Building confidence (hers and mine) beyond Bikeability 2

Hebe

getting better all the time
Location
wiltshire
I never learned to ride as a child - but did as an adult when my daughter was young (I didn't want her to grow up never seeing her mum on a bike, or cycling as an everyday transport option). I spent a couple of years cycling regularly, if slightly nervously (nursery, shopping, easy off-road, exploring the quieter local roads). I then stopped riding about 6 years ago due to hyperthyroidism and just never got back to it (lost my nerve to be honest and only just finding it again). Meanwhile my daughter went from balance bike to stabilisers (I know...) and then we discovered Frog and she was off at age about 9 or 10. She did Bikeability 1 and 2 at school and then started riding to and from school (on the pavement and shared paths, the road is too busy for her to go in the road and her bikeability skills don't really equip her for that type of riding yet. I'm now recovered from the thyroid condition and unrelated surgery earlier this year and really want to ride more, ideally with my daughter. I've done a bit of riding with her over the last few weeks and it's really highlit my nerves. Her dad's going to help too by taking her out on the bikes sometimes, but he has foot surgery coming up and won't be able to ride for a bit. The bikes are all serviced so I have nothing to fear mechanically.

Next week she starts secondary school, which is a seven mile bus ride away, so she will lose the daily cycling. I know that at some point she's going to want to tackle the busy narrow road into town on her own and that really she's getting a bit old to be on the pavement. Plus she hates the constant stop/start of shared paths and crossing roads (so do I...). I need to put some more miles in on my own to start rebuilding my own confidence, maybe take a couple of sessions of refresher training. I can take her out to consolidate her/our bikeability - basically all the stuff on quiet residential roads - but how do I know when she's ready for roundabouts and busier stretches of road? I did try her out on a quiet roundabout around here, just cycling with me, and she did fine. I used to love riding on quieter B roads which are easily accessed from here, but can I take her on those at her current level? They are much quieter but the traffic that is on them is faster.

I'd really value any tips. Having never learned as a child I don't have any experience to draw from, and I don't want her to lose her excitement and independence. Thank you.
 

bikingdad90

Über Member
Best experience is to experience it. Go out with her and follow behind about a foot out from her side so that following cars have to negotiate round you first. This set up also allows the car user to see your not alone and with an adolescent.

Once you’re riding on roads it soon becomes second nature and the nerves will settle down.
 
OP
Hebe

Hebe

getting better all the time
Location
wiltshire
Best experience is to experience it. Go out with her and follow behind about a foot out from her side so that following cars have to negotiate round you first. This set up also allows the car user to see your not alone and with an adolescent.

Once you’re riding on roads it soon becomes second nature and the nerves will settle down.
That sounds achievable, thank you.
 
OP
Hebe

Hebe

getting better all the time
Location
wiltshire
See if theres a local group you can ride with. CUK typically have local groups that genuinely accommodate all skill levels, and Fartbook may even come up trumps.
I shall have a look, thank you. I'm going to ride with a friend sometimes when school goes back. The stupid thing is that I used to be involved with a local cycling group but it's not really around any more. I'll have a look on FB too, good idea. Thank you!
 
OP
Hebe

Hebe

getting better all the time
Location
wiltshire
I can't help much, as I live in a different cycling environment, but I'm impressed by your tenacity and commitment to doing what you think is right.
Thank you! I just felt that I had missed out, and didn't want her to feel the same way. Plus we are optimum cycling distance from a lot of stuff (town, friends, tow path...) and wanted to show her that there are alternatives to driving everywhere.
 
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