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Kids love cycling! It's great outdoor family fun, there's an options for all abilities with sturdy scooters and lightweight balance bikes. It's never too early to get your little ones on two (or three!) wheels and with Bike To School week firmly upon us we thought it would be a great idea to share our cycling hints and tips for kids.
We've got the ideal toddler bike, Sir Chris Hoy offers his top tips to parents to get children on their bikes and there's clubs and days out to enjoy!
Strider Balance Bikes are the result of 10 years of development, manufacturing improvements, riding, observation, testing, and even racing. When you purchase a Strider balance bike, you buy into the global 'club' that is Team Strider; you become one of the early adopters that are starting a revolution of how kids learn to ride and setting the new standard for how young children explore the world on two wheels.
At Strider we love riding bikes and we love inspiring kids to ride. Our mission is to build lightweight, efficient, all-terrain bikes that build two wheeled balance, confidence and coordination in young children, without ever needing stabilisers. We take this mission very seriously and go one “stride” further by hosting events across the world that encourage riding and friendly competition from 18 months, for riders of all abilities, and a great day out for families. All Strider Bike purchases include a FREE Race entry.
Children can start on a Strider Balance Bike from 18 months, or on their 1st birthday if you buy the Rocker accessory (Think rocking horse but a bike instead). Simply put we are the original metal balance bike; the lightest, have the lowest seat position, adjust to the highest seat position to last beyond a child’s 5th birthday and all delivered free with excellent customer service. We also work with Independent cycling coaches that deliver local Strider sessions, whereby your child can have fun with others and learn how to use their bike in a safe environment.Whilst Strider have taught over 1.7 million toddlers to ride our 12” balance bike we also have a 16” and 20” for kids aged 6 -12 years and adults respectively; the perfect tool for those with special needs challenges, Autism or who just need a little help with learning to ride a bike for the first time. Organisations and charities can enquire about our benevolent grant fund.
“My son loves Strider Racing. After a few events Eli has built up friendships and Ella loves to give everyone a high 5 and is very proud of the little medals and gifts we get every so often and often goes to bed clutching them. I’ve had comments from his nursery teachers about how fit my children are. We go miles on our bikes, far further than walking or using buggies. I have been told my son is very good at helping other children to “have a go” and if they don’t win something he’s the first to say that you just need to keep trying and not give up. That originates from Strider. My youngest hasn’t needed a buggy since she was 14 months as she goes everywhere on her Strider. She already gets excited if I mention racing and even has learnt all her colours from the bike range. At 2 years old she can now ride a pedal bike, but still prefers her Strider as it is so light and easy for them to use.”
Jessica Lamb, proud mum to Eli and Ella.
Tip 1: Look for an adjustable seat.
Tip 2: Buy a model with a quality brake.
Tip 3: Look for a ‘steering limiter’
Tip 4: Always wear a helmet
Tip 5: Wear bright colours.
Tip 6: Stick to areas with little or no traffic to start with.
Tip 7: Transition naturally to a pedal bike when the time is right.
If they have ridden a balance bike, such as Strider Bike, children will already know how to balance and use a hand brake. The only skill they still need to learn is pedalling, however, at the age of 4 or 5, it is a natural transition.
Parents – step aside: One way to get kids to master cycling is for parents to take a step back. Councils across the country offer free schemes to get kids on bikes and having a group lesson with a bunch of friends can really help kids learn quicker. Having the right person to teach them is crucial and a sociable, group session can instil the sense of fun that comes with cycling.
Show no fear: Getting kids to feel confident is key to them being a proficient cyclist. While it is second nature for a parent to nervously ‘hold on tight’ to the handlebars when teaching their child to ride, kids will pick up on this fear which will only add to their unease. Support them so they feel safe and confident to have a go but make sure you are letting them learn for themselves.
Don’t rely on stabilisers: For a very small child you will need stabilisers to begin with, but for an older child consider teaching them without. Kids have a tendency to rely on them too much which can inhibit their learning. An 8 year old, for example, should have enough balance to learn to ride without them. Remember they are a short-term back-up not a long-term crutch.
