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Learning to Ride with Balance Bikes

It is a rare treat for any Bikeability Cycling Instructor to spend winter both indoors and with trainees under the age of 10-years-old. But since January 2013 Cycle Experience has been delivering a new kind of Learn to Ride session to very small trainees indeed.

These trainees were the Reception and Year 1 pupils at schools across West London, learning on the new stock of balance bikes from Hounslow and Ealing Councils. The bikes are lightweight wooden frames without pedals or chain sets but which yield great results. In the past attaching stabilisers to children’s bikes has been the most popular method of getting them used to riding, the quad teaching them to pedal but not necessarily to balance. However, the fastest and most effective way to learn is definitely on two wheels.

The concept of the balance bike is that it is small enough to allow our tiny trainees to use their feet to walk the bike along, until they can scoot, glide and finally graduate to a bike with pedals. Using games both on and off the bikes and a course to scoot around we saw lots of children develop their gross motor skills and coordination while having a lot of fun! With 3 pedal bicycles available for our most confident trainees we often had to share these amongst all our fast progressing 5-year-olds.

We highly recommend the balance bike as the best method of getting your child cycling successfully. And it might even work for you. Whipping off the pedals on an adult bicycle and learning to scoot is a great way to learn to ride as a grown up. The balance bicycle is in fact a derivative of the ‘dandy horse’, invented by Karl Drais in 1817, and one of the first ever bicycles – for adults!

Get in touch with us for more information about our Learn to Ride sessions for both adults and children.

Tel: 0845 434 8451

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