Group keen to help children get on track

Ready to ride . . . Cycling South Canterbury committee members Wayne Morris (left) and Paul Towler (right) are happy to lend bikes to children for the summer cycling season.

The summer season is for cycling, according to Cycling South Canterbury, as it gears up for track season.

Cycling South Canterbury committee member Paul Towler said it has just over 25 bikes available for people to use for the summer cycling season.

‘‘A lot of the bikes have been donated or were picked up off Trade Me. We want them used.’’

He said participants did not necessarily have to ride track as they also had a few road bikes available.

‘‘This is where kids start and learn and enhance their skills. They get fitted to a bike which will stay at the Caledonian Grounds but will be available for them to ride for the whole season,’’ Mr Towler said.

Cycling South Canterbury committee member Wayne Morris said all the gear is provided and the riders are not thrown into the deep end.

‘‘There was girl who came along and she had never ridden a bike before.

‘‘I just walked around the track with her on the bike and by the end of the night she was riding all on her own round the track.’’

Mr Towler said they provide all the gear and try to cater to everyone. He said it is all about the development of the children.

‘‘Anyone can come along but we would definitely like to have parents involved, that’s important.’’

Mr Morris said the club sorts out any issues with the bikes and people did not have to ride track to join.

‘‘It is about having a go. They start out at a development age, then go to under 17s, then to junior level and finally senior level. They work their way up developing their riding skills over time.’’

Mr Towler said the only scary thing about cycling was the crashes but that they were an inherit part of cycling and the children were taught what to do when a crash did occur.

‘‘It helps with their learning skills. We can also put someone with experience with them to make them more comfortable.

‘‘It is all based on teaching kids — kids who maybe supposedly don’t enjoy team sport and take to this.’’

On Tuesdays at 6pm the group holds a track day at the Caledonian Grounds, on Thursdays it heads out to the Levels Raceway which is ideal for children to learn to ride on, Mr Towler said.

On November 13 Cycling South Canterbury is holding a have-a-go day at the Caledonian Grounds at 10am.