I don’t know if it is just a fact of parenting a 4-5 year old, or she was scarred by homeschooling, but Lily’s concentration span when it came to ‘listening’ to me trying to teach her something was pretty much zero!
Learning to ride a bike was no different, with a quick response of “I know, I know”, whenever I tried to guide her. She had the balance on her bike, just lacked the ability to stop easily and the confidence to let me ‘let her go’.
So, I reached out to Mini Bikers, and asked for help – then wished I’d done this a LONG time ago!
What is Mini Bikers?
Mini Bikers is an award-winning Learn to Cycle programme for children, which started in 2015, where children from 18 months to 10 years are supported with learning to ride a bike.
Their vision is to get children cycling as early as possible, and their courses are held in schools, communities and leisure centres. They make the courses fun, interactive as well as safe.
They are the first organisation in the UK to have set up a scheme to target children from 18 months, to help develop an early love of cycling.
The Balanceability courses were developed, and now they have taught hundreds of children of all ages and abilities to ride a bike.
Mini Bikers also have their own shop, Mini Bikers Cycles, to help parents choose the right equipment to get their kids cycling.
All the teachers are fully-trained, as well as trained to support children with various needs. They ensure their training in inclusive and are trained in the area of SEND and Early Years Development.
What’s more, on courses, everything is provided, including the balance bikes!
The Mini Bikers courses
“Our bespoke Learn to Cycle courses are made up of 3 levels, each cycle training programme runs over a period of 5 weeks. We are extremely proud to have introduced the very first unique training programme specifically aimed at children from as young as 18 months old.”
Our vision is to introduce the cycling experience to children as early as possible and our successful programme is equipped to teach children right up to the age of 10 years.”
Check out the various levels here
Lily joined the Level 2 course, which aims to help children learn to ride pedal bikes without stabilisers. I thought she would be one of the oldest on the course, but she was actually one of the smallest and youngest, with children up to the age of 10 on the course.
It was a 5-week course, where they got the children on the balance bikes on the first lesson to help get them used to the balance, before using the pedals.
Alongside the lessons was the Level 1 course, where children were learning the basics of the balance bikes – and they were having just as much fun too!
Using various obstacles, courses, ramps and games, the team quickly got the kids pedalling, without them realising.
They were also taught key safety measures from the first lesson, including stopping within a box, to highlight how important this is as part of their riding, and make it natural for them to be aware of dangers.
Every week, Lily came out BUZZING. She was visibly building up her confidence every week and had so much fun – especially riding through the obstacles and over the ramps. She has also struggled with coordination through her life, and this course clearly helped her, not just for cycling, but in her daily life too.
All the children progressed in their own ways, and no one was pressured or felt ‘left behind’, as the teachers were fantastic, no matter what the child’s ability.
By the end of the course, I could confidently take Lily out on bike rides, knowing she could stop, stay safe, and enjoy the ride too.
As a kid, my parents had me learning up and down our garden, and I admit that I did have a slight pang of guilt at the start, that it should have been me teaching her to ride a bike, but I wasn’t doing it right.
I’d got her so far, but it was this that she needed, and seeing how happy she was at MiniBikers, while learning how to stay safe too, I knew it was the right decision, that I wish I’d done a long time before!
So thank you to everyone at Mini Bikers for everything you did – you transform so many children’s lives every week with your courses and I cannot recommend them enough, whether you’re looking for group lessons, 1-2-1 lessons, or even a birthday party with a difference!
“I loved EVERYTHING about MiniBikers. My favourite things were the bikes and learning how to ride my bike, and make new friends every time. It was really fun, thank you for doing all the hard work!”