Wokingham children get on their bikes to learn how to ride

Bikeability Woodley

More than 300 children across Wokingham Borough are learning how to ride a bicycle, thanks to a council initiative.

As part of the Department for Transport-led Bikeability Plus scheme, Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) has expanded its already popular in-school training programme for 10-and 11-year-olds to cater for younger children.

Throughout January, 150 children aged three to four took part in Bikeability Balance training, and this month and next the council will be running Learn to Ride courses for five- to 10-year-olds who cannot ride or are struggling to learn.

Jill Bissell, WBC’s cycle training co-ordinator, said: “We are finding that there is a huge demand for beginner cycle training for younger children and we are very grateful for the Bikeability Plus grant which has enabled us to organise both the Bikeability Balance and Learn to Ride sessions.

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“The key to learning is that we start the children off on balance bikes (bikes with no pedals and no stabilisers) so that they learn to balance first and then glide (with their feet up.) Once they have mastered these skills, they can then make an easier transition to riding a bike with pedals.”

Cllr John Kaiser, WBC executive member for highways and planning, said: “Starting to teach a child to ride a bike at a young age is a life skill which some children miss out on.

“We hope that the Bikeability Plus grant will get more children and families enthused about cycling and encourage more of the future generation to use cycling as a means of transport.

“This is just one of the schemes we offer to children of all ages to ensure they are safe and understand the importance of road safety.”

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