Thursday, 25 October 2012

Family Cycle Session at Meldrum Academy

Children, mountain bikes, girl's roadsters, wooden balance bikes, bikes with bells, bikes with stablisers and a sprinkling of parents filled the playground at Meldrum Academy on Wednesday 24th October, all eager to take part in the Family Cycle Session.

Arrange the bike bits.

Leading the session gave me a great opportunity to practise what I have learnt over the past couple of years and bring it all together in one session. The age range was wide, from 4yrs - 8yrs and so I used elements of the Ready Steady Bike scheme as well as an adaptation of the off-road obstacle course that I learned during the Trail Cycle Leader training.

Children began by looking at the different parts of a bike and the younger children worked together to complete the bike puzzle while the older ones had a look at the technical names of the bike parts. Then it was the older children's job to label the parts on the jigsaw using chalk. This led nicely to the bike check.

The limbo bar didn't survive.
With the younger children, a bike check is not an easy thing to do. In fact, getting them to stand in one place for 5 minutes is near impossible. This was the part where the parents had the opportunity to work with the children to check that the bike was safe. We did this together and after a little hestation, the parents became more involved.

Once the clothing and the bikes had been deemed safe, we began with our activities, including the braking zone, freewheeling, turning and finally the culmination of the basic skills in the off-road course. I was pleasantly surprised that not only did some children choose to continue practising the basic skills but that also children on balance bikes and even with bikes with stablisers gave the off road course a go and achieved success on particular parts of it.

The session ended with lots of thank-yous and happy children who assured me that they had all learned new skills and felt more confident on their bikes. The feedback from the parents was also good and they even helped me tidy things away. I look forward to doing this again, with more defined age groups and perhaps some longer sessions.

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