More information about BikeReady and bike riding – for schools, parents and anyone riding a bike or looking to start.

Students on Grade 2 course.

Browse the FAQs:

Schools: questions and answers

Adult learners: questions and answers

Parents: questions and answers

Schools: questions and answers

What do teachers need to do?

What does it cost?

At what age can students take part in BikeReady?

Bikes — who provides them for cycle skills training?

Bikes — what types are suitable for cycle skills training?

Helmets and clothing — what do we need to know?

What happens to our school's training session in bad weather?

Grade 2 — who can do this course?

We have students with special needs. Can they take part in BikeReady?

What do teachers need to do?

BikeReady education happens inside and outside your classroom.

To arrange cycle skills training, follow a series of simple steps:

How to arrange cycle skills training

Having a lead teacher organise this for a syndicate or school is a time-saver. You can also plan BikeReady delivery across a Community of Learning | Kahui Ako so student learning progresses through their school years.

The lead teacher coordinates with instructors before, during and after visits to school. For example, discussing practical matters such as where to run Grade 1 (on school grounds) and Grade 2 (local streets with low traffic levels).

Each classroom teacher delivers curriculum activities selected to fit with their student needs and interests. Teachers are also requested to be present during training sessions to help with positive behaviour and giving feedback to students.

BikeReady curriculum resources are available for classroom lessons. Classroom learning aligned to the NZ Curriculum helps students to become problem solvers who discuss, experiment and create resources that develop a deeper understanding of safe riding.

Curriculum resources

What does it cost?

BikeReady cycle skills training for schools and curriculum resources are free.

At what age can students take part in BikeReady?

For cycle skills training:

Grade 1: 8 years+ (Year 4+)

Grade 2: 10 years+ (Year 6+)

Grade 3: 13 years+ (Year 9+)

Bikes — who provides them for cycle skills training?

Each student brings their own roadworthy bike and approved bike helmet to school for the training sessions. This is explained to parents in the sign-up letter from providers.

If some students don't have their own bike, here's what to do.

  • Get students to share bikes during Grade 1 training. This is not suitable for Grade 2 (on-road)
  • Ask your provider for help. Some providers have a small number of bikes and helmets to cover shortfalls
  • Help parents find affordable roadworthy bikes. Ask providers about local trusts that upcycle second-hand bikes
  • Purchase a school set of bikes. Start small and expand as needed. Funding options include the school's operational funding, PTA fundraising, grants and the Bikes in Schools Initiative

Bikes — what types are suitable for cycle skills training?

Bikes must be in a roadworthy condition and meet legal requirements. Instructors will check the safety of each bike in the first session. Students take part in the bike check — it's an important skill to learn. BMX bikes are okay.

As a starting point, each bike should be the right size for the rider, have pumped up tyres, two working brakes and a red or yellow rear reflector.

Cycle equipment(external link)

Helmets and clothing — what do we need to know?

Students need to wear a bicycle helmet when riding a bike.  The helmet must be the right size and shape for their head and correctly fitted. It should be brightly coloured or have a high visibility sticker, and be standards approved.

Students may wear their normal clothes or PE gear. Raincoats are handy.

Avoid clothes that get in the way or can be unsafe: long loose skirts, jerseys tied around waists, long laces, baggy trousers and open toed shoes.

Cycle helmets — including adjusting the helmet(external link)

What happens to our school's training session in bad weather?

Check with your provider the day before if bad weather is forecast. BikeReady sessions may still run. The instructors will make a final decision and could schedule a new time in the event of very bad weather.

Grade 2 — who can do this course?

Students do Grade 2 after demonstrating all the core competencies and outcomes for Grade 1. They should be aged 10 or older as Grade 2 involves cycling on the road.

If an individual missed Grade 1, there is a chance to be assessed during the first Grade 2 session. The instructor will check they can demonstrate all Grade 1 competencies.

We have students with special needs. Can they take part in BikeReady?

Yes, all people can take part in cycle education to the best of their abilities.

The parental sign-up letter for cycle skills training has space for caregivers to note any special needs or medical conditions.

Teachers should talk to instructors about students with a disability or health or behavioural needs so that training can be tailored to their strengths.

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Adult learners

How does BikeReady support adult cyclists?

Where can I get some quick tips to teach myself bike riding skills?

I want to get back into bike riding after many years. What's the best way to do this?

I'm a weekend bunch rider. What does BikeReady have for me?

I can't ride a bike but would like to try. What should I do?

Can I ride my e-bike on a shared pathway?

How does BikeReady support adult cyclists?

Around New Zealand, professional instructors deliver a range of cycle skills courses. Courses vary by region and are based on BikeReady's best practice guidelines.

