Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Adventure Awaits on Two Wheels; Head off the Beaten Track on a Bike, Writes David Williams

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Adventure Awaits on Two Wheels; Head off the Beaten Track on a Bike, Writes David Williams

Article excerpt

Byline: David Williams

There are so many reasons to cycle in London, but it's especially good with your family. It's great exercise, it breathes life into long summer weekends, it brings you together - and it's loads of fun.

Best of all, it takes you right off the beaten track, revealing wonderful parts of London you probably never even knew existed - and all within a stone's throw of a route you've been driving along for years.

But where do you start if you want to get pedalling during the summer holidays - when traffic levels in the capital are lower - possibly with young family members? For safety's sake, the most important thing before setting out is to ensure that young riders are reasonably confident and competent, and that means getting some training.

It can be daunting the first time you pedal on a real road, so cycle training courses tend to start by teaching children the basics well away from traffic, in local parks or playgrounds. (See box for further information.)

After checking your child's bicycle is suitable and roadworthy, the instructor will cover the basics, ensuring young riders are comfortable controlling and balancing the bike - and most importantly of all, bringing it to a safe stop.

Once mastered, they will move on to basic road-craft in a suitably quiet backroad environment, building up levels of skill until your child is ready to start exploring for the summer, albeit while accompanied by an adult.

So how old should a child be before they venture on the roads and you can enjoy a great day out? "It really depends on the road and the road sense and ability of the rider," says cycling expert and author Max Darkins. "But around the age of eight with an adult is a good starting point for that initial short ride to see how they get on. The important thing is to make sure they are confident about the basics of riding and controlling a bicycle, so when they go out on the road they have slightly less to think about and they can concentrate on the road itself. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.