Did you hear the story of a person in the pre-smartphone and Google Maps era asking a yokel for directions and being given the answer “If I were going there, I wouldn’t start from here”.

This is what came to mind when I was asked about a harness to help protect a child who is learning to ride a bike and about to dispense with stabiliser wheels. Well, I wouldn’t start from there! I was sceptical when grandchildren were scooting along on balance bikes – that wasn’t the way it was done in my day! But I have seen the easy and rapid progression from balance bike to a bike with pedals and without a need for stabiliser wheels. I’d recommend that route.

However, if it is too late and you have a child who is able to progress from a bike with stabiliser wheels, then a harness – called “BikyBiky” – with a “handle” on the back is a useful addition. It is fastened with velco as well as a belt. If the child wobbles, the accompanying adult just lifts them, preventing a fall and entanglement with the bike.

I can imagine that it gives confidence to the young rider, that the parent is there to prevent a fall, and to parent alike, knowing that they can avoid nasty cuts and bruises to their offspring. And so much about learning to ride is overcoming fear and having confidence.

The materials are soft to the touch and have appropriate padding to support the child – anywhere up to 50kg – and is machine washable at 30°C. It is approved by the Road Safety Campaign of the Netherlands, where they know a bit about getting people cycling.

If the added confidence gets the child riding on their own more quickly, the £24.95 would be a good investment compared with the backache and puffing that goes with jogging alongside a bike while trying to lean and provide support!

And, you could even use a BikyBiky for a child learning on a balance bike.

©Richard Atkins at https://spycycle.uk/index.php