- Parents tempted with tea, coffee and biscuits…….check!
- M-check and helmet fitting advice given……………..check!
- Stabilisers removed…………………………………………………..check!
- Collect children for session………………………………………check!
- Lovely sunny weather to start the session……………….hmmmm…….un check! 😦
Not even the rain could put off parents and children attending the destabiliser session run by Andy Casson (Bike It Officer for Redbridge and Enfield) at Farnham Green Primary school in Redbridge. They were nervous, a little bit boisterous, and needed plenty of encouragement to go out into the rain, but once their children arrived the parents soon got into this after school session.
For most children this was the first time they had been on their bikes without stabilisers, and for some parents it was the first time they had attempted to teach a child how to ride. And so the learning for both began.
The destabiliser session showed parents and children:
- How to get their child on the bike
- How to support their children without bending too much and hurting your back
- How to start and stop with at least one foot on the floor (children who are used to stabilisers tend fall off as they keep both feet on their pedals when they start and stop,)
- How to progress each child from one stage to the next. Assisted start- assisted stop-balance-turn-turn the other way-idependent start and stop- repeat
- And don’t forget to SMILE 🙂
There were some tears, some falls, some bumps and scrapes, and the odd tantrum, but by the end of the session children (and parents) were smiling and proud of what had been achieved. All of the children had managed to ride without assistance, some for short periods or time and others for longer more controlled laps of the playground.
By advising and supporting parents throughout, the learning does not stop at the end of the playground session. Parents and children were already planning to go to their local park over the weekend for more practice.
We expect we will be seeing more bikes without stabilisers in the bike shelter soon.
Welcome to the world of two wheels for twelve new little riders, no need for stabilisers now.
The hopping game to prepare them for sitting and balancing on the bike
Now for a little parental support before they take their first wobbly pedals
Throughout the school summer term Sustrans, in London, ran a second series of ‘Olympic Cycling Taster Sessions’, building on their huge success of the previous year. These gave pupils from schools across capital the chance to experience two of the Olympic cycling disciplines.
Over 1500 pupils from 80 schools across London took part in the BMX and Track cycling sessions, an increase of over 70% on previous year. Each session was lead by fully qualified coaches from Access Sport and British Cycling at BMX tracks located in Greenwich and Hackney, as well as the historic Herne Hill Velodrome.
In addition to the taster sessions Sustrans London also ran a series Superhero themed family bike rides delivered in Bike It Boroughs throughout London by the Bike It Officers, with over 120 pupils, parents and teachers taking part.
The continued success of these events, following on from the great accomplishments of last year’s taster sessions, proves a growing interest and hunger for these to be held annually. Sustrans London would like to continue the delivery of the ‘Olympic Cycling Taster Sessions’ cementing them as a core activity of the Bike it Plus project.
- 64 primary 6 secondary and 1 SEN school took part in the BMX sessions
- 1480 pupils aged between 9 and 13 took part in the BMX sessions
- 8 primary and 1 secondary school took part in the Herne Hill Velodrome track sessions
- 180 pupils aged between 9 and 13 took part in the Herne Hill Velodrome track sessions
- 5 primary and 1 secondary school took part in the Superhero rides, with 127 pupils aged between 9 and 13 taking part
Initial feedback from schools and BIOs has showed that:
- All participating schools expressed an interest in attending the taster sessions again
- Tower Hamlet’s School, Cayley Primary, have incorporated BMX into their P.E. Curriculum, utilising their local BMX pump track having sought funding independently
- RedbridgeSchool, John Bramston Primary, have re-established Schools BMX club following attendance at BMX session
- 27 pupils have joined local BMX tracks, and 4 have started to attend sessions at Herne Hill Velodrome
- At least 32 of the participating schools will be utilising local BMX tracks in the future
In addition Access sport is looking to expand delivery of the project into boroughs that the Bike It Plus project is already engaged with as well as those targeted for engagement in the next academic year. This increase in size will enable a greater engagement with schools and assist in the organisation of more BMX Clubs being run in schools.