Teaching your child to ride a bike with Isla Rowntree

With the summer finally arriving and the long school holidays on the horizon we asked Isla Rowntree, ex-national
cyclocross champion and founder of Islabikes how to approach teaching you child to ride a bike.

What are your thoughts on stabilisers?

For years children’s bikes have come fitted with stabilisers, but that doesn’t mean they’re the right thing to use. We encourage parents to avoid stabilisers as they prevent children from learning to balance naturally and actually make the process of learning to ride a bike trickier.
Far better is to let your child use a balance bike before starting to learn a pedal bike. A balance bike will teach them the basics of balancing on two wheels and make the transition to first pedal bike much easier.

 

How old should my child be?

Most children learn to ride their first pedal bike unaided between the ages of 3 1/2 and 4 1/2. But children develop their cycling skills at different times. If it seems that your child isn’t quite get the hang of it, don’t worry, let them keep enjoying their balance bike for a few more weeks and try again later.

How do I teach my child to ride?

Find a large, safe, flat open space to use as your learning zone. Something with tarmac or a fairly firm surface is perfect. Long grass is too tricky for new riders to pedal on.

Now adjust the height of your child’s saddle so they can get the balls of their feet on the floor.

Put your child on their bike and stand behind them, holding them under their armpits. Don’t hold any part of the bike. We want the new rider to feel how their bike naturally moves underneath them.

Push your child along and let the bike wander in any direction. You can help steer the bike by leaning your child right and left. Doing this will let your child learn that leaning is part of the steering process.

If your children have learnt to balance on a balance bike, they may take a little while to grasp the concept of forward pedalling. Encourage them while they practise pedalling forwards.

If your child is ready to cycle unaided they should quickly get a feel for balance and you can gradually let go, but stay close by to catch them if anything goes wrong.

For nervous riders, you may need to stay with them a bit longer. That’s fine. Just let them know that you’re there, but you’re very gradually going to loosen your hold on them. Eventually they’ll be cycling unaided without even knowing it. The look of delight when they realise you’re no longer holding them and they’re cycling all by themselves is a moment to treasure.

 

The final part of the jigsaw is learning how to set off from stationary unaided. For this, have your child put one of their pedals just past the top most part of the pedal circle. That means around the ‘5 to the hour’ position with the left leg, or ‘5 past the hour’ position with the right leg.

Now ask them to give a good push on this leg. With enough forward momentum they should be able to transfer both feet to the pedals, start pedalling and be a completely independent rider.

Islabikes build quality lightweight bikes that are gender neutral in their aesthetics, CyclingShorts.cc will be reviewing them shortly – so watch this space.

You can find more information at:

http://www.islabikes.co.uk/

@islabikes

https://www.facebook.com/Islabikes

https://www.youtube.com/user/Islabikes

British Cycling National Time Trial Championships 2016

Stockton-On-Tees

Dowsett, Simmonds And Davies Back Up Their Twenty-Fifteen Titles Here In Stockton-On-Tees In The National Time Trial Championships 2016 Defending champion Alex Dowsett [Movistar] successfully reclaims his Time Trial National Jersey in Stockton-On-Tees for an impressive fifth senior title. Setting the quickest first split, Dowsett was the odd-on favorite around the circuit through the High Street, along the Riverside and out of town before returning for another three laps. James Gullen [Pedal Heaven] posted the closest time for Silver over a minute down and Ryan Perry [Langdale Lightweights RT] the Bronze. Talking in-front of the assembled cheering crowd Dowsett praised Stockton Council on their circuit layout and organization.

The whole Town Centre aspect of time-trialing is really something quite incredible. (Last year’s circuit was on a partly closed circuit at Cadwell Park Racing circuit near Louth, Lincolnshire) The atmosphere was really great, even out of town there were a lot of people watching. I think the course suited the spectator crowd, so Stockton should be proud of what they put on today.

For me personally I paced it I’d say, as perfectly as I could.

The gap to second last year was a lot bigger. I’ve seen these guys at 10s this year and it’s great to see British time-trialing really coming up.

Alex Dowsett

British National Time Trial Champion 2016, Movistar

When Alex was asked about another hour record attempt in the near future:  I hope so, the bar has been set quite high by Wiggins (Bradley). I know I’m capable of it from the numbers from the last attempt. It’s just a question of when. 54k is not a distance to taking lightly. It’s a huge ask from my team [Movistar] as well to set it up. It takes months to set up. I can’t see it happening this year, but possibly for next year.

 

Hayley Simmonds successfully defended her first National title from twenty-fifteen backing up her win having spent most of the year riding abroad riding her first professional contract.

Back on her beloved Cervelo P5, Simmonds put over half a minute on her closest on-form rival Claire Rose [Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa] who took Silver, with Team-mate Dame Sarah Storey close behind for Bronze.

Cycling Shorts: What have you been up to recently?

SimmondsWith-in the last couple of weeks I’ve recently changed Teams. I was riding professionally for Unitedhealthcare, I made the decision when they offered me, to be let out of my contract, so I accepted that. I made the decision to ride for Aerocoach. 

It was a really hard decision to leave the team. I had to weigh-up in my mind, was I prepared to potentially sacrifice defending my title today to remain on the team.

