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As Yorkshire gets into gear with the launch of Cycle Yorkshire, Harrogate Borough Council is first out of the block with its balanceability ‘train the trainers’ courses.
Cycle Yorkshire is part of the commitment to build a 10 year cycling legacy following the region hosting the Tour de France 2014.
Remember what it was like when you learned to ride a bike? The hardest part is learning to balance on just two thin wheels. Balanceability is the UK’s first and only accredited ‘learn to cycle’ programme for children aged two and a half to six and is supported by Olympic gold-medal winning cyclist Chris Boardman.
Harrogate Council’s Sports Development Team has adapted the programme to extend it to adults and those with physical disabilities.
Balanceability combines unique ergonomic balance bikes with a programme of activity that builds confidence, spatial awareness and dynamic balance skills enabling young children to cycle without ever needing stabilisers.
The council has purchased a number of these ‘balanceabilitiy bikes’ which it will loan to partners who want to deliver learn to ride courses.
Councillor Pat Jones, Cabinet Member for Culture Tourism and Sports, says that with new bicyle sales outstripping car sales in Britain, last year up by 76 per cent, the demand for learn to ride courses has never been higher. She added:
Once trained up partners will be able to teach others how to ride a bike.
Our main aim is to see children learn to ride safely but there are lots of adults who never learned to ride. We also want to help those with physical difficulties who, with some specialist training, will be able to enjoy all that riding a bike brings. Forest School in Starbeck was one of the first to be trained in this exciting new programme.
Cycle Yorkshire now has a free schools’ resource pack which can be downloaded from www.cycle.yorkshire.com and it is the first time such a resource has been made available as part of the Tour de France
Kersten England, Regional Tour de France Legacy lead, said:
This is a great free resource that we’ve developed with *Sustrans to get children across Yorkshire – and beyond – involved with the Tour de France as an event, but also cycling – for sport or just for fun.
Local Authorities and cycling partners across the region are working together to make this a great region for safe cycling, inspiring more people to cycle more often. Key to this vision is ensuring future generations of cyclists understand the benefits of cycling and access to the skills, facilities and equipment to cycle confidently and safely, wherever they are.
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