Introducing youngsters to riding is a pretty exciting moment, not just for the children but also mum and dad too. MCM has put together a guide of the training available out there that gives your kids a proper taste of life on two wheels…
The normal route for youngsters to try out riding a bike for the first time is off-road. Trials, motocross and enduro options are all available, from try-out days to one-to-one expert tuition at kid-specific training schools at a variety of locations around the country. Parents can also get involved, be it riding alongside their child or offering encouragement from the sidelines. Tarmac wise, there’s also a few young rider track training schools too. Here’s MCM’s pick of what’s available:
Geoff Mayes’ Try-Out Days
These popular days are run by former British MX champion Geoff Mayes and include expert tuition from Geoff and other ACU qualified instructors. The bikes used are all Kawasakis: for the youngsters there are KX65s and KX85s, depending on age.
The Junior days are normally held on Saturdays at WildTracks, a big off-road facility near Newmarket, Cambs, for kids aged seven and up and at least 4ft 2in tall. As long as they can ride a bicycle, they can take part. Two sessions are normally held per day and teach kids basic riding techniques, progressing onto a more challenging course with a variety of obstacles to tackle.
What’s included: All safety gear is provided, along with bikes, fuel and third party insurance cover.
Cost: Starts at £90 for one session
Contact: Mark Parker: (07747) 055253 or www.mxtryout.co.uk/ www.wildtracksltd.co.uk
Washbrook Farm Try-Out Days
This well-known motocross track based in Doddington March, Cambs, offers youngsters aged 6-16 years old with no previous riding experience the chance to try out motocross in a safe, supervised environment with ACU coaches. Bikes used are Yamaha PW50s, Honda CRF 50s, Yamaha TTR125s and Honda CRF100s.
Once the basics have been mastered, kids will have the opportunity to try out the oval and junior tracks: the oval is flat and simple to ride, ideal for the smallest riders while the junior track has small berms and jumps to try out. Available Saturdays (and Wednesdays when open) through the year from 11am till 4pm.
What’s included: All safety equipment, bikes, fuel, tuition
Cost: £75 for the day
Contact: 01354 740442 / www.washbrookfarmmx.co.uk/tryout
Chiltern Young Riders Motocross Courses
Chiltern Young Riders is the only motocross school in the country focusing on children from the age of four years old. Based in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, CYR teach on an hour per child basis Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 3pm and each course consists of four, one-hour lessons. CYR have successfully operated every weekend for 21 years and have taught in excess of 13,000 children. Bikes used are Yamaha PW50s for four – six year olds, Jianshe JS80PYs for novice riders of six-plus years and Kawasaki KX60/65s for intermediate riders 6-12 years old. Kids learn to ride on a purpose-designed motocross track with a flavour of a supercross circuit, which includes three different sections for different skill levels.
What’s included: Bikes, all safety gear, fuel, tuition, public liability insurance
Cost: £145 per course
Contact: 01494 728618 / 07957 200471 or www.cyr.org.uk
Newham Docklands Motorcycle Project
The NDMP in East London is a registered charity originally set up to provide training and recreational activity to disadvantaged children in Newham. Their off-road riding experience offers youth training from six – 17 years old on their purpose-built supercross training track, from one-to-one tuition up to groups of six. There are two sessions on Saturdays, running from 9.30am to 12.30pm and from 1pm till 4pm. The track is about half a kilometre long and has a few jumps and tabletops. Training is delivered by ACU qualified coaches.
What’s included: Bikes, safety gear, fuel, tuition
Cost: Varies, please call
Contact: 020 7473 4434 or www.ndmp.org.uk (click the motocross training sessions tab under facilities)