13 August 2013

How to... learn to ride a bike

A few of Sadie's friends (and one of mine) have recently taken part in free bike lessons provided locally, and so I thought that it might be a good idea to book Sadie in to learn to ride too. The London Borough of Waltham Forest provide free lessons through Cycle Confident (also in Westminster, Southwark, Newham, Lambeth and Enfield). We registered, and a couple of days later, a local instructor, Judith, got in touch to arrange a time and place for our two-hour lesson - a basketball court in a park close to our house. She usually teaches adults, but didn't seem phased by a very talkative nearly six-year-old, and within 90 minutes, Sadie was riding pretty much by herself.

The teaching method wasn't anything that we couldn't have done ourselves - basically running backwards in front of the bike, holding it by the handlebars - then switching to the saddle, then her back, and then alone. But Sadie would never have tolerated 90 minutes of tuition from us, and I'm not sure my back could have coped either.

The services that the local authorities provide are shrinking rapidly, so the fact that you can still have free cycling lessons is brilliant.

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