1. Presentation

Courses  to teach children and adults how to ride a bicycle with confidence and safely in urban settings.


2. Objectives

  • Providing everyone the opportunity to learn how to ride a bike, especially in urban settings.
  • Developing in the general population the skills to use the bicycle as a means of transport in comfortable and safe conditions.


3. Measure’s Importance

This measure is critical to overcome the most basic barrier to cycling: the ability to ride a bicycle in an urban context and with high levels of motor vehicle traffic.

Because riding a bicycle is a basic skill with multiple advantages for the individual and society, it is essential to provide all people at different stages of life the opportunity to learn to ride on the roads with confidence.  In starter cities context, where the cycling is residual, the target group will be relatively large.

1. Good Practices

– Provide all layers of the population access to learn how to ride a bicycle and the skills to ride safely and confidently in traffic.

– Ensure appropriate conditions to learn and experience cycling also by persons with motor and/or intellectual disabilities.

– Provide bicycles for those who don not have them.

– Develop phased training programmes, focusing on practice, starting in car free zones and then moving onto public roads with car traffic.

– Make a commitment to deliver the programme on a regular basis over time.

– Promote a positive image of cycling through a safe and fun learning environment.

– Properly qualified monitors are essential for teaching children and adults.

– Monitor and reframe measures to meet user needs without compromising sustainable ideals (See Management, Monitoring and Maintenance).

Explain the principles behind the measures to make it clear its importance and impacts (See Information).


2. Actions

Cycling lessons to children
In-class instruction on riding, focusing both on practical skills and traffic education, tailored to the child’s stage of development; May include handbooks, videos, posters, visual messages inside the school, brochures targeting parents.
These programmes can be more successful if integrated with curricular activities (eventually as part of the national education curriculum), and with the school's mobility plan in order to encourage cycling from a young age and make it a common behaviour (See School Mobility Management).

Learn more: Mini cycling/ Ciclaveiro (Pt); Bikeability (UK).
Cycling lessons to adults
Adult bicycle lessons, including cycling skills, but also bicycle maintenance and traffic behaviour.

Learn more: Adult Bicycle Initiation Course, promoted by the Lisbon City Council, in partnership with the Portuguese Federation of Cycling and Bicycle Users (FPCUB), Lumiar Parish Council and Virgílio Ferreira School.


  1. Impacts
  2. Barriers
  3. Budget


Case study