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Ex-Kent County Council cycling instructor opens new school at The Victory Academy in Chatham

A retired cycling teacher has brought her expertise to Medway.

Eva Rayfield launched her new bike-riding school at the The Victory Academy in Chatham earlier this month.

Before she retired, Eva, of Barnsole Road in Gillingham, was a cycle instructor for Kent County Council which involved her visiting schools to teach Year 9 and 10 pupils how to ride a bike safely.

She said: "It helps them to establish healthy exercise habits that are likely to stay with them for life, it improves physical fitness, it helps them to develop leg muscles and strengthen their bones.

"It's also better for the environment as there is no pollution with bikes so it helps to save the planet.

"Also it decreases body fat and it can help mentally, as well as physically, by boosting your mood; there's the basic release of endorphins and adrenalin.

"As opposed to running it's not weight bearing so it is better for the knees."

Eva's Pedal Power launched at the Victory Acadmey in Magpie Hall Road, Chatham. Picture: Eva Rayfield (31166866)
Eva's Pedal Power launched at the Victory Acadmey in Magpie Hall Road, Chatham. Picture: Eva Rayfield (31166866)

Eva teaches cycling full time and offers one-to-one and group lessons.

The opening of the club consisted of two 45-minute sessions. The first taught pupils basic balancing skills and how to ride a bike without stabilizers.

The second class showed the children how to ride safely on the road with stability skills using a mock up of a real road which included traffic lights, crossings and stop signs.

She added: "I make it more of a game using balance bikes. To take their mind of the bike, we play games like What's The Time Mr Wolf and lots of encouragement. The kids love it.

"My favourite part about teaching people to cycle is the sheer joy and excitement they and the parents get from achieving the ability to cycle on their own, especially when they have been trying for some time by themselves."

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