The average adult today learned to ride a bike aged 6.9 years
Over half (56%) were taught by parents, while 26% taught themselves
But parents today are teaching their kids to ride a bike at younger ages – the average age is now 5.9 years
Those who learned to ride aged 4-5 years old are far more likely to describe themselves as ‘confident’ cyclists now (73%) compared to those who learned aged 10+ (58%)
Those who learn to ride a bike without stabilisers at a younger age are also more likely to be regular cyclists now
Teaching children to cycle at younger ages leads to increased confidence and more regular bike use later in life, according to a survey of 1,213 UK adults commissioned by bicycle insurer Protect Your Bubble.
Although the average UK adult learned to ride a bike aged 6.9 years, parents today are teaching their children to ride at a younger average age, just 5.9 years old.
And those who learn to ride a bike without stabilisers at a younger age are more likely to be regular cyclists in adult life. For example, those who learned to ride aged 4-5 years old are almost twice as likely to cycle at least once a week now (12.8%) as those who learned aged 10+ (7.5%).
In addition, almost three quarters (73%) of adults who learned to ride aged 4-5 years old are far more likely to describe themselves as ‘confident’ cyclists now compared to just 58% of those who learned aged over the age of 10.
Over half (56%) of British bike owners can thank their parents for teaching them to ride a bike, although more than a quarter (26%) are self-taught cyclists. Around one in 10 were taught by siblings or friends.
Half (50%) of UK adults believe cycling is a life skill that everyone should learn, while more than a third (35%) think it’s just a hobby and not vital to learn. A further 9% say it’s not important to learn to ride a bike.
Rob Basinger, head of UK at Protect Your Bubble, said: “I’m sure that many people can still remember the moment when their stabilisers came off, and they experienced either the freedom or anger of realising their parent had lied and let go!
“Some children learn to ride on two wheels as young as 3.5 years of age. Grass will provide a softer landing but is more difficult to cycle on than a wide, flat tarmac surface, obviously well away from any traffic. It goes without saying they should be wearing a helmet, and start by getting them to practice squeezing their brakes while walking the bike along.
“Make sure your child’s saddle is at a height that allows them to put their feet flat on the floor when they’re sitting, which will give them greater control over the bike. You can raise it slightly once they’ve mastered the art; and encourage them to look up, rather than down at their pedals.”
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