Modernizing the CAN-BIKE Program
CAN-BIKE is the cycling skills training standard in Ontario and Canada's only national cycling skills certification program. Since 1985, CAN-BIKE has offered a series of training courses that aim to provide youth and adults with the skills and knowledge they need to safely and condidently ride a bike.
The Share the Road Cycling Coalition and Cycling Canada (owners of CAN-BIKE) have partnered to update the program and drastically increase the number of Ontarians participating in CAN-BIKE training. To inform this program update, Share the Road led a 3-stage stakeholder consultation process that included (1) a stakeholder survey with 199 responses, (2) conference calls and individual interviews with 55 participants, and (3) an in-person meeting with 15 key stakeholders.
As a result of these consultations, Share the Road has made 17 recommendations for modernizing the CAN-BIKE Program. We believe that implementation of these recommendations could result in a tenfold increase in participation over the next 3 years (from 1,100/year to 11,000/year). The long term goal is to train 40,000 Ontarians each year. A full report outlining these recommendations was launched at the 8th Annual Ontario Bike Summit on April 20th.
Our recommendations fall under 5 themes: (1) increased appeal, (2), increased accessbility, (3) ensured quality, (4) increased awareness, and (5) implementing a sustainable long-term model. We are working with Cycling Canada to:
- offer shorter courses of 1.5 to 4 hours
- train more instructors to offer more courses, more often
- provide more national support to instructors and local delivery partners
- increase awareness and engagement in the courses with an updated promotional strategy
- engage more schools and youth
The proposed model put forward by Share the Road includes 3 modules that address the needs of 3 important target audiences (pictured below). Check out our full report (p. 9) for a draft chart that outlines the skills we suggest are taught in each module.
Frequently Asked Questions
We appreciate the feedback we have received through our stakeholder consultations. Response on this proposed approach has been positive. Below are a few of the frequently asked questions we have received. Please review the report and feel free to reach out with comments and questions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Is it possible to squeeze the existing 10+ hour CAN-BIKE 1 Course into 3 or 4 hour courses?
The goal is to completely replace the existing format with a new modular system. It's not about squeezing existing content into shorter courses - it's about creating a new model that aims to train tens of thousands of residents on the safe cycling basics. Millions of residents ride bikes on a monthly basis and millions more want to give it a try. With only 1,128 residents participating in CAN-BIKE courses in 2015, it's time for an overhaul to meet the needs of a broader audience. Some content will no longer be taught in introductory courses, however, a longer, in-depth course will still be available for those wanting to learn more, receive a certification or become CAN-BIKE instructors.
Will shorter courses allow time for on-road riding to practice skills?
Yes. On-road riding will remain an important component of the new, shorter CAN-BIKE courses. We are confident that participants will have ample time to learn both theoretical and practical skills in a shorter time period. In fact, Safe Cycling Thunder Bay has been successfully running 1.5 hour courses that include on-road riding for the past 2 years.
How will existing instructors be updated on the new content?
Cycling Canada is exploring how existing instructors can be re-trained via webinar. Access to online training opporutnities will be important moving forward as we recommend that instructors be re-certified every 5 years.
Cycling Canada is currently leading phase 2 of this project. Throughout the Spring/Summer of 2016, Cycling Canada will work to develop a draft update of the curriculum and instructor training materials. By the end of the summer, the aim is to have 4 pilot instructors trained in the new curriculum, as well as sample promotional materials for stakeholders to review.