Rider at a Go Ride Club

Kids Learn More With Go Ride

You’ve taught your child how to ride their bike. They can balance, they can pedal. That’s it right? Oh wait! What about gears? Braking?? Ascending and descending??? Once you start to teach your child to ride a bike, you realise that there’s a lot more to cycling than you thought. And remember, all of the above – that’s just the basics!

So how can your kids learn more? The solution is easy – join your local Go Ride club.

Before you continue, you need to know that I am a Go Ride coach so I may be a little biased. I became a coach one year after my children started attending a Go Ride club. More on that story later.

What is Go Ride?

British Cycling’s Go Ride programme is sponsored by HSBC UK with over 350 clubs helping children to enjoy and learn about cycling.

With qualified coaches, your child will learn the skills they need to ride a bike well. Many pro racers today including Tour de France 2018 winner Geraint Thomas, all started in a similar club. With skills sessions, social rides, training rides and cycling events, Go Ride clubs offer kids a great start in the world of cycling whether to race or to improve their bike handling techniques.

Go Ride clubs and coaches will help your child become not only more confident on their bike, but more self-confident, disciplined and will improve their communication and social skills. Go Ride is lots of fun too!

What do you learn?

What you learn depends upon what the coaches are qualified to teach. Every coach will be able to teach the basics of bike safety and riding a bike well covering techniques including cornering, gear selection, cone of movement, balance and coordination. Some coaches will also have specialist coaching qualifications in road, track, cyclocross or mountain biking so your child can progress much further in cycling than you may have thought possible.

Couldn’t I teach my kids that myself?

You can teach your kids what you know. But ask yourself – do you know everything your child needs to know about cycling? Do you know everything you need to know? Would some expert knowledge and experience help?

Before I became a qualified cycling coach, I thought I knew enough to teach my kids to ride well. I was wrong. I knew enough to get them started, but not enough to progress further. Now, I’m qualified and have learned far more than I knew before (and more importantly, I know what I was doing wrong before).

As a parent, I’m very pleased that our kids joined a Go Ride Club. They have learned so much! Go Ride has given my children the confidence to go further as they now love participating in cyclocross races. They have made new friends and are learning more about cycling each week.

Become a better cyclist

My kids have become better cyclists thanks to our Go Ride club. In their first year, (before I became involved), my two children improved every aspect of their cycling and learned many new techniques. They are still improving now, practice does make perfect.

Our coaching sessions are something our riders look forward to every week. My kids ask for extra practice throughout the week to ensure they have learned the techniques properly from the previous session. I know some of the other kids practice at home too.

We coaches gain satisfaction from seeing our riders put what they have learned into practice. We had seven of our Go Riders in the first race of the Cyclocross season recently – two of whom had never raced before. It was an absolute pleasure to see our riders in action, using the techniques in a practical application. We are using our observations to plan our coaching sessions and include techniques that riders need to learn or improve upon.

How did you get involved in Go Ride?

As I mentioned earlier, I am a Go Ride coach with a cycling club in Derbyshire. We got involved when I asked a question on a cycling forum. It was answered by a Go Ride coach local to us who invited us along to one of their social rides and soon my kids were attending the coaching sessions. Fast forward to a year later and our kids are riding much, much better, racing CX and I’ve learned a lot too. The call went out for volunteers and I was asked if I wanted to become a coach. I jumped at the opportunity. I love coaching and seeing our riders enjoy cycling. I love seeing the moment when a rider realises they have successfully learnt a new technique.

Where can I find my local Go Ride?

Go Ride clubs are usually part of a local cycling club offering a number of cycling opportunities for adults and children alike – contact the club’s Go Ride Coordinator for more information.

If joining a Go Ride club interests your children, visit the British Cycling website to find your nearest Go Ride club.