Cycling Proficiency into the 21st Century ( )

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Excerpts from 360o feedback forms. 

From:  Parents    Professionals     Mature Clients    Teachers    Children

These are comments from parents and mature clients etc. that I've worked with over the years ...

The course was brilliant.  The twins did Level 1 two years ago and remembered most of what they were taught then, again by Wendy.  I feel they improved in all aspects of bike control, road sense and confidence and was very proud of them.  Having those same bikes which are now on the small side and do need to be upgraded, didn't help but having Wendy as an instructor was!  When asked if they would have anything done differently, they hadn't got an answer, having thoroughly enjoyed the course.  It was also clear that their safety was paramount.

Although their bikes probably hampered their performance, I feel that S & Y have come on in leaps and bounds.  Already they have been quick to point out other have cyclists' mistakes from the general observation of them riding on road.  They have enjoyed having Wendy as their instructor again and it was apparent to me, that they felt safe with her.  We feel there aren't enough 'Wendy(s)' around!!  It is clear Wendy is very passionate about her work.

D is very aware of all sorts of hazard and now feels in control of her bike.  She gets very angry when she sees children riding carelessly and dangerously.  She wants to progress to do her L3 as soon as she is able.  I believe she is quite capable and has benefitted from everything she has been taught.  She also now understands more the reasons for wearing safety devices and handling her bike so that she has total control.

A is a little forgetful when riding but the more she rides the better she becomes.  Her confidence is still growing.  I just have to mention what Wendy said and she improves straight away.  She would like to do her L3 training but needs to get more confidence before tackling major road conditions.

E said that the course really opened her eyes to the dangers around, highway code etc. She enjoyed it which kept her interested and wanting to learn. I’m very happy with the information I received. E enjoyed it and came away with confidence and a raised understanding of the dangers and would be interested in further training. Wendy was very approachable and enthusiastic with the children. It was great Wendy could come to Bude instead of having to travel too far ourselves, making it accessible.

It was a very effective course – it’s made a real difference. There were good choices of location and B is now using his pedestrian skills more naturally as a bike ride. Doesn’t see his bike riding as only playful now. Getting used to automatic checking.

I would like to thank you very much for all of your work and support with P, especially coming out to complete his level 2 course. He really enjoyed the last lesson ... and thank you for sending us copies of the photos, shame I didn't get the 'fear factor' when he was turning into Creakavose but I think I was to busy praying that he would survive!!!! I hope that you can use some of them on the web site - lastly Wendy, many congrats on your nomination, you deserve that, from what I have seen you put in a lot of time and effort into the work that you do with the children. But more importantly you really do enjoy working with the kids and know how important road safety and awareness is .... keep it up Wendy.

M is much more confident and competent rider because of what she has been taught. She said she felt she learned a lot from the literature and coursework assigned because the theory reinforces the practical learning. Good venues used with a variety of road conditions. Wendy was very helpful and able to communicate well with children. She inspired M and has given her confidence. Thank you very much ..

A & J have gained confidence and ride more assertively. They are more aware of the dangers and potential hazards. Their own safety and how to reduce any risk of accident by appropriate clothing and actions was made very clear. We were presented with a variety of situations locally that enabled us to practise the 4 main turns, roundabouts, traffic lights and multi lanes. Both children thoroughly enjoyed the course. There was plenty of practical training, not too much theory.

Having a patient instructor who was positive & encouraging in her approach was a benefit and lead to them tackling a busy roundabout with multi lanes with confidence. There has been a marked improvement in their road sense and knowledge of the highway code. Asserting their position as road users has gone from 0-100%. They now realise how by using their gears more frequently they can adjust their speed to the situation that prevails and therefore have greater control of their bike and what action they will take

I liked the informal approach to the training course. The children were able to concentrate fully on what they needed to remember without the pressure of passing a test. If they forgot something they were given the opportunity to go over it and practice it lots. The use of flash cards easily taught the children the relevant roads signs they needed to know. They were able to practice manoeuvring toy vehicles on a road layout which included a roundabout and junctions before they tried it themselves ‘out in the field’.

Hi Wendy – thanks very much for the level 2 course, A. thoroughly enjoyed himself – and we’re all very proud of the way he got his act together – it’s done him the world of good, so can’t thank you enough!! (This is from the mum of a lad who only learned to cycle whilst on holiday in the Scilly Isles recently and did L1 pre L2.)

