Majority of parents believe learning to ride a bike is a ‘vital life skill’ for children, Cycling UK study reveals

A study by Cycling UK has found 82% of parents have taught their children to ride a bike – with 70% claiming it’s a ‘vital life skill’ to learn.

A poll carried out by YouGov for the launch of Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival project also found that 47% of people who can ride a bike lack confidence to carry out basic repairs to a bike, like fixing a puncture or checking their brakes. Meanwhile 41% say they would be encouraged to ride more if they could find a group of people of a similar standard to cycle with.

James Scott, director of development and behaviour change, said: “This survey shows there is clearly a massive disconnect between the numbers of people who can ride a bike and those who do so regularly. In many cases, it comes down to confidence, whether that’s through a lack of basic bike maintenance skills or being unable to find like-minded people to ride with.

“We know from experience, for example that many people worry about encountering a mechanical problem while cycling and being left stranded on the side of the road. We also know that creating community clubs of riders of a similar standard can offer real encouragement to get people cycling regularly.”

The Big Bike Revival launches across England on 3rd May, funded by the Department of Transport, to encourage more people out on their bikes. Events run over a three month period will provide free maintenance sessions to get people’s bikes back into working order, group rides and skills sessions to help people build the confidence to ride.

The charity has also helped to create community cycle clubs across the country where cyclists can get together and support each other on rides.

Jenny Box, head of behaviour change and development in England, said: “We know that around nine out of ten people in the UK were taught how to ride a bike, but too few of us are cycling. The evidence is clear that cycling is not only good for your health, both physical and mental, but it’s a cheap mode of transport, reduces traffic congestion and helps improve air quality.

“The Big Bike Revival is all about tackling those barriers that are stopping people from riding. So if that’s you, come along to a one of our events and see how cycling can change your life.”

Last year, the Big Bike Revival reached more than 60,000 people in England and Scotland through 1,700 events. Almost half of those who attended were non-cyclists.

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