The 2011 Cyclist Skills Training Courses in Palmerston North kick off at Central Normal School this month. The line up of dedicated trainers pictured from Cycle Aware Manawatu, all of whom completed an "Instructor Training Workshop" held in Palmerston North in January 2010 run by the Cycling Advocates' Network (UK accredited teaching instructors), will now be teaching the course. It will be repeated three times (Thursday January 27 at 6pm, Saturday February 12 at 9am, and Tuesday March 1 at 6pm). Registrations are essential, ring Sport Manawatu, or visit their website to book your place online. The course on offer this year is a short two hour excerpt of the full day-long "Bikeability" workshop offered last year. This is in response to public feedback that this would better suit busy lifestyles. The course is run in collaboration with Sport Manawatu, and Horizons. The course is available at no cost to attendees, thanks to funding from NZTA.
This practical course is designed for those over 18 years wishing to brush up on their biking skills, and to improve their on-road cycling skills to help them feel more confident when riding on the road. The first hour is spent off-road practicing key cycling skills such as signaling, turning, and stopping in an emergency. These are then applied to off-road situations at intersections and round-abouts. Learning how to manage the hazards encountered on the road is a key aspect to cycle safety. How to "be seen" as a cyclist and common courtesy on the road are also emphasized. The course follows the best practice Cyclist Skills Training guidelines from NZTA and The Official NZ Code for Cyclists and might be considered a "defensive driving course for cyclists".
Attendees will be invited to follow up rides along the Bridle Track. Anyone who feels they need more than a two hour refresher course and is interested in the full-day Bikeability workshop can also register their interest with Sport Manawatu.