Bikeability - a new cycling initiative from nextbike Malta

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Bikeability is a bicycle training course being offered by public bike-sharing company nextbike Malta through a collaboration with the Stars Group, one of the world’s largest publicly-listed online gaming companies. Put simply, Bikeability teaches people how to ride a bike, safely and confidently, in Malta's roads. The course is mostly practical but also and includes some theoretical aspects.

Despite the bicycle being the most efficient vehicle known to man, saving valuable time stuck in traffic, improving one’s health and causing no harm to the environment; many people think that cycling is not a safe enough. Several others wish to start cycling but do not feel confident enough to do so.

This is where Bikeability aims to provide training that focuses on building skill and confidence.  Through this course we hope to see more cyclists on the road, who can ride safely and share the road with other uses.  Courses started in August 2018, and several session are scheduled over the months to come.  Different localities will be used to reach as many people as possible. Classes will be held during both weekdays and weekends and consist of a minimum of 3 sessions of around 2hrs each. Sessions will be held with a pre-determined maximum number of participants as agreed upon with the Bikeability Instructors.

Bikeability Instructors

Care has been taken to ensure that Bikeability Instructors are certified and competent. The UK’s Department of Transport National Standard for Cycling has been adopted and Bikeability Instructors have been trained and accredited as a Cycling Instructor but one of the UK’s largest certified Training Organisation BikeRight!

Nextbike Malta who is leading the programme therefore is taking care to ensure that all cycling instruction takes place according the established curriculum outlined by the UK’s National Cycling Standard. Should this standard be introduced in Malta in the future, the cycling training will be updated as such.

What, How, Why

The course is split over 3 levels over a minimum of 3 sessions:

Level 1 introduces you to basic cycling such as getting on and off a bike, cycling with and without obstacles and performing a simple bike check. This level is carried out in a safe, car-free environment.

Level 2 involves cycling in quiet roads and is there to build confidence and skill in using actual roads whilst under the watchful eye of an instructor.

Level 3 comprises cycling on major roads whereby this will introduce participants to the feeling of sharing the road with other users.

Naturally, each participant will be accompanied by a Bikeability Instructor at all times.

There is no need to own a bicycle or protective gear. The training will be done only using nextbikes and protective helmets will be given to participants during the training sessions. The course is open to anyone who is over 16 years old. Further conditions are laid out in our waiver agreement.

Participants will be able to choose from the dates available on the website www.nextbike.com.mt and clicking on the Bikeability Section from the top menu.
The training is totally for free, but participants would need to do the following:

a) Register for a Nextbike account (download app and register)
b) Activate their Nextbike account (putting in a payment method)
c) Place a €10 non-refundable credit on their Nextbike account.

This ensures that participants have an adequate level of commitment when they register for the course and have enough credit to practice with nextbike at their own pace. All one needs to do then is sign the necessary forms and show up on the agreed day and location.

Check out Bikeability over here: https://www.nextbike.com.mt/en/malta/bikeability-/

Bicycle Advocacy Group