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Free Cycling in the City Courses

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by Stuart McKellar (subscribe)
Meow-Ludo is a 3rd year science student that enjoys nature and partying. You will most likely find him at a cafe in the city enjoying a good book.
Published May 16th 2011

If you have ever tried cycling on the roads of Sydney and felt scared, this course is for you. It is aimed at giving cyclists the skills needed to cycle confidently through varied environments and situations. A strong emphasis is placed on laws and skills dealing with the interactions between cars and bikes. The course aims to empower the cyclists with knowledge and practice in dealing with tense situations that can sometimes occur between motorists and cyclists.

It is run by the city of Sydney Council and runs for around four and a half hours. If you plan on driving there, parking is available at a number of locations at and around Sydney Park. Public transport is also available via the 370 bus route and the CARES facility is just a short walk from St Peters train Station.

The course has a maximum size of 10 participants and is run by two instructors. The instructors have a lot of experience with some of them being bike couriers. There is probably no other person that would have level of experience that these instructors have in dealing with traffic and road skills.

You will need a bike that is in good working order. If you call in advance, you may be able to organise with one of the instructors to loan one for the day. This however is not guaranteed. If you are not sure if it is in good working order, drop into your local bike shop and they should be more than happy to give it a quick service for you. I have done this and it is great for checking things like wheel alignment and tire pressure. I lacked most of the equipment they used and found them to be supremely helpful. Just don't let them talk you into buying a fixie.

You must not be a beginner. This course is not aimed at people that do not know how to ride. There are other courses available for beginner cyclists, but this is aimed at the intermediate cyclist who knows how to ride but is not comfortable on city roads. It is available to anyone over the age of 18 and as such is not suitable for minors. There are facilities for minors to play at around Sydney park though and could be turned into a semi-family event with a bit of creativity.

Remember to dress for cycling. This means wearing high visibility clothing that is sensible for riding. You may have to leave your flares at home today. Do however layer yourself up to deal with working up a sweat. If it looks like rain, don't forget a poncho because an umbrella will be practically useless. It may also be prudent to pack a change of clothes.

Bookings can be made online here.
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Why? To gain confidence riding a bike on roads
When: Weekends - Check with City of Sydney website for more details
Where: Sydney Park, CARES Facility
Cost: Free
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