Balance bikes give new cyclists a headstart
Balance bikes give new cyclists a headstart

Cycling bonanza at Colchester Young Children’s Festival

Hundreds of families turned out in brilliant sunshine for the annual Young Children’s Festival in Castle Park in Colchester and CTC took along a load of bikes to try out.

We were inundated by children, eager to do skids and turns on the grass, and then we gently cajoled mums and dads to join them.

Possibly one of the most rewarding things you can do is to get a child to ride a bike by themselves for the first time, so the highlight was the constant stream of young children whose mums asked if we could help them cycle without stabilisers. In the space of a couple of hours, a dozen or so had progressed far enough to start getting their balance ready to pedal unaided.

Even more fantastic, we managed to help four young children to cycle unaided for the very first time. You should have seen the picture of thrilled youngsters – there was no stopping them!

We use a well-tried approach, i.e. encouraging children to scoot on balance bikes - basically that means taking the pedals off - on a slight slope until they gain the natural balance of the bike. Once a child grows more confident, it is almost inevitable that they’ll put their feet on the pedals and get going. But don’t forget to keep with them until they’ve learned how to stop!

I didn’t have the confidence to take the stabilisers off my son’s bike, but you got Toby riding a bike unaided for the first time. We’re definitely going home to try some more cycling."
Linda Jamieson
Old Heath

It was a fantastic day and even the rain that came as we were packing away couldn’t dampen the spirits and the feeling of elation.

We’re always there to help people to cycle. You can contact me on 01206 506412 or by email for any advice and help.

Richard Monk