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Family time

PUBLISHED: 13:47 16 May 2013 | UPDATED: 13:47 16 May 2013

Norfolk Cycling Academy at Norwich Airport Park and Ride

Norfolk Cycling Academy at Norwich Airport Park and Ride

Copyright 2009

Stay safe

If you are keen to start cycling as a family, Neil says there are three key areas to focus on to make sure you stay safe and ride with confidence.

Balance and control: Teaching balance and control is essential if you want to ride a bike safely, whether you want to go on a family bike ride, cycle to school or take part in racing. We play lots of fun games, such as going under limbo bars, and we teach youngsters to go really slowly as well, this is great for control.

Confidence: Boosting confidence levels in adults and children are essential because most people are absolutely petrified they might have an accident, which the statistics do not bear out. A lack of confidence creates uncertainty and you must be confident if you are to ride on the roads.

Get adults cycling: To make cycling really appealing for families, we have to work with adults too. Adults need to be excited about cycling and to enjoy doing it to pass that on to their children. Our sessions are designed for all the family and to be socially inclusive. A lot of families come back again and again.

So if you fancy getting out on your bike with your children but don’t feel confident in your own ability or theirs, head to the Park and Ride at Norwich Airport on Sundays and start practising.

For more information about the Norfolk Cycling Academy, and for details about its Sunday sessions, see http://blog.pedalrevolution.co.uk.

You might like the idea of going on a bike ride, but perhaps feel a bit put off by a lack of practice.

It could be you haven’t been on a bike yourself for years and feel a little wobbly, then there are concerns about whether your child is safe enough to ride on the road.

But now a fantastic scheme in Norwich is arming families with all the skills they need to safely explore Norfolk on two wheels.

The Norfolk Cycling Academy has launched weekly bike sessions every Sunday at the Norwich Airport Park and Ride site, providing a safe, traffic free environment to learn new skills, practice basic cycling and boost confidence.

The NCA – created by ActivatingCIC, a not-for-profit organisation, and supported by Norfolk County Council, Sport England and Norwich bike specialists Pedal Revolution – hopes that by helping people feel more assured on their bikes, they will feel confident about taking to the roads.

Neil Turner, who runs ActivatingCIC, which works with schools, families and businesses to encourage people to cycle more, says: “It is the perfect venue. Families can cycle together in a safe environment and practice their skills and also children can learn about racing as well. The demand has been huge which shows there is a real enthusiasm for cycling.

“Adults and children can borrow bikes, or you can bring your own. We have people on hand who can check your bike over and make sure it is set up properly – you would be amazed the amount of people who have the seat at the wrong height. Simple things like that can make a real difference.”

As well as holding coaching sessions and fun activities during the day, the team also set up a track and hold regular youth race meetings.

“We teach children about racing if they are interested, how to corner, how to sprint, how to ride in a group,” he says. “We also have a portable mountain bike track which kids can have a go on, I think that will be a lot of fun.”

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