Just returned to find this news of C's great cycling progress. Eureka!!!!! It took time, but we've hit the jackpot. That's made my day. Will be e mailing her later this evening. Many thanks for all your efforts on her behalf, and for keeping me up to date. If only we could get O. to have a go too. (This is from a grandmother who had found Jo and myself on the web and was desperate for her grandchildren to have cycle training.)

I did feel sufficiently confident to let T cycle home as all he had to do was stay on the left side, past the pub and left down the road. Easy! He told me he feels much happier and confident on the road after your course and can't wait to do more cycling - so my husband is going to take him for a ride on the trail tomorrow!

I think all the boys thoroughly enjoyed their lessons and it was very interesting watching their progress too - some on a steeper learning curve than others!  I shall pass your leaflets on to various contacts and will put your poster on the next newsletter from school together with a small article on what the boys achieved. Thank you for your teaching skills and dedication to such a worthy cause. I think your passion for cycling and teaching comes through brilliantly in your lessons. We need more people like you in this world! Good luck with Bikeability.

The teaching was very good, I’m sure at least some of it will have stuck & be of use on the road and reduce risk of accident. The best part was the games! But I think the step by step work on junctions, turnings and priorities etc will prove invaluable. I’m very grateful to Wendy for her time, enthusiasm & dedication. That she is prepared to travel 120 mile round trip to meet the needs of children in our rather isolated corner of Cornwall is testament to her sincerity to save lives. Again many thanks Wendy.

Feedback from independent professional consultants assessing Wendy say "she is a good instructor who has an excellent rapport with her trainees, volunteer helpers and local residents at the training sites.  All this benefits the training delivery as it creates an excellent learning environment.  Her instruction is supportive and the children are challenged and questioned throughout."

Extracts from a reference read "I have known Wendy for over 5 years through her work as a National Standard accredited Cycling Instructor and as a tireless and passionate volunteer on wider cycling, roads safety and physical activity initiatives.  I have found her to be a highly dedicated and motivated individual, capable of great focus when setting out to achieve something.  It was these qualities that resulted in her selection to be one of 8 cycle training organisations chosen to pioneer the launch of Bikeability (Cycling Proficiency for the 21st Century) in 2007.  She is also highly selfless and I know of numerous examples of her 'gong the extra mile' in her teaching activities to ensure that her students (including young children) surpass both the course requirements and their own expectations".

'Wendy does not tell the children what she is doing when riding her 'invisible bike' but asks them to tell her, using appropriate questions.  The result is an effective demonstration where children show real understanding of the outcomes they are then expected to undertake.  This is an example of good practice in how to demonstrate outcomes.'

'Given the young age of the children, the fact that the are so competent is good evidence of the quality of Wendy's instruction.' After I had taught using a PowerPoint presentation cum quiz, my tutor at college added 'I never realised there is so much to cycling'! 

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And from my older clients, including two I.A.M. members, a mum of younger clients who did Level 2 with me who wanted some help for herself at Level 3, a 39 year old gentleman, a 65 year old lady and four complete novices, two of whom are nearing retirement :-

I've sent off an e-mail to the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists). my comments should allow you to enter the Kingdom of Heaven with no questions asked. We've had a really enjoyable morning and we both feel more confident in our abilities. After you left we cycled to the Royal William yard for lunch. Again thanks for your time and patience this morning, we have already tried to put your advice into practice.

Wendy is a friendly, approachable and helpful person who gave me the confidence to learn to ride a bike, despite huge levels of initial trepidation on my part.  I went from a complete beginner to be able to stay on, steer, signal and change gear in one hit.  The training was done in a quiet but beautiful spot which was just challenging enough for a beginner like me.  However with hindsight, I think I did too much at once although that was my decision, I had been given the option of breaking off after an hour but Wendy did suggest we sit out, so we compromised and went for a coffee instead.  Because I am quite unfit, 2x 1 hour lessons for me, would have been the better choice.  Maybe even some extra 1 hour lessons at intervals but first I need more practice.  The exhilaration of getting going was wonderful though! V

Thank you Wendy, I will keep this text and refer to it every time I have a wobble, you are a great inspiration, perhaps you should bottle your 'pep talk' and sell it! S

Thanks a lot for today. It was brilliant. Guess what I have bought? I told J. I'm not impulsive, just determined!!! Look forward to seeing you next Sat. Take care, luv L ~ A smiley person now. … Again just a week later:- Went off onto the Long Rock estate again yesterday & found a load of cones!!!! I couldn't remember how far apart you placed them so guessed at 5 paces! Got to 3 paces apart, which felt good & I wore my helmet - thought I had better get used to it. I was cycling for approx 1 hour again really enjoyed it again. Thanks a million once again and Enjoy next week-end ++++ Speak soon, take care, luv L. (From a total novice who must’ve broken all records and was cycling solo within an hour to later on go out and bought herself a bike, having used one of mine initially!!)

