I've just returned from a holiday on Jersey and am still hoping for a parkrun by my next visit in May 2015. There are so many runners there - I'm sure there would be plenty of demand from locals and visitors. Maybe this year's marathon might create some interest? The Guernsey one has just taken place, it would also be good to see a parkrun on Guernsey. Surely the islands have an ideal venue?
I checked with my husband and he said that the "lightbulb" moment was basically what Martenkay says above - steer in the direction you want to go. He said that learners tend to keep the handlebars rigid whereas you need to move them. I don't know if that helps, but maybe it will
My husband learnt to ride a bike in his late 40s - he was the youngest of 4 children and his parents were fed up of having bikes around that his older siblings didn't ride, so when he came along they didn't get him one and he didn't learn to ride! He also lived in London, but still. Total dereliction of parental duty - there are certain things that kids must learn to do and swimming and riding a bike are two of them.
Anyway he found a local teacher (we're in Hampshire, he learnt with a guy in Reigate but since then I've seen a lot more websites locally). I would have thought that at least some of your local schools run the bikeability scheme and the people who do that will probably teach adults as well. My husband said that the teacher did say something to him that was like a lightbulb moment - and he learnt to ride in an hour and a half. He's not confident at all and will only ride in a park with nobody around, but at least he can balance and managed to ride a few miles along a cycle path in Jersey last summer on a hired bike. Try the bikeability website or the CTC or similar - I am sure someone will help.
Unfair contract terms are unenforceable in consumer contracts so I am sure that you could get your money back by the strict letter of the law. But if you pay say £20, you're not going to go to court are you? If you've paid £200 to enter an ultra run then maybe you would.
It also amazes me how many race organisers say that they will not be liable for injury. If the injury is caused by their negligence, they are liable and it is actually a criminal offence to exclude liability for personal injury or death caused by your negligence, not merely an unfair term. But it's in most race entry forms.
Most of the places I've worked have been first come first served for holidays, not whether you have kids or not. So if you've got school-aged kids, you have to organise yourself and book early. That doesn't seem unreasonable to me (I tend to plan things anyway so it's never been a problem for me to make sure I book May half term week early for example). If I get beaten to it, I just have to find a different week.
I work from home - I go into the office one day a week. My husband works full time in the office but does 3 longer days and 2 shorter days so that he can get home early to be there for our son when he gets home from school. Although I am now based at home, he's kept that working pattern. But we both do office jobs. It's difficult to work from home if you are a teacher in a school, or work in a library or a factory etc. But there's no reason to be stuck in an office if you can work from home. I am far more efficient when I don't have to waste half the day commuting.