Congratulations to our Managing Director, Kieron, who is celebrating 10 years with Outspoken!
A youthful Kieron joined the company in 2012 as a Training Coordinator, initially administrating and delivering training. Over the years, Kieron has developed with the company, leading to him managing our operations team and instructor training team before becoming Managing Director.
To celebrate the occasion, we sat down with him to discuss ten years of helping to enthuse more people to cycle.
What motivates you?
I have always had a particular interest in enabling people to become more physically active which led me into the cycle training industry. Cycling as a mode of transport is an easy, cheap, and fun change people can make to build physical activity into their everyday lives.
I also truly believe that cycling as a form of transport is part of the solution to many of the country’s challenges. In particular, around improving health, tackling obesity, reducing pollution, easing congestion, improving area quality, and creating better, more social able communities to live in.
Why did you join Outspoken Training?
My career motivation has always aligned perfectly with Outspoken’s ethos to enthuse more people to cycle and improve the communities we operate within.
After being a cycling instructor and running a small Bikeability scheme, I wanted to have the opportunity to inspire more people through embedding cycle training at regular intervals through a child’s school life as well as working with adults to bring about behaviour change. I have been very fortunate to have had these opportunities as Outspoken Training has developed.
How has the industry changed in 10 years?
Over the years the industry has expanded the services offered by cycle training providers including the introduction on Level 1 standalone courses and Bikeability Plus courses. Further to this, there has also been a push towards encouraging behaviour change amongst adults through cycle skills sessions, Safe Urban Driving courses for professional drivers and business engagement services. The is a much more rounded and joined up approach to encouraging more people to cycle with an increased focus on increasing reach and inclusivity.
What has been your personal highlight?
I thoroughly enjoyed working with an autistic Year 5 pupil who was independently cycling to and from school. The school were concerned about his bike handling skills and awareness along his 2-mile commute.
I delivered some one-to-one session with him, initially working on his bike handling skills off-road before progressing to route-specific Level 2 training. Whilst participating in the training we adapted his route to make use of some off-road cycle paths. The best bit was that he continued to ride to and from school everyday including when he moved to secondary school. I used to see him riding as our cycling commutes intersected each other.
What has your company highlight been?
Witnessing one of our trainees who has cerebral palsy and weak right-sided mobility winning Bikeability Trainee of the Year in 2018.
We were contacted by his parents who were concerned that he wouldn’t be able to participate in Bikeability as he rode an adapted KMX recumbent cycle. We liaised between his parents, teachers and our instructors to enable the training to be adapted to meet his needs and enable him to participate fully. The outcome was that he achieved Level 2 with his parents delighted that they could now go on bike rides and geocaching outing with him using his KMX.
This was made more special for me as an instructor I had recruited and delivered training alongside for my previous Bikeability scheme prior to us both joining Outspoken, had been at the forefront of creating this success.
What would you like to see in the next 10 years?
A true cycling revolution whereby riding is recognised as a normal, everyday and fun form of transport for short journeys by the majority of the country. To achieve this, it would be fantastic to see cycling on the National Curriculum to embed cycling from a young age, supported by the expansion of high-quality cycling infrastructure to assist our behaviour change work within local communities.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
“I would like to thank everyone who has been and is part of our special team at Outspoken. Their life changing work should never be underestimate and I still love hearing about their successes and the impact they make to people’s lives.
I would like to say a special thank you to the company’s founder, Rob, for giving me the opportunity to work for Outspoken Training, his continued support and for enabling me to grow with the company as we strive to help more people embed cycling into their everyday lives.”