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Wednesday, 14 April 2010

A change of tack

Over recent months, the Cycle Patrol fraternity amongs British police has come in for quite a bit of stick. The first aggro episode related to what was called the 93 page manual on how to ride a bike. This firestorm about nothing seems to have been lit and stoked by The Sun- obviously the Glitteratti of the Celebrity World hadn't been up to much in the preceeding 48 hours or so otherwise pages of rubbish about who had been seen clandestinely "talking" to who or which Premier League footballer had been arrested for what would have taken priority.

One of the journalists who wrote about this non event was Peter Walker of The Guardian. He went on to ask Is a 10 hour cycling course for Police a waste of time? which, when read closely is actually a genuine question. he wanted to know whether or not it WAS a waste of time. I responded to this and explained that the training was not about learning to ride but learning to use a bike as a tool. I suggested he have a go at training and he was interested. A friend from the City of London Police at Snow Hill, James Aveling (fellow instructor) contacted him and invited him to try a condensed version of the 4 day CoLP course. Peter accepted and subsequently posted about why he was foolish to mock police bike training. A number of things came out of this. 1) He learned what the training was about. 2) He learned some new skills. 3) He has written an article that supports the training we do. He also admits openly that he was wrong in his original cricism of the training ideas. Saying so publicly takes guts.

Respect to Peter Walker.


  1. Good for him. I agree completely - riding a bike is not so different to driving a car in that sense. Any fool can drive a car or ride a bike, but doing it RIGHT is the thing which is tricky, and moreso for patroling.

    At the end of the day, 10 hours is nothing. What are the frequency of refresher courses?

    When I was a kid we did cycling proficiency tests at school. My sons school doesnt do it and he has little experience of riding on roads and the dangers, and in 2 months we do the 3 Counties charity ride! More training should be made for everyone (end rant).

  2. We don't do stipulated refresher training on my Force. If a need is identified then a rider will be recommended for refreshe. I also recommend to the riders that they make use of training days to set up slow speed riding courses and refresh other skills anyway.

    School led cycle training seems to be very thin on the ground, though I know some areas do provide training. I think it should be in the National Curriculum but that might disadvantage kids who haven't got bikes.....

    Welcom to the blog by the way KungFooSausage!

  3. And there is the problem right there - "but that might disadvantage kids who haven't got bikes" What about the kids who have? We seem as a society to be going for the lowest common denominator instead of striving for excellence.
    My daughter did a cycling proficeincy test when she was at Primary School, it wasn't too bad. A bit arm around shoulder social worker type for this ex squaddies taste, but not too bad non the less.

  4. Nice job!!

    For all others who still think that "Bicycle patrol" is the same as cycling from A to B.

    Watch the video's on the website!!


  5. I did a short article on my blog ( these guys. Perhaps if it was drummed into drivers more, incidents like these wouldnt happen as often

    The first one just made my jaw drop.