Family cycling

When can children start riding bikes?

Young children and babies of any age can ride in bike trailers or on cargo bikes, and from nine months can use front or rear bike seats. When confident enough, they can move onto parent/child tag-alongs or tandems, before mastering cycling for themselves. Most types of cycle can be bought or retro-fitted with electric assist, granting extra power and confidence while maintaining considerable health benefits.

Getting back on the road with children

Learning or refreshing cycling skills can be a challenge on city streets, but parks are a great place to build confidence, as are low-traffic streets such as Madeira Drive. Open since 1877, the Preston Park Velodrome is the world’s oldest enclosed cycling track, and when quiet, provides the perfect opportunity for practice.

Training to build confidence

Brighton & Hove City Council support the Bikeability Trust, which is the successor to the Cycling Proficiency scheme and provides training at all levels for adults and children.

Check out our New to Cycling? page for details on training, and visit Sustrans for general information on cycling with children.

Cycling and play on your doorstep

Organise your own Street Play session, where local children can meet, cycle and play together. With 6 weeks’ notice, the Council can grant permission for a part or total closure of your road. Street Play is a great opportunity to build community and enable safe, healthy play. See Brighton & Hove City Council’s website for further details.

Playing Out is a UK-based parent and resident-led movement that aims to restore children’s freedom to play out in the streets. In 2019 Playing Out teamed up with British Cycling to reflect the need for more children to access safe places to learn to ride their bikes.

Resources

CycleSprog is a UK-based family cycling website full of useful information and product reviews, and has its own Facebook page.

Family Cycling UK is a Facebook group covering all aspects of cycling with children.

Family Cycling Brighton is a Facebook group where you can meet other families, swap kit, seek advice and plan adventures.

Please contact us if there’s a group or website you’d like to add to the list.