Charity helps young cyclists to get balance

Jack Ireland on a balance bike.
Jack Ireland on a balance bike.

Hundreds of young cyclists across the region are ditching their stabilisers and learning to ride, thanks to Go Smarter and Sustrans.

More than 90 children attended sessions spread over three days as part of North Tyneside’s Summer of Cycling programme, aimed at giving youngsters the confidence and skills to get pedalling by themselves.

The free training took place at a vacant car park at Cobalt Business Park, a large open space with no obstacles or through traffic, ideal for anyone ready to get to grips with riding unassisted.

Children practiced with balance bikes, or their own bikes with stabilisers and pedals removed, then tried riding with pedals fitted once they felt comfortable.

Stephen Ireland, father of three-year-old Jack, said: “Even though he’d been using a balance bike for a while, Jack was finding it hard to get going by himself on his pedal bike.

“We were surprised and proud to see him riding so quickly.

“The Sustrans’ staff were really very knowledgeable, had all the techniques and also had a great rapport with the kids.”

Sustrans works in schools across Tyne and Wear, in partnership with Go Smarter, which encourages pupils and parents to make cheaper, greener and healthier journeys to school.

Similar sessions have taken place across Tyne and Wear with some continuing throughout the summer.

For further information call Sustrans on (0191) 261 6160.