Bikes help strike the right balance for Norwich nursery schoolchildren

Cycling campaigners hope to inspire a new generation of riders after giving scores of nursery children the chance to saddle up in the playground.

More than 100 pupils at five city primary schools with nurseries are already making use of the free balance bikes, donated by the Norwich Cycling Campaign.

Another two schools are expected to take delivery of the equipment and join Cavell, Lakenham, Bluebell, Mile Cross and Catton Grove.

These schools each have one of the �40 bikes, which have no pedals or brakes.

The equipment aims to get cycling novices, aged between three and five, to paddle along with their feet and learn to balance.

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Jeff Jordan, of the Norwich Cycling Campaign, said the idea was piloted at Mile Cross, where his daughter works as a teacher, using a wooden bike before the group opted to use metal ones.

He said: 'The children at the schools we have delivered the bikes to love it. They love putting the bike together, as it comes in bits, and all the children in the class queue and have a go. Some struggle and some get on to it and are whizzing about all over.

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'It's pleasing to see the ones who struggle, as they can't ride and balance but they will have a chance to develop these skills.'

Mr Jordan added children were less likely to suffer serious injuries or fall while using the balance bikes, when compared to learning to ride on a normal bike once stabilisers have been removed.

He said: 'If we get children keen on cycling then maybe their parents will go out with them and that will help get more people cycling.'

What can be done to make cycling better in Norwich? Write to Evening News Letters at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 3RE or email

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