The My Journey Wokingham team have been running some very popular and successful Bikeability Learn to Ride sessions for children of school age who were unable to cycle or were struggling to master the skill of riding a pedal bike.
During term time, the team’s cycling instructors deliver after school sessions once a week, at the FBC centre in Finchampstead or at Woodford Park Leisure Centre in Woodley. Between April – July 2019, a total of 82 children attended these sessions and 73 of them successfully learned to ride a pedal bike in just 2 sessions – a success rate of 89%!
As Bikeability Learn to Ride had become such a success, the team were struggling to cope with the demand from parents in the borough. They therefore called on Cycle Experience (the company who deliver Bikeability courses in Wokingham schools) to help them by running some Summer holiday Learn to Ride courses in Wokingham. Cycle Experience provided balance bikes, pedal bikes and a team of instructors and ran 2 weeks of Learn to Ride training for children at Floreat Montague Park Primary school in Wokingham. Over the 2 weeks in August, 86 children attended these courses, bringing the total number to 168 children trained this Summer. 58 children (67%) learned to ride their pedal bikes competently on the Summer holiday courses and there were lots of smiling faces!
Jill Bissell, Cycle training Co-ordinator for the My Journey Wokingham team, said, “The key to the success of Bikeability Learn to Ride is partly the small ratio of trainees to instructors (2:1 on the weekly sessions, or a maximum of 3:1) but also the use of balance bikes (bikes with no pedals) on which we teach children to balance, glide, steer and stop. Once they have mastered balancing, they only have to learn to pedal and they are off!” Not a stabiliser in sight!
By getting more young children cycling, the team also find that this leads to more children taking part in Bikeability Level 1 and Level 2 courses at schools in Year 5 or Year 6 and hope that this will mean that more of them will continue to enjoy cycling in the future when they become adults.
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