Archie gets back on his bike to become Redland Green's 100 Bikeability trainee

Bikeability - GroupArchie Brooks, aged 12, has become Redland Green School’s 100th Bikeability trainee and joins fellow pupils who have all completed their Bikeability Level 3 training since the school started the courses in April 2012.

What makes Archie’s achievement even more incredible is that only three years ago he was knocked down whilst walking to his former school in Bishopston and had to be treated by air ambulance after suffering a severe open fracture of the leg which needed two operations.

Archie’s mum Helen Rosenthal said: “Archie misjudged when he was crossing the road and was hit by a car. It was so traumatic for Archie and me. We are truly thankful to the air ambulance service for getting to us so quickly. Archie had just taken his level 1 Bikeability training at the time but lost a lot of confidence after the accident. He told the instructor he was very nervous when he got back on his bike to take the next level up but she said to be positive about things and we decided to stick with it.

Bikeability - Archie Brooks“We’re over the moon he’s now got his level 3. He’ll have that sense of freedom from being able to cycle off with his friends and I have the knowledge that he can do it safely and with confidence.”

Cllr Mark Bradshaw, Assistant Mayor for transport said: “Congratulations to Archie. Bikeability has proved itself to be a very effective training scheme, introducing hundreds of thousands of children to cycling right across the country.

“Here at the council, we fully support training programs like these which are an essential part of making cycling more accessible to everyone. They give children the knowledge and confidence to ride safely as well as introducing sustainable travel to a whole new generation.

“I’m always mindful that investment in promoting safer cycling and improved cycling and pedestrian routes will benefit current and future residents by encouraging more take up of walking and cycling – good for the health of both those taking part and for our city.”

Bikeability is a national cycle training scheme designed to give people the skills and confidence to cycle on today’s roads. There are 3 levels:

•Level 1 – introduces basic cycling skills through fun activities away from traffic.

•Level 2 – teaches on-road skills to enable children to make local cycle journeys.

•Level 3 – develops advanced road-riding techniques to enable riders to cope in all road conditions.

At Redland Green School all year 7 students are offered the chance to take part in Bikeability training, with free courses running throughout the school year. Instructors are fully accredited trainers working for Bristol City Council. The aim of the training is to enable pupils to cycle to school and make independent journeys by bike anywhere in the city. The practical level 3 riding sessions include each pupil’s own home to school route.

Teacher Joe Williams said: “Ever since the course started it has been a huge success. Students have been able to build on bike skills and road safety awareness. I am very proud that so many students see the importance in the course.”

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