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Encouraging Young Cyclists

anerley bicycle club 05 May 10:21  

Joined: 30 Apr 2009

Posts: 7

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I have been instructing school children (10/11 year olds) for the last 4 years. Living in the London area in a verey busy traffic area, this training is confined to the first level of Cycle Proficiency, which is playground based.
About 50% of the children cannot ride a bike properly. E.g, ride in a straight line, use the gears and brakes, etc, etc. None of them have knowledge of such basic things as keeping left, etc. This is because they have bikes but are not allowed out to use them.
At the end of training they have the basic knowledge, but I know that as their parents do not ride bikes, they will not get the opportunity to put their learning into further practise.
I have now joined up with a local cub and scout pack. Both cubs and scouts have cycling badges. To gain these, the boys are required to demonstrate a long term use of their bikes, as well as proficiency. To meet these requirements we take them out on suitable bike rides, and parents are expected to assist.
From cubs aged 8 to scouts aged 15, means that they (and their parents) have the opportunity to ride bikes over a 7 year period. Hopefully this will encourage greater use, and continued use of their bikes.
The Girl Guides/Brownies have similar cycling badges.
So this is one worthwhile way to get youngsters out on bikes.


My Latest Route: Nov 2012 Croydon to Tea Room At Knockholt, and Back.
Cycling Dude 06 May 11:38  

Joined: 29 Apr 2009

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Good on you! I also teach cycling and I know what it is like! If it is with a school, they should organise cycling trips out and it's the same with the cub/scouts, I get my students on the road (minor roads first!) to improve their training, and gearing is different to different people and bikes. e.g changing down a gear just as you reach the curve in the hill or changing down, when just getting on a straight. resetting the gears is what I have problems, they keep forgetting, but am sure they will get there.
I think you have done a great job, e-mail me about cycling

robthesnake@hotmail.co.uk

Thanks and good luck!

My Latest Route: Jun 2009 Silkworth and Herrington Circular

mattk 07 May 15:16  

Joined: 07 Apr 2009

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I would have loved the opportunity to get out on my bike at that age... especially if it meant I could miss a lesson or two :) Thats the age where you need to keep your mind occupied and you gain some satisfaction from escapism even if they're with their parents. I think it's a great idea to involve parents in kids keeping fit... getting kids to exercise with cycling or any other sport on a regular basis not only improves their fitness but gives them something to do when they get bored.


My Latest Route: Feb 2010 National Cycle Network 15 NCN

Cycling Dude 17 May 20:07  

Joined: 29 Apr 2009

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Lets teach the world

My Latest Route: Jun 2009 Silkworth and Herrington Circular

dudley 20 May 17:00  

Joined: 16 Jan 2009

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grew up cycling - no other way to get to see friends / school etc, and my 4 year old daughter will too. she will not have any friends within a mile of the house, so she'll have to!
never been on, or even seen a cycling scheme, but i have no doubt they are very worthwhile, particularly in inner city areas.

cycling is perceived too much as an affluent leisure pursuit in this country, differing wildly from a lot of Europe.

It is interesting to note that commuter miles in the UK increases with income, rather than decreases, as you'd expect.

getting cycling into the heads of youngsters an only be a good thing.



My Latest Route: Nov 2009 Forth Estuary Circular

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