Celebrating World Bicycle Day with Bikeability

June 3rd is World Bicycle Day, drawing attention to the benefits of using the bicycle — a simple, affordable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation.

Acknowledging the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation, fostering environmental stewardship and health, in 2022 the General Assembly of the World Health Organisation decided to declare 3rd June World Bicycle Day.

Starting children cycling from a young age is a great way to embed healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Cycling has numerous benefits for children. It improves their balance and coordination. It can also increase strength and stamina, and it’s a great low impact exercise that involves many of the core muscle groups.

There are more than physical benefits as well – cycling can improve children’s confidence and increase their independence. It can build exercise into daily life, and of course it’s fun! Cycling with your children is also a great way to spend family time together.

In the UK, to help improve access to cycling for all children, The Bikeability Trust, the Department for Transport’s flagship national cycle training programme for schoolchildren in England, has designed a Get Cycling in Schools course for teachers in primary schools to deliver cycle training. The aim of the course is to help improve access to cycling for all children.


The course is sustainable, cost-effective and promotes cycling in schools and communities, ensuring that children can learn to ride in a traffic-free environment. It’s also needed – a survey carried out in 2020 found that just 14% of 2-4 year olds were getting the recommended 180 minutes (about 3 hours) of exercise recommended by the UK Chief Medical Officers in the 2019 guidelines. This was due in part to the effects of the Covid lockdowns. As a result, children were struggling with basic physical skills, which created a barrier for children learning to pedal. The Bikeability Trust identified that improving cycle skills at a young age would be beneficial for the long-term health and wellbeing of children. Starting them on their cycling journey early helps children feel confident to improve their skills as they grow.

Image: Bikeability Notts

Get Cycling in Schools helps teachers and teaching assistants to teach children to ride. They are equipped with a solid foundation of cycling skills including learning to balance and pedal. Working with schools and communities means that The Bikeability Trust can reach more children earlier, helping them before they would usually get any cycle training.

By February 2024, The Bikeability Trust had trained 670 teachers and teaching assistants to deliver the course and reached more than 10,000 children. They have plans to reach 825 schools and 45,000 pupils by March next year. By equipping children with the life skill of cycling, The Bikeability Trust are not only helping them to be healthier and happier, but also giving them access to a form of sustainable transport that will empower them throughout their life.

You can find out more about the charity and cycle training for children at bikeability.org.uk

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