Get them excited: Capturing kid’s enthusiasm and imagination will go far to getting them on their bike and staying on it. Whether it’s a video of fun biking tricks or an extreme show or display, showing them the fun that can be had by biking will inspire them to get involved while eradicating any fear.
Saltrock: It all started in the 80s when two brothers travelling the world looking for waves arrived in the UK and headed to Cornwall. After growing short on funds they put their artistic talents to work and developed a highly advanced printing screen and blackout system using tape, nails and a Salvation Army rug. Saltrock was born and today employs 250 people, turns over in excess of £10 million and has 35 stores in the UK. For more details visit http://www.saltrock.com.
1. Take your time choosing the bike: Heavy bikes can put children off cycling and will have them struggling up any little ramps or hills on the way. Lots of kid’s bikes on the high street weigh an absolute ton, but Evans Cycles pride themselves on selling quality children’s bikes (like the HOY ones, naturally) which can endure the same kind of thrashing as an adult’s bike.
2. Learn to stop before you start: It’s sensible to teach your kids the basics of braking before they start going fast. This will keep them safe during their first parent-free runs and give them confidence and the feeling of control.
3. Lose the pedals: For the very youngest budding cyclists, a great alternative to stabilisers is ‘runner’ bikes or 'balance' bikes. Try one to help your toddler get to grips with the basics of balance and being in the cycling position for the first time.
4. Safety first: Not all kids want kids’ helmets - sometimes they want to be ‘big kids’ - but once children are old enough to understand, try talking to them about the reasons for wearing a helmet as well as leading by example yourself. And it goes without saying that choosing a great-looking lid that fits well makes all the difference.
5. Get going: Head for somewhere away from busy roads and lots of people where your little ones can have the space to develop their bike handling skills. Wheelies, track-stands and jumps are all things you can work up to...
There is no doubt that kids love getting active. Bikes, scooters, skateboards and more keep today’s children on the go everyday. Now keeping safe while they’re having fun doesn’t have to be a chore. The unique range of stylised Raskullz and Krash helmets turns protective headgear into a fashion statement with funky mohicans and on-trend designs. Each helmet features a shock-absorbing EPS inner shell for protection and aerodynamic cooling vents for comfort as well as a practical, adjustable nylon strap for the perfect fit.
Add some attitude to their ride with this edgy mohican design.
SRP £24.99. Suitable 7+
Kids will love to check out their speed with this handy speedo and high tech sound maker. Handlebar mounted, the Mega FX features 11 different sound libraries that change as cycling speed varies. The faster they pedal, the faster the sound. Speed is displayed on the digital display.
Mount the Wheel Writer onto the spokes of any bike wheel (20” and up) and, as the wheels spin, the super bright computer-controlled LED’s flash on and off to create a dozen different images and patterns including a real working speedo. LED’s show up in night and day.
Britain’s most successful Olympian, Sir Chris Hoy, recently announced a new partnership with British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme and Evans Cycles, that will help to deliver over two million opportunities for young people to get into cycling by 2020.
British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme – an initiative where young people experience coaching and competitive racing for the first time – will be supplied with 1,500 bikes from Evans Cycles to run thousands of Go-Ride sessions across the country.
Last year, over 30,000 young people got involved with the Go-Ride programme, which also aims to find the next generation of world champion cyclists – as the first step on the Great Britain Cycling Team Performance Pathway.
Commenting on the partnership, Evans Cycles ambassador Sir Chris Hoy said: “Inspiring young people across the country to start cycling and realise how great it can be is something I really believe in. That’s why Evans Cycles and I jumped at the chance to provide HOY bikes for British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme over the next four years, and hopefully we can help find the world champions of tomorrow.”
There are over 300 Go-Ride clubs across the country in communities and schools, where young people are able to sample the various cycling disciplines and enjoy one of the fastest growing sports in the UK. The programme is supported by Go-Ride Racing, which is a calendar of entry-level, local racing events for young riders.
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