At the start of 2011, my two children (Arlo aged 6 and Greta aged 5) started attending Palmer Park Velo (PPV) cycling club. They have always loved being on their bikes and were keen to have a go on the track at the velodrome.
As most young children do at PPV, they started riding sessions on their mountain bikes. Key bike handling skills were taught in a safe, controlled environment by the wonderful coaches.
However, it wasn’t long before Arlo wanted to have a go on a road bike. You could see him watching the older children riding the track and longing to have a go. Luckily PPV has a supply of bikes in a variety of sizes for children to have a go on. They don’t charge for using the bikes, and it helps children give it a go, before parents have to pay out for one of their own!
Arlo started out by riding the smallest road bikes they have at the club — an Islabike Reis 20 converted into a freewheel with brakes. They are fantastic bikes. Very light and easy to ride, which is ideal when the riders are aged 5-7.
After a few weeks of borrowing a club bike, it was obvious Arlo was keen to continue going to training and I started to look around for a bike of his own. He could have continued to ride a club bike, but with the club having increased membership almost every week, and the small Islabikes in high demand it didn’t seem right. He now has his own junior road bike, as does Greta who still rides the club bikes whilst gaining confidence.
This blog will record the problems I had finding road bikes for children, how I fixed up battered eBay purchases, what bikes are on the market and more.