Children's Cycling: Interesting Facts & Ideas
Expert advice and interesting facts
- There are over a billion bicycles in the world. Twice as many as cars!
- 19th century suffragettes called the bicycle the “Freedom Machine” as it gave many women the independence and freedom that they were desperate for.
- Before the 1890s bicycles were actually called “velocipedes”!
- The fastest any cyclist has gone on a flat surface is 83 mph! Canadian Sam Wittingham set this record in 2009.
- The most expensive bike ever was designed by Damien Hirst and sold for $500,000.
- The largest bike ever was 67 ft. long and could seat 35 cyclists!
- The most famous cycling race in the world is the Tour de France. This 23 day race has been going since 1903 but Bradley Wiggins became the first ever Briton to win the race in 2012!
- At London 2012 Team GB won 10 gold medals in the cycling - that was better than any other nation!
How to pick a cycling club for your child
Some questions to ask when choosing a cycling club or group for your child;
- Does your child want to learn how to cycle, improve and maybe work towards their Bikeability test? Or, it may be that your child wants to pursue a particular cycling discipline at an advanced level. Is it possible to do a trial session to check that it is the kind of club you are looking for?
- What does your child need to take to the session – bike, helmet, gloves, water and a snack? And what clothing should they wear?
- Can you pay per session or is it necessary to sign up for a term or course?
National associations & clubs
Road Cycling UK contains expert road bike reviews and the latest road bike news, features and advice. Find rides & events, training articles and participate in forums.
British Cycling is the national governing body for cycling and works across all levels and six disciplines of the sport (BMX, Mountain Bike, Cyclo-Cross, Road, Track and Cycle Speedway), from providing the support and encouragement people need to get riding their bikes for the first time, to being home to the hugely successful Great Britain Cycling Team.
Cycling Weekly is an online cycling magazine.
Qualifications & exams
Qualifications/ Grades - children
Bikeability is the national programme for cycle training in England and Wales (or in Scotland - Bikeability Scotland). It is based on the National Standard for Cycle Training, a UK Government standard run by the Department for Transport and approved by RoSPA, LARSOA, British Cycling, CTC, Sustrans and Cycling England.
Bikeability is an all-ages programme. The lower levels replace the Cycling Proficiency scheme, which was targeted mainly at children. There are three levels to Bikeability:
- Level 1 (red badge) covers basic bike handling skills and is delivered in a traffic-free environment, such as a playground.
- Level 2 (amber badge) is taught on quiet roads but in real traffic conditions and covers simple manoeuvres and road sense.
- Level 3 (green badge) covers more complex situations and equips the cyclist to handle a wide range of traffic conditions and road layouts.
A child will typically start Bikeability lessons once they have learnt to ride a bike, with 10-11 year olds progressing through to Level 2, and then Level 3 at secondary school (11-18 year olds).
Qualifications of tutors/coaches etc
British Cycling offers cycling coach training
Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Cycling (L1CCC)
Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Cycling (L2CCC)
1st4sport is an awarding body recognised and regulated by the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). They offer
Level 1 Award in Coaching Cycling
Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Cycling
Learning from the activity
- Physical fitness
Cycling is a great activity to improve your child’s physical fitness and being a low- impact form of exercise, there is a reduced risk of injury to joints.
Joining a cycling club will give your child the opportunity to meet other children with a similar interest who may be outside their regular group of friends. While at the club they will learn about related issues such as road safety and traffic awareness.
Helping your child become confident on a bike will mean they will always have a cheap, healthy and Eco-friendly alternative to using cars or public transport.
Sir Chris Hoy (born March 23, 1976) who has won a total of 6 Olympic Track Cycling Gold medals, was first inspired to ride a bike at the age of 6 after watching the 1980 film E.T. Before track cycling, Hoy raced BMX between the ages of 7 and 14 years old and was ranked second in Britain and ninth in the world.
Victoria Pendleton MBE (born September 24, 1980) who has 2 Olympic Track Cycling Gold Medals and is the current World Champion in the sprint event, was once described by her French Canadian coach as being unsuited for cycling; on meeting her, he said “You’re too skinny, too puny to be a sprint cyclist.”
Bikeability at school.