The aim is to help more people progress towards making trips by bike. Instructors can help beginners with bike handling skills and commuters and recreational riders with on road skills.

There are also special courses about sharing the road with heavy vehicles, training for leaders of group rides, and workplace training (fees may apply for the latter).

Cycle skills training opportunities for adults

Where can I get some quick tips to teach myself bike riding skills?

The BikeReady website provides advice on road rules, e-bikes, looking after your bike and on-road riding. It pulls together the knowledge of cycling experts, so you can start learning right now.

Tips for every day bike riding — beginners to advanced

I want to get back into bike riding after many years. What's the best way to do this?

Take it gradually — both in terms of fitness and bike handling skills. Start somewhere away from roads, such as a park, cycleway or schoolyard in the weekend. This lets you focus on balance and bike control without having traffic to think about.

BikeReady recommends you build your skills and confidence on a standard push bike before investing in an e-bike (these are heavier and faster so take a little getting used to).

Use the Find a Provider button on this website to look into cycle skills courses that prepare you for on-road riding. Plus follow BikeReady's essential advice:

Do these things every time you ride on the road

I'm a weekend bunch rider. What does BikeReady have for me?

BikeReady includes Ride Leader workshops. Pick up expert riding techniques and planning methods for group rides. Coverage includes navigating intersections and roundabouts as a group.

And ask your local provider about Grade 3 cycle skills courses. These cover advanced on-road riding techniques. The aim is to develop a strong and assertive riding style and excellent hazard awareness.

Ride Leader training

I can't ride a bike but would like to try. What should I do?

Borrow a bike from a friend or family and give it a go, in a quiet pre-road location. Ask someone to come along as a support person. Find a quiet place with flat ground away from all traffic. You can also look out for public events where you can try a bike. Instructors may be on hand with advice.

BikeReady explains how to learn to ride:

Beginners' tips to riding a bike

Can I ride my e-bike on a shared pathway?

Yes, but nice and slow please. Shared paths are for bike riders and people walking. The pace is relaxed. Put your e-bike in a low power setting and go slow enough that people feel comfortable when you pass. More advice here:

E-bikes — tips for buying and riding

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Parents

My child can't ride a bike. Can they take part in cycle education?

What does my child get after taking part in BikeReady?

My child has completed Grade 2. What next?

I want my child to take part in BikeReady. What can I do?

How do I make a comment, complaint or suggestion about BikeReady?

Is it okay for my child to ride on the footpath?

My child can't ride a bike. Can they take part in cycle education?

BikeReady includes classroom lessons, so any students can benefit from these. However, they will need basic balance and bike control before doing Grade 1 cycle skills training. They are ready if they can:

  • get on and off the bike by themselves
  • start off and pedal along
  • use brakes to stop
  • ride a bike for 25 metres, and
  • make gentle turns.

Tips on helping your child learn to ride a bike are found in the Parents section. Keep your eyes out for community courses for beginners or teach your child yourself. Here are some tips:

Teach your kids to ride a bike

What does my child get after taking part in BikeReady?

Children get a certificate after cycle skills training. The certificate describes which competencies the student performed to the required standard. The certificate is not a licence. Think of it as a record of their learning.

My child has completed Grade 2. What next?

Taking part in BikeReady helps your child get the skills and experience to enjoy bike riding for life. BikeReady provides a solid foundation but it is just a start.

You can encourage your child to get more experience.

  • Go for rides with them
  • Talk about safe routes to school, friend's houses or the shops. Practice these with them
  • Join a local club, such as a sport cycling club, mountain biking or BMX club

People aged 13 and over can take part in BikeReady Grade 3 where available. Grade 3 covers advanced competencies for riding in more complex situations, such as multi-lane roads, heavier traffic or rural roads.

Ideas for supporting your child's bike riding

I want my child to take part in BikeReady. What can I do?

Ask the teachers / kaiako at your school or kura if they are planning to have BikeReady. If not, let them know about this website. Talking about your family's interest in bike education is a great way to spark their thinking.

Ask a local provider if they run courses for families.

Find a training provider

How do I make a comment, complaint or suggestion about BikeReady?

Feedback is warmly welcomed.

Please contact your school or local BikeReady provider to talk about education and training that your child has taken part in.

If you have feedback about BikeReady in general, you can contact the national coordinator.

Contact us

Is it okay for my child to ride on the footpath?

The law says that people can only ride on the footpath if their wheel diameter is less than 355mm or if they are delivering newspaper, mail or leaflets. This means that school-age kids can't ride for fun on the footpath (their bike probably has wheels that are 400mm (16 inches) or bigger).

Fun places to ride include parks, cycleways and shared paths (marked with a sign of a pedestrian and cyclist).  Your local council can help with information and maps.

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