Balance & Ride
Transition to a pedal bike
Our Learn to Balance & Ride session is open to children aged 3 to 12 years old. The course consists of two 45-minute sessions which develop balance skills through a set of structured games that engage learners and build enthusiasm for cycling.
All children are treated as individuals and encouraged to develop core balance skills at their own pace. When a child can glide confidently they then transition to a pedal bike.
Parents/guardians are encouraged to stay, watch and support.
About Learn to Balance & Ride
The training takes place on a balance bike – a lightweight bike with no pedals and a lower centre of gravity than a typical pedal bike.
Children quickly build their confidence staying upright on 2 wheels with the majority riding after 2 sessions, though for a small number it may take more. From there we transition the children onto pedal bikes with great success.
At the end of the course, participants will be able to:
- Demonstrate how to get on and off the bike
- Demonstrate how to start and stop without assistance
- Build confidence in cycling and a sense of achievement
- Walk, run and glide with the bike
- Master fine motor skills, balance and co-ordination
- Progress on to Bikeability Level 1
The course is very beneficial for children, especially as many of them will use their bicycles to go to high school...Hindley Green CP School
- Who should attend
Children aged 3 to 12 years old who are new to cycling.
- Delivery method
The training takes place off-road usually in a playground or closed car park in a fun and supportive environment.
- Our trainers
Our trainers include full-time staff, long-term contract staff and occasionally some short-term contract staff. All are accredited to the Bikeability National Standard and are DBS checked. However, these are just pre-requisites. Trainers are selected for their maturity, professionalism and their ability to relate effectively to clients, school staff, their colleagues and, not least, a wide variety of trainees. Regular assessment and feedback is supplemented by coaching and mentoring to ensure that they consistently deliver quality training in a quality manner.
- How much do the classes cost?
We have obtained funding and support from some of the local authorities that we work with. Many classes are subsidised and some are completely free.
Click on the 'Book Now' button to find out when your nearest Learn to Balance and Ride session is being delivered and whether there is a small charge to participate.
- Suitable for children with extra learning needs?
We aim to make our cycling classes inclusive for all children and our fully trained instructors will be able to give children extra focus when needed.
Learning the control, balance and co-ordination that is needed to cycle can be enormously beneficial – not to mention enjoyable!
FAQs on cycling
- How do you teach people to cycle?
Throughout the UK, 1 in 6 children and 1 in 8 adults have yet to learn how to ride a bike. We believe it is never too late to learn!
Our cycle skills training begins by developing the ability to balance. Children begin by learning to ride a ‘balance bike’ – a bike with no pedals and a lower centre of gravity than a typical pedal bike.
For adults, we have a fleet of specially build bikes, which also have no pedals. By removing the need to pedal, our coaching techniques enable you to grow in confidence by staying upright on two wheels. Once able to balance, the next step is to progress to using a pedal bike.
A fun and supportive atmosphere is encouraged by our instructors during our Learn to Balance and Ride sessions, where parents/guardians are encouraged to stay, watch and support.
- Is it suitable if you have special needs?
We aim to make our cycling training programmes inclusive for all children and our fully trained instructors will be able to give children extra focus when needed. Learning the control, balance and co-ordination that is needed to cycle can be enormously beneficial and enjoyable to all children.
If you have any particular concerns regarding your child’s participation please get in touch with the co-ordinator for training in your local area, as alternative training may be available.
- What age can my children start cycling with me?
You can start cycling with your children from when they are a baby (typically three months), transporting them in a child trailer. When children can sit upright, (nine months) front or rear child seats become an option and can accommodate children up to 5 years old.
When your child is able to balance and ride their own bike, (usually from three years), they can accompany you, cycling on the pavement or one of the growing number of off-road routes. By four years old, trailer bikes become an option for longer trips as do a child-back tandem. These allow the child to take part and pedal when they want to. Some children have well-developed ‘road-sense’ and are capable of riding on quieter roads, with an adult from about six years old, but this does vary.
- Can I cycle on the pavement?
Strictly speaking no, it is illegal to cycle on the pavement. The exception is where there is a segregated pedal cycle and pedestrian route which is indicated by signs and markings displayed along the route.
- Do I need a licence to ride a bike?
No you do not. Anyone can ride a bike on the road. We recommend however that children are supervised and before anyone takes to the road it is worth considering getting some cycle training.
- Do I need to wear a helmet whilst cycling?
It is not compulsory by law to wear a helmet when cycling but we do recommend it for both on and off-road cycling. We insist on helmets being worn when delivering cycle training to young children. See our bike and clothing checklist.
- How much can I expect to pay for a new bike?
You can pay anything from £50 to £5000 depending on the type of bike you wish to purchase. We recommend you focus on quality rather than price alone.
We recommend Raleigh Cycles who we believe offer the best mid-range quality cycles for the family, as well as offering quality folding bikes, mountain bikes and elite sports bikes. For quality children’s bikes expect to pay £150 to £250 and for a quality adult commuter bike expect to pay about £300 to £500.
Becoming increasingly popular is the electric bike, where prices range from £600 - £3000.