While there are still plenty of ways to keep your body active while in lockdown – not least, taking advantage of your daily exercise allowance – keeping your mind ticking over is just as vital for your wellbeing. Luckily, there is no shortage of online courses that should be of particular interest to cyclists. We’ve rounded up a few to stir the grey matter.
OK, we’re not starting by going very lateral with our thinking here, but if you’ve always wished you knew a little more about how to look after and fix your bike, is there any better time?
Cytech is the professional training body for British bike dealers and is actually owned by the UK cycle industry via the Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) trade body, which means you can be sure you’re being taught properly here. While most Cytech courses require hands-on experience with a training provider, Theory One is an introduction to the basic elements of the full Cytech Technical One qualification and can be completed online in your own time. You can even try the course for free. Who knows, when we’re all allowed back out, you may have already started on the road to a new career…
If you’re looking for something with a certificate at the end, International Open Academy has a Bike Maintenance course that is fully CPD (Continuing Professional Development) and CE (Continuing Education) certified. Over the course of 30 hours of online learning, you’ll learn how to look after and make minor repairs to your bikes, and if you score at least 55% in the final exam, you’ll get your qualification. Normal cost of the course is £119 but buy it through Reed before April 21 and you can enrol for £10.
If caring for your bike doesn’t float your boat, how about caring for the other great machine in your life: your body? The best place to start is probably looking at the fuel you put in and taking a nutrition course. There seem to be plenty of these online, but we’ve decided to highlight a couple from particularly reliable providers.
The BNF is the home of British nutritional expertise and offers a huge variety of online courses, ranging from training for teachers to subjects that will benefit any of us. For a free taster there’s an online A Matter of Fat course, that looks at fats in the food we eat. And if that gives you a hunger for more, you could go on to do the Introduction to Healthy Eating and Nutrition for £100 or the more in-depth Exploring Nutrition and Health for £150. On successful completion of all courses’ final assessments, you’ll be able to download a personalised BNF certificate.
The Open University is the obvious place to start hunting out any kind of academic course, and it comes up trumps for prospective nutritionists with this free science of healthy eating course. Over 24 hours of study, you’ll learn all about the science behind nutrition, covering aspects of biology, chemistry and physics as well as gaining insight into healthier eating. Then, on successful completion, you’ll get a statement of participation if you want to take your learning further.
If you want to see the full range of OpenLearn’s free online health, sports and psychology courses, click here.
It’s possible to do distance learning physiotherapy courses up to Masters level, but they do require a fair investment in both fees and time. In fact, if lockdown goes on long enough to complete a Masters degree, a few tweaked muscles will be the last of our collective problems. However, for a more bite-sized chunk of e-learning, try these.
This self-paced, 70-hour and tutor-supported physiotherapy course provides learners with a basic level of understanding of physiotherapy and will give you an insight into the skills and knowledge needed to begin a career in the sector. This particular course covers a range of modules and provides multiple examples for assessment. Normal cost of the course is £299, although Reed has it available for £19 until April 17, and it's worth checking back to see if Reed relists it or has any alternative deals.
As well as offering individual courses on physiotherapy training, sports massage and reflexology, Janets currently has a course that covers all three. All courses are provided online with expert help, resources, practice exams and a variety of assessments. Study can be done at your own pace and successful completion earns you free e-certificates. Normal bundle price is £269 but Reed has it available until April 19 for £31. Again, it's worth checking back to see if Reed relists it after this date, or has any alternative deals.
To see Reed’s range of discounted physiotherapy courses click here.
And to see its range of discounted massage courses, click here.
Having some basic First Aid awareness is – not to put too fine a point on it – a potential life saver and twiddling your thumbs in lockdown is a perfect time to learn or refresh your knowledge. For obvious reasons, most first aid trainers prefer to give hands-on tuition, but there are still some useful courses available online.
Onlinefirstaid.com has two cycling specific courses, starting with the Essential First Aid for Cyclists course (£67), which is designed as an introduction to basic first aid in a cycling environment. Then the full First Aid for Cyclists course (£97) will allow you to help any adult or child who is injured while cycling and also serves as an ideal annual refresher of the full HSE syllabus and includes topics such as CPR, spinal injuries, asthma and breathing problems, and heat exhaustion.
Although not cycling-specific, St Andrew’s Adult Life Saving Skills course teaches vital first aid skills that we should probably all know. It is CPD certified, costs £18 and provides 12 months’ access to online course content.
Not a first aid course as such but it’s well worth looking at the British Red Cross’s ‘Learn First Aid’ resources which will guide you through the key skills and knowledge you will need in any health emergency.
Similar to the British Red Cross Learn First Aid webpage, this collection of resources will give you some vital theory behind practices that could save lives and help those in trouble.
If you’ve got children to entertain over Easter, or even when the schools don’t go back, why not have a bit of family fun, road safety stylee?
This game for 7 to 12-year-olds teaches road safety by giving different scenarios, where players make the correct decisions to win the game.
Family Learning has a page full of road safety games for children of all ages and particularly promotes the Green Cross Code.
Finally, one not for kids. If you want to get serious about road safety activism and really become informed about what’s happening on our roads, the World Health Organisation and Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit has a free online Road Safety Legislation Course. This features four modules covering: basic road safety facts and the importance of road safety legislation; evidence for laws on some of the key risks and the post-crash response; factors to consider in prioritising legislative changes; and how to advocate for improvements, including a module on media advocacy. You even get a personalised certification on course completion.
Billed as “the world’s first academic online course on cycling”, this five-week/22-hour course from the University of Amsterdam’s Urban Cycling Institute covers "state-of-the-art knowledge that emerges from research and practice on the Dutch cycling system”, according to its creators. “Using cycling as a boundary object, we seek to open minds for the complexity of our cities and support discussions around the world,” they add. You can enrol for free via Coursera.com.