On the same day that national cyclists’ organisation CTC said that growth in the number of cyclists lay behind a rise in the number of casualties among riders, road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has been in touch to let us know details of their newly-launched cyclist membership scheme.
Despite the name, IAM doesn’t just focus on drivers and has long run courses aimed at cyclists looking to improve their skills, and growth in cycling has led to it now offering membership specifically targeted at bike riders.
Called IAM Cycling, membership costs £15 a year and brings benefits including IAM’s “How to be a better cyclist” book, which normally costs £9.99, free first-year cover under the IAM “Total Cycle Assist” insurance policy, usualy £15 a year, providing assistance and cover in the event of an accident, although third party liability cover isn’t included, 10% discount vouchers for Halfords and a hi-viz drawstring bag worth £9.
Duncan Pickering, IAM Cycling Development Manager, said: “Cycling enthusiasts are clearly skilled in negotiating the many hazards on the UK’s roads, however, a large number of cyclists have not had any formal training, which puts them at greater risk. A lot of incidents on our roads are due to hesitation and uncertainty.
“We aim to raise the bar of cycling standards across the board with this new scheme. All members receive a user-friendly guide titled, “How To Be A Better Cyclist”, which champions the idea of cyclists taking up a primary position on the road.
“The aim is to highlight a cyclist’s right to ‘claim their lane’ and where safe and appropriate to assert themselves (such as when approaching a junction), pushing out further into the lane and making themselves visible to drivers.
He added: “Mastering a more assertive and informed style of cycling is definitely something we believe keeps cyclists and motorists safer on our roads.”
Full details of the membership package are available on the IAM website.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.