Cycling from Wadebridge to Padstow and back again I was determined to do it and now I have, what a sense of achievement., it’s fantastic, thank you! J (Again a total novice who was determined to do it on her own when she first put her foot onto the pedal and two hours later … )

I was exposed to a variety of situations where multi-lanes occurred, enabling me to begin in a less busy environment and work up to a more busy environment. Being shown the confidence to tackle heavy traffic in a multi lane situation and being aware that as a cyclist how important road position and signalling your intentions at the right moment is so important - I now feel less vulnerable on my bike and I am more positive about asserting my position when in heavy traffic. J

I like the structure of the course in that I was able to tell the instructor where I felt my weaknesses lay and what I wanted to gain from the course. I have come away from the course feeling less apprehensive about tackling roundabouts/multi lanes/traffic lights and more knowledgeable about route planning, road position and varying my speed according to the prevailing situation. J

Wendy’s teaching was very effective, undertaken in a most clear and competent way. The worst part was actually getting on the bike – friends and family had tried and encouraged me to do this but I didn’t have the confidence to put it into practice. The best part was the joy of the first time riding around town, going up hills, out to the beach etc. with no effort at all – Wendy keeping a watchful eye on me helping me achieve this. M

I am a complicated person with no confidence at all and only have my bike to get around. For years I have been riding what I now know to be far too close to the edge of the road and Wendy has a knack of demonstrating these things in such a way that it does stay with you. I spent the whole day with Wendy, riding in and around the local area and came home much happier now riding in an assertive road position which meant I was no longer putting myself in danger. T

Amazing! It was such an awesome experience to be part of such a great team of very special women, all very different, but all there for the same common cause. It was very testing but worth every minute.   It was a very emotional and emotive journey, so many sad and moving stories of why each person became involved in raising money for the 'Women for Women' charity, also a lot of time on your own to reflect on your own life, so as a result a lot of tears but also a lot of shared laughter.  Thank you for your help and encouragement, you were right, you can achieve anything if you think positively and really want to do it !  (This was from a lady who, having tried to teach herself to cycle only to have an accident, called me because she wanted to do a 250 Mile Cuban Charity Cycle Ride less than a year later and this was what she said when she got back.)

This quote is from a teacher whom I work with regularly and was part of a media article that was subsequently written up:-

‘It is great to be involved with Jo and Wendy. Child safety is extremely important and the children have also been really keen, there is a waiting list for the Bikeability courses. The assembly was really good and I think it will encourage children to take care on their bikes and wear a helmet correctly too.’ V

Jo and I were also invited to be part of the Safety Week that a local primary school put on at the beginning of term in September 2006, along with the RNLI, Lifeguards, Air Ambulance, Paramedics, Police, Fire Brigade, School Nurses and HM Coastguard in the deputy head’s own words:-

‘The aim of the week was to teach children to stay safe in school and at home. We also provided situations for the children to see and emergency vehicles in a friendly, non-threatening environment.’ P

I also received this from a student teacher in the States:

I wanted to provide feedback on your page ( ). I'm not sure if you're the right person to contact, but I wanted to tell you that as a student teacher working on a lesson plan, your page was a great source of information.

The last words belongs to some children who contacted me via their father's email and/or the feedback form I ask parents to complete, the latter of which are direct quote from twins, taken from one I received recently:-

Hi Wendy, E here just a quick note to say Thank you for teaching me i have really enjoyed the last 2 weekends and have really taken in what you've taught me thank you once again love EL xxx

Hello Wendy, C here I am writing to say thank you for being a fab teacher it was fun doing it from CL xxxxxxx

Y said "learning to ride by Wendy and not my mum" and S stated "having Wendy because I trust her., she may be scary at times (some of the group needed reining a in a little, as their persistent chattering were potentially dangerous to the rest of the group, so it meant asserting my authority) but she's good".

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