Cycling Advocates Network manager Patrick Morgan will travel to Europe in September to study best-practice cycle training programmes. The study trip is partly funded by a Winston Churchill Fellowship.
Report: It's as easy as riding a bike
Mr Morgan says cycling skills can be acquired informally or taught in training programmes.
"Cycle skills are basic life skills which everyone should have, much like swimming and literacy."
Learning how to ride properly makes cycling more enjoyable and safer for children, adults and other road users, he says.
"Some cyclists have bad habits such as running red lights or riding too close to parked cars. With good training we can reduce unsafe behaviour."
"Cycle skills training is an excellent way to get more people on bikes, more often."
In Europe Mr Morgan will seek knowledge, contacts and experience to further raise the standard of CAN's cycle training.
CAN's trainers promote best practice cycle training based on the NZ Cycle Skills Guidelines. CAN is working with BikeNZ and cycle training providers on a Qualifications Framework assessment system to improve training quality.
"Our programmes are good, but we still need to train more trainers and find money for more courses," says Mr Morgan.
Winston Churchill Fellowships help New Zealanders to go overseas for insights and understanding that will enrich their communities and New Zealand as a whole.
Congratulations, Patrick - a
Congratulations, Patrick - a great opportunity that will benefit our level of cycling skills.
Cycling to Europe
When cycling advocate Patrick Morgan learned he was the recipient of a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fellowship, allowing him to travel overseas to study cycling safety practices, he was more excited about coming home.
Partly funded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, the five-week trip to Britain, the Netherlands and Denmark will help Morgan gain an insight into bike training that can be transferred to Wellington.
Morgan, manager of Cycling Advocates Network in Wellington, said the current environment encouraged more people to ride bikes recreationally.
"No-one wants to live in a city dominated by motorways," he said.
"Cycle skills training is an excellent way to get more people on bikes, more often, and when people ride bikes, we all win."
He said the main problem for Wellington cyclists was a lack of qualified trainers.
"It may come as a surprise, but the crash rate for bikes is similar to cars. The risk is always going to be high.
"We don't have enough people to train; to some extent we have the funding, but not the interest in best-practice cycling training."
Cycling Advocates Network is working with BikeNZ and cycle training providers on a qualifications framework assessment system to improve training quality.
Morgan, one of 16 New Zealand recipients of the 2011 Churchill fellowship, will begin study in September.
He said he hoped to further raise the standards of cycle training.
"Riding a bike is not like learning to ride a jumbo jet.
"But it is something that once learnt it becomes easy to form bad habits, something I want to rectify in New Zealand."
30 Aug - 14 Sept, Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto, Gifu
14 - 18 Sept, Copenhagen, Danish Cargo Bike Champs at Carlsberg brewery, cycle chic
19-27 Sept, Netherlands: study tour at Assen with David Hembrow, Groeningen, Zwolle, Eindhoven
27 Sept - 6 Oct, UK: Cambridge and London - cycling advocates, trainers and programme managers
7-14 Oct, California: SF and Davis - cycling advocates, trainers and programme managers
safe travels, Patrick
am back in the CAN office.
Thanks to everyone for working hard at our mission to make cycling an attractive and comfortable option for all New Zealanders. I am grateful to many people who helped by providing time, money, hospitality, advice and other support. Thanks.
I was inspired to see mass cycling in many places: Japan, Copenhagen, Groningen (Netherlands), Cambridge (UK) and Davis (California).
Dutch cycling advocate David Hembrow says:
"It's very simple. Cycling rates are proportional to the quality of the infrastructure, and the quality of the infrastructure is proportional to the expenditure on it. The Netherlands spends more money than any other country on cycling, and has the results to show for it.
"The excuse of not having enough money never holds up. Providing good cycling infrastructure is much cheaper than the alternative - of not providing it and dealing with the health effects, extra imports of oil, greater road building and maintenance costs due to more driving."
So our destination is clear. What remains is choosing the best route to get there.
I was interviewed by National Radio's Bryan Crump at http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/nights/audio/2499675/cyclin...
and by The Bike Show's Jack Thurston at http://thebikeshow.net/jah-tweed/ starting at 18 minutes
pedal on, Patrick
Winston Churchill Fellow aims to make cycling safer in NZ
Community Matters - issue 39 - Spring 2011 Winston Churchill fellow aiming to make cycling safer in NZ
More and more Kiwis are getting on their bikes, which is good for the pocket and the environment, but not necessarily safer.
New Zealand statistics for accidents involving cyclists are shocking, and there is great concern about how to make things safer for cyclists and others who share the roads with them.
Cycling advocate Patrick Morgan says some cyclists have bad habits which skills training can fix. For example, making clear hand signals and eye contact with drivers makes cyclists' intentions more predictable.
Patrick is off on a Winston Churchill fellowship to Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands to study cycling safety.
These fellowships are granted by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (administered by the Department of Internal Affairs) to New Zealanders wanting to carry out overseas research that will be of benefit to their community when they return.
Patrick is seeking knowledge on cycling safety and skills training that can be applied in New Zealand. "I'll meet cycle trainers in the UK and study what works, and what doesn't."
He is also visiting cities in Denmark and the Netherlands to see how they do it there, where as many as a third of trips are made by bike.
"I am stoked to have this opportunity," says Patrick. "My job as project manager at the Cycling Advocates Network means I can immediately apply what I learn to raising the standard of cycle skills instruction in New Zealand."
If cycling in New Zealand can be made safer, more people are likely to take it up, with the long-term advantages of healthier citizens, cleaner air and less congested city streets.
Fellows are granted up to 80 per cent of their travel costs and can spend between three weeks and three months away. The average grant is $5000-$7000.
To apply for a fellowship or learn more about the Trust, visit www.communitymatters.govt.nz.
Photo: DOMINION POST/ROSS GIBLIN
Patrick Morgan ... on a mission to make cycling safer