“WOW look at the bikes!”
“Can I ride that one?”
“Are these really for us?”
Pupils aged 5-11 at Beacon School
This year Big Bike Revival funding and support has enabled Open Trail to team up with Spokes Recycled Bikes in Kidderminster to provide Beacon PRU with their own small fleet of bikes, and the children couldn’t have been happier!
Spokes is a well- known long established charity in Kidderminster that helps train adults with learning difficulties, and provide them with workplace skills, taking in old unwanted bikes, refurbishing them to very high standards and selling them on to the public.
“Bikes cost roughly £50 each and are in expert working order, perfect for small community fleets, for low income families or entry level cyclists” Hannah, lead coach at Open Trail.co.uk
The first job for these bikes was to enable Beacon PRU to have a full day of cycling fun! It started off with Hannah’s popular, jaw-dropping presentation on how a local school girl became World Series Champion and GB Team Racer. Children saying “you’re a lot smaller than I thought you’d be”, “are you really from Kiddy?” as the tales of hard work, despair, adventures and achievements unfolded.
Beacon PRU is a special educational unit with very small classes for children who have already been excluded from mainstream education, for various reasons, from as young as 4 years old. This means they do not get the same opportunities as children in regular schools, such as Bikeability training and other enriching exercises. Their behaviour can make following instructions, working as a group, and cycling very challenging.
Their cycling day was an incredible success! All of the children showed great enthusiasm and gave it their very best despite their own personal challenges. Two children learned to ride for the first time, one showing incredible perseverance on his first hill, all the children competed in small races, worked on their bike handling, steering accuracy and control, many learning good race technique, and some showed off their advanced skills such as small bunny hops. Everyone went away happy, enjoyed their cycling experience and proud of what they had accomplished.
Dr Bike was there again, this time with a full audience of keen participants who not only had their bikes carefully restored but also all learned how to pump up the tyres and turn a few gears together. 5 of the children’s bikes were safety checked and repaired; ready for the summer holidays!
Cycling offered many benefits for the children, and school. It provided a perfect basis to: develop determination, push past fears, seeing/feeling how they progress after hard work, working together & supporting each other, experience winning and losing, learning a life skill of cycling, taking responsibility for equipment and safety of themselves and others.