I decided that I wasn’t and that defending my title today probably meant more to me.

I want to return to a UCI team, I want to be a professional bike rider.

Hopefully I’ll be able to find a UCI team for next year.

I’m lucky that I managed to find some guest rides in UCI races for the later part of the year. So I will still be keeping my hand in UCI races.

Cycling Shorts: How did you find the course here in Stockton-On-Tees and did it suit you?

SimmondsI didn’t think it suited me. When I looked at the course before, I didn’t think it suited me as much as last year’s course did. But it was a good course. It was a really interesting course. It was a course of two parts.

It had a technical bit in the town centre and the dual carriageway section that was more of a traditional time trial course.

The bit in the town centre was actually really good in terms of support from local people and I was lucky enough to meet some of the local people a couple of weeks ago when I first came to look at the course.

The support was great and yeh! It suited me enough.

 

Interview – Hayley Simmonds 2016 National TT Champion by Cycling Shorts

Haley Simmonds talks to CyclingShorts.cc writer / Photographer Chris Maher after taking the 2016 National TT Champion title in Stockton.

In the U23 Time Trial, Scott Davies [Team Wiggins] also defended his twenty-fifteen title beating Tao Geoghegen Hart [Axeon Hagens Berman CT] for Silver by nineteen seconds with Gabriel Cullaigh [100%ME] a further thirty seconds back off the pace.

  1.  40 Davies Scott Team Wiggins 44: 44:10.43
  2.  39 Geoghegan Hart Tao Axeon Hagens Berman CT 44:29.81 @9.38
  3.  34 Cullaigh Gabriel 100% ME 44:40.24 @29.81
  4.  35 Hetherington Ben Planet X – Northside Cycling 44:[email protected]
  5.  38 Baylis Thomas One Pro Cycling 44:53.39 @42.96
  6.  37 Shaw James Lotto Soudal U23 45:12.22 @01:01.8
  7.  12 Fry Joseph Pedal Heaven 45:24.97 @01:14.5
  8.  28 Kelly Jake Team Wiggins 45:42.33 @01:31.8
  9.  36 Stewart Mark 100% ME 45:54.37 @01:43.9
  10.  30 Latham Christopher Team Wiggins 45:54.60 @01:44.2
  1.  50 Hayley Simmonds Aerocoach 47:33.36
  2.  44 Claire Rose Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa 48:06.32  @0:32.96
  3.  47 Dame Sarah Storey Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa 48:12.47 @0:06.15
  4.  49 Emma Pooley 48:33.46 @0:20.99
  5.  45 Hannah Barnes Canyon – SRAM 49:29.28 @0:55.82
  6.  40 Julia Shaw 49:39.92 @0:10.64
  7.  48 Molly Weaver Liv-Plantur 49:53.32 @0:13.40
  8.  11 Elizabeth-Jane Harris Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa 50:56.20 @1:02.88
  9.  9 Angela Hibbs Fusion RT Fierlan 51:03.12 @0:06.92
  10.  42 Abby-Mae Parkinson Servetto Footon 51:13.39 @0:10.27
  1.  40 Alex Dowsett Movistar Team 0:55:38.52
  2.  35 James Gullen Pedal Heaven 0:56:54.83
  3.  38 Ryan Perry Langdale Lightweights Racing Team 0:57:52.53
  4.  32 Peter Williams One Pro Cycling 0:58:15.36
  5.  26 Richard Handley One Pro Cycling 0:59:09.39
  6.  33 Samuel Harrison Team Wiggins 0:59:11.87
  7.  37 Lloyd Chapman Pedal Heaven 0:59:36.73
  8.  20 Ashley Cox CC Luton 0:59:45.70
  9.  36 Andrew Tennant Team Wiggins 0:59:59.87
  10.  34 Rhys Howells Richardsons-Trek RT 1:00:04.48

Talent made in Britain, starts at home

Train. Race. Rest. Repeat.

 

Olympic and world champion Laura Trott OBE is heading up a new partnership between DFS and Team GB – Being one of the standout cyclists of London 2012, Laura Trott admits that the sometimes out of control attention paid to her can be an added strain to the already gruelling training and conditioning regime that Olympic athletes have to undergo.

While she loves training, Laura loves her house and being at home, enjoying nothing more than curling up on her sofa in front of the TV –
and watching her favourite, EastEnders. Hubby Jason Kenny even proposed on the sofa. Down time is extremely important to her.

Relaxation and concentration are interacting mental skills in that each enhances the other which is why it’s important for athletes to relax and recover, this was something DFS felt they could help with, which is why they are partnering with Team GB and their athletes for the 2016 Olympics.

I absolutely love training, don’t get me wrong it’s really difficult – and the stuff we put our bodies through, I guess to the outside world would just look unbelievable.

Laura Trott OBE

At DFS, we know the importance of home. The value of proper rest and relaxation can be sometimes overlooked, but it has the power to make us truly great.

The athletes we’ve been working with have shown us that, and we can’t wait to bring that ‘home’ feeling to Rio for all of Team GB.

DFS

DFS have taken the athletes needs into account; recently unveiling The Britannia, a specially designed limited edition sofa that celebrates Team GB and will provide a centre piece and much needed comfort to British House: the home from home for Team GB in Rio.