Why Balance Bikes?
“My children loved the balance bike sessions. It has helped them grow in confidence.”
There are many reasons to choose a balance bike (a bike without pedals) instead of a bike with stabilisers or a trike as your child’s first bike. Most cycle instructors agree it’s best to learn to balance first, before moving on to pedalling unaided. Your child will have more control over their bike and will learn to slow down and stop properly right from the start.
Bikes with stabilisers are often not stable on bumpy or slightly sloping ground and make your child think they are balancing when they are not. This can lead to a habit of over-leaning that they will then have to unlearn when they are learning to ride by themselves. Once the stabilisers are removed your child will have to learn to balance and steer, as well as pedalling.
Most children around the age of 4 who have been regularly riding a balance bike find the transition to riding a pedal bike without stabilisers fairly straightforward, since they have already learned to balance, steer and brake.
Thanks to a Bikeability Plus grant from the Department for Transport in 2015, Wokingham Borough Council was able to purchase a set of balance bikes and was one of the first local authorities to pilot Bikeability Balance courses for children aged 2 – 4 years.
Bikeability Balance courses have now been run at 8 of the borough’s primary schools and another 2 schools (Hillside Primary and South Lake Primary) are taking part this month. The My Journey Wokingham team also run a Balance Bike club for children every Thursday in Finchampstead (see events). The club is looking for more volunteers to keep it going in the future. If you know anyone who may be interested, please get in touch by emailing MyJourney@wokingham.gov.uk.
“The activity was really good for my child. Very cheap price and the instructors gave some excellent tips for how my child can learn to ride her bike. Excellent session, highly recommended.”