Free adult cycle lessons being offered by a cash-strapped council have been “really well received” by the community.
Argyll and Bute Council is forking out £100 a person for the training courses, and says the scheme will encourage people to cut their car use and take more exercise.
The council was criticised for spending £20,000 on the project at a time when it has slashed £300,000 from its education budget.
Adults who sign up for the iCycle+ programme are being taught how to get on and off safely, start and stop, steer and maintain forward momentum.
They are also learning how to cycle one-handed while signalling, look behind, the correct use of gears, basic bike maintenance and preparing for a journey.
Around 20 people have signed up for the first block of training in Lochgilphead.
A council spokesman said: “It has been really well received. There has been a good mix of people gaining the confidence they require to get back on their bikes.
“The original plan was to hold three of the Mid Argyll sessions in and around Lochgilphead, but one has been moved to Inveraray to suit as many people as possible in the community.”
The training runs over a month and involves a session a week in five towns: Lochgilphead in April and May, Oban in June and Dunoon, Helensburgh and Campbeltown in August and September. People can sign up for an afternoon, early evening or night time session and all of the equipment including bike and helmet is provided.
Putting their new skills to use cyclists will try out different routes in their community, becoming confident in dealing with tricky junctions and traffic lights. The course will also identify safe and enjoyable cycle routes that can be enjoyed either as part of a group or individually.
At the end of the month long programme there will be a shared, guided cycle which will put into practice the skills learned over the course.