Year 5/6 children at schools in the Kennington area may be offered Bikeability (cycling proficiency) training this term. Hopefully this guide may help more pupils participate, and get more out of the course.
Getting a bike
- Correct size: 6 – 9/10 year olds will feel at home with a bike with 20 inch wheels; bikes with 24 inch wheels will suit those aged 9/10 to 12. Children must be able to touch the ground with the balls of both feet.
- A suitable bike: make sure it’s in roadworthy condition. Mudguards are recommended. Suspension and lots of gears aren’t needed to cycle in north Lambeth, and many pupils prefer a lighter bike.
- Buying a second-hand child’s bike:
A) Ask neighbours or parents of older children.
B) Local shops (inclusion does not equal a recommendation!):
http://www.re-cycling.co.uk/ 110 Elephant Road, SE17 1LB. 020 7703 7001
http://www.edwardescycles.com/ 020 7703 3676
www.brixtoncycles.co.uk 145 Stockwell Rd, London SW9 9TN. 020 7733 6055
C) Covent Garden Car Boot Sale http://www.saundersmarkets.co.uk/New_Covent_Garden_Car_Boot_Sale.html
Online on https://www.gumtree.com/bicycles/london and http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Bikes-/177831/i.html
- Buying a new child’s bike:
www.Decathlon.co.uk – a good place to start with, in my view
Southside Shopping Centre, Wandsworth, SW18 4TF. 020 8870 5135
Canada Water Retail Park, SE16 2XU. 020 7394 2000
www.halfords.com Unit B 51-57 Effra Road, Brixton, London SW2 1BZ 020 7733 8307
Edwardes Cycles (see second-hand)
Brixton Cycles (see second-hand),
http://www.evanscycles.com/ 77-81 The Cut, SE1 8LL 0207 928 4785
http://www.balfesbikes.co.uk/pages/balfes_se11.html 338 Kennington Rd, SE11 4LD 020 7820 0028
- Advice on inclusive cycling for disabled children and adults:
http://www.wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk/ 020 7346 8482
Getting your bike up and running
- All the shops above service bikes as do http://www.londonbicycle.com/ Shop 2-3, Benson House, Hatfields, SE1 8DQ; most will allow you to use a pump – and there’s a public pump at the junction of Kennington Road and Lambeth Road outside the Three Stags pub.
- Adults can learn basic cycle maintenance skills on an £18 one-day course run near the Oval http://www.cycleconfident.com/courses/maintenance/
- You can maintain your own bike, with some parts and help available, at the volunteer-run https://56abikespace.wordpress.com/about/ 56a Crampton Street SE17 3AE
Learning to ride
- The courses are for children who can ride – if a child (or a parent/guardian) can’t yet ride, free lessons are available from Lambeth http://cycleconfident.com/sponsors/lambeth/
Getting the most out of the course
- Practice your bike control skills before the course starts – can you look back while going in a straight line? Can you take a hand off the handlebars for three seconds while going in a straight line?
- Practice riding locally with your parents/guardians – If they don’t have a bike, they can borrow one from Lambeth at the Oval http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/parking-transport-and-streets/cycling/try-before-you-bike-loan-scheme; or use Santander Cycle Hire https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/cycling/santander-cycles
- Make sure you bring appropriate clothing for the weather forecast (esp. gloves and waterproofs).