The one where Miss OCG tries British Cycling Go-Ride Coaching…
Those who are regular readers over here will remember that my six year old daughter, Miss OCG, learned to ride her bike at the end of May after being inspired by the fantastic Laura Trott, Katie Archibald and Dani King whilst watching the Milk Race live in Nottingham. Now a few months older and aged seven, she too has the cycling bug. When we went to the Yorkshire Festival of Cycling recently for the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, British Cycling were there with a Go-Ride skills course and she gave it a go. Despite the fact it was raining, she loved it and has wanted to do more ever since. So, she recently went along to her first British Cycling Go-Ride coaching day.
I found out about it after contacting my local youth cycling club. Our local club has their coaching programme on hold until after the summer holidays but they forwarded on details of local Go Ride events that Miss OCG could go along to.
The coaching day was held locally on school grounds so it was traffic-free and nice and safe. There were six others who also attended ranging in age from six to eleven. Miss OCG was filled with enthusiasm, which was lovely to see. Her eagerness to get involved is infectious and made me feel so proud. I remember not too long ago when she was quite a shy little girl who was afraid to try new things, but cycling has won her over and her usual slightly nervous anticipation seemed to have disappeared and she was brimming with confidence and motivation to give it a go.
British Cycling’s website describes Go-Ride as their ‘development programme for young people. The programme provides a fun and safe way to introduce young riders to the world of cycle sport and provides a platform to improve bike handling skills.’
I can definitely say that this box was ticked. The day itself was full of fun, skills coaching and mini races. Miss OCG had a brilliant time and couldn’t wait to show us what she had learned and tell us all about her day. She came home with skills I haven’t yet mastered! In fact, I’ve been practising alongside her in our back garden, attempting to go as slow as possible without putting our feet down and controlling the balance of our bikes. Not all that easy I can tell you!
And what’s brilliant is that the day itself only cost a fiver and a packed lunch! She was there for four hours having a really great time with other like-minded boys and girls. Now you can’t moan at that can you! A day of fun for a fiver!
And she didn’t need any special kit. All that she needed to attend was a bike and a helmet. Miss OCG’s bike is just a bog standard bike – no gears, no drop handle bars or anything else fancy – just a very basic bike. And she managed just fine.
Why was ‘Go Ride’ fun?
“What was fun was that everyone else loved riding their bikes too. I liked being with people that like riding their bike as much as I do! And everyone listened because they wanted to learn how to do more fun stuff on their bike! – Miss OCG
Getting involved is easy, either with a local Go-Ride community or school club, or through one of British Cycling’s Holiday Coaching Programmes. There are still one or two holiday coaching programmes happening over the school summer holidays so check out the British Cycling website for something local to you.
And Miss OCG even got a taste for racing (and she is the least competitive person I know!!)…
The races were really fun – I came first in two and second in another!! When can I go again, mummy? – Miss OCG very keen to go back and learn more.
It was definitely a day well spent for Miss OCG. I hope the British Cycling programme continues – it seems a wonderful way to get young children involved in cycling and doing something most kids love – riding a bike! Getting children interested in cycling at a young age and maintaining their enthusiasm with cheap, fun and easy-to-get-involved-with coaching could have a powerful impact on the future of the sport – I’m sure that’s just what British Cycling is hoping.
If it’s something you think your child might be interested in trying take a look at this video for more information. Who knows…with 70 per cent of the current British team starting off at a Go Ride club, you might just have the next Laura Trott or Jason Kenny at home!
Or contact British Cycling Go-Ride directly on Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 0161 274 2070