The children, Councillors, cycling training assistants, school staff and volunteers all joined in the fun at Fullarton Woods in Troon.
More than 90 pupils from Troon, Barassie and St Patrick's Primary Schools took to the saddle and powered their way by pedal to Fullarton Woods in Troon as part of their Bikeability Scotland training during national Bike Week from 18 to 22 June.
All the pupils have been undergoing cycle training, which South Ayrshire Council is running in partnership with Cycling Scotland, having adopted the new Bikeability Scotland level 1 and 2 training.
The level of training for volunteers to deliver cycling is now higher and includes a qualification for volunteer trainers called 'Cycle Training Assistants'. This is a one day course with pre learning and assessment and also includes practical training on a bike. Level 1 training takes place in an environment away from cars or traffic, such as a school playground, and is intended as a grassroots scheme to teach essential cycling skills. Level 2 training takes place on the road and gives pupils experience of cycling where there is traffic. It is intended as a starting point for lifelong development and consolidation of skills necessary for good cycling practice.
Councillor John McDowall, Sustainability and Environment Portfolio Holder for the Council said: "Bikeability Scotland training has been designed to give children the skills and confidence to cycle on today's busy roads.
"Cycling is a great way to get to and from school and something the children can enjoy during their leisure time. Taking regular exercise is very important and I hope that the children will continue to cycle in their adult years.
"We have a fantastic cycle network in this area which local people and visitors use to get about and see the sights in South Ayrshire."
Councilor Margaret Toner, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder said: "The children all seemed very enthusiastic about the cycle training and really enjoyed the cycle from their school to Fullarton Woods.
"The new Cycle Training Assistants, which are made up of volunteers, parents and school staff, have all undergone training, so that they can pass on their knowledge to our school children. I would like to thank the volunteers for working in partnership with us to help educate our children about cycling and help keep them safe on the roads."
Here is what some of the children had to say about their adventure:
- "Cycling Proficiency has taught me how to stay safe on the road."
- "Cycling Proficiency has given me cycle road sense, I've loved cycling proficiency."
- "I now know how to do left and right turns properly, I now have more confidence on my bike."
- "Cycling Proficiency has improved my cycling ability and I was really excited about our bike ride to Fullarton woods."
- "Cycling Proficiency has increased my confidence to ride my bike on roads into town."
- "Cycling Proficiency is fun. Our bike ride to Fullarton Woods tested our on road ability, it was fun."
This is what three of the cycling training assistants said about their experience:
- "The new Bikeability Cycle Training Course Level 1 and Level 2 allows a more comprehensive structure for teaching children in schools – both P5 and P6 pupils are now benefitting from the training with very good resources to allow for both practical lessons in school and on the road, and theory lessons within the classroom. This, coupled with the Bikeability advert currently showing on television is increasing the awareness of both Bikeability courses in schools and the promotion of safe cycling on our roads."
- "I have really enjoyed delivering the cycle training program this year to our P5 and P6 pupils at St.Ninian's Primary School. Our P5 class had loads of fun in the playground learning basic cycling techniques and road safety awareness. However
it was a fantastic incentive for the P6 pupils to achieve success knowing that they would be rewarded with an exciting bike-ride on completion of the program."
- "The Bikeability Scotland Programme has given pupils an excellent opportunity to develop their cycling skills and confidence. They are now able to look forward to enjoying cycling as a fun, safe and healthy outdoor activity and as their future mode of transport."
Ian Aitken, Chief Executive of Cycling Scotland said: "We are hugely grateful to the volunteers who have come forward to help deliver Bikability Scotland training in South Ayrshire. Their contribution is vital to ensuring our children have the appropriate skills and knowledge to cycle safely on our roads and make journeys to and from school. We would also like to congratulate South Ayrshire Council for taking part in this training in such an enthusiastic way."
After their bike ride all the pupils enjoyed fruit juice and healthy snacks which were kindly donated by Morrisons supermarket in Troon.