I am late to training today as I have come directly from the protest against the cuts to education at Millbank. Instead of going to the school, I ride directly to the basketball courts in Finsbury Park. I arrive halfway through the session and I spot a group of cyclists at the far end of the courts. There are five women at the session this afternoon. They are all regulars and are all wearing jackets, scarves, gloves and even ear muffs. Today is cold. Although it is a lovely clear blue sky winters day, there is a definite chill in the air. I am impressed that the group is still going strong now that winter is approaching.
Today the cyclists are practicing looking, indicating and turning in single file. Every session is different, depending on who turns up and what level they are at. The instructor yells to keep them in line and focused on the task at hand. She explains to me that everyone is so excited about their developing skills that they just want to practice and often ride away to do emergency stops or different turning circles. The instructor likes the fact that everyone is so keen but also wants them to learn new things every week. She laughs a lot in between yelling. I too find myself smiling and laughing in these sessions. There is something really special about watching a new cyclist develop and thoroughly love the process of learning.