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Who is your #BikeHero? Dad! And Sir Chris Hoy of course…

ByJustine Hoadley

Jul 7, 2024
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Who is your #BikeHero?

Dad! And Sir Chris Hoy of course…

With just 2% of cyclists having learnt to ride a bike at school, Balanceability urges nurseries and primary schools to play a much-needed role in getting children bike-ready

 A survey of bike-riders by Balanceability revealed that 55% were taught by dad, 13% self-taught, and 11% by mum*.  Just 2% were taught at school.  As the UK celebrates its biggest annual awareness-raising event for cycling – Bike Week 10-16 June – dads are unquestionably wearing the #BikeHero crown.

When asked who their overall #BikeHero is, respondents to the Balanceability survey placed Sir Chris Hoy, 11-time world champion and a six-time Olympic champion, in first place, followed closely by Sir Bradley Wiggins with Victoria Pendleton, CBE, in third position.

Balanceability, the UK’s only afPE-approved learn-to-cycle programme offering packages for schools, local authorities and leisure sites for children aged 2½ years and upwards, is joining Cycling UK, the not-for-profit charity behind Bike Week, in spotlighting the #BikeHero.  This year’s campaign calls upon cycling enthusiasts to inspire others, with Balanceability urging teachers and teaching assistants at nurseries and primary schools to do the same.

One in five cyclists surveyed by Balanceability said they learnt to ride a bike before school age, with the majority (61%) confirming they learnt to ride when they were primary school age, albeit just 2% or all survey respondents said they learnt at school.

The Department of Transport’s Bikeability Level 1 is for children 6+ years, with other Government cycle programmes aimed at children 10-11-years-old, so Balanceability fits as the precursor. Not only does Balanceability teach children how to ride without stabilisers, but also teaches balance, gross motor skills, core stability and of course, having fun through physical activity.

Samantha Wright, Commercial Manager for Balanceability, part of the TTC Group, explains, “Children learn to crawl before they walk and walk before they run, so why expect a child to progress from riding a bicycle with stabilisers, to riding a bicycle without? The opportunity to master the key aspects of static and dynamic balance is essential, however, for many children, schools provide the most accessible, and sometimes only opportunity for regular, structured play, physical education, physical activity and sports. Cycling should be an integral part of the curriculum, starting at the earliest possible age.”

Balanceability offers a sustainable programme for schools to promote the physical benefits of cycling for children as young as 2½ years old, as well as providing a fun and engaging activity. Schools can purchase a Balanceability Pack which includes all the equipment, resources and training required to deliver the sessions as a sustainable programme. Balanceability can be run by teachers indoors or outdoors as part of the weekly regular PE activity and has been developed to fit into school lesson planning. The programme offers children the ability to become competent cyclists at an early age through the development of balance and control, with 94% of children aged 4 to years 6 years old able to safely ride a pedal bike at the end of the programme.

Olympic Gold-medal winning cyclist and a passionate promoter of cycling across the UK including Balanceability, Chris Boardman, MBE adds, “We need to develop confidence and cycling skills at the earliest stage in our children.  Balanceability is specifically decided to deliver this and is the fundamental starting point for children’s cycling and an excellent opportunity to promote active lifestyles at the earliest possible age.”