Effects of a Cycle Training Course on Children's Cycling Skills and Levels of Cycling to School

The primary aim of the present study was to evaluate the short- and longer-term effects of a cycle training on children's cycling skills. A second aim of the study was to examine the effects of a cycle training, with and without parental involvement, on levels of cycling to school and on parental attitudes towards cycling.

  • Three participating schools were randomly assigned to the “intervention” (25 children), the “intervention plus parent” (34 children) or “control” condition (35 children). A cycle training (4 sessions of 45 min.) took place only in the intervention schools. Parents in the “intervention plus parent” condition were asked to assist their child in completing weekly homework tasks. Children's cycling skills were assessed, using a practical cycling test. All participating children also received a short parental questionnaire on cycling behavior and parental attitudes towards cycling. Assessments took place at baseline, within one week after the last session and at 5-months follow-up. Repeated Measure analyses were conducted to evaluate the effects of the cycle training
  • Children's total cycling skill score increased significantly more from pre to post and from pre to 5-months follow-up in the intervention group than in the control group. On walking with the bicycle (F = 1.6), cycling in a straight line (F = 2.6), cycling a slalom (F = 1.9), cycling over obstacles (F = 2.1), cycling on a sloping surface (F = 1.7) and dismounting the bicycle (F = 2.0), the cycle training had no effect. For all other cycling skills, significant improvements were observed on short- and longer-term. No significant intervention effects were found on children's cycling to school levels (F = 1.9) and parental attitudes towards cycling.
  • The cycle training course was effective in improving children's cycling skills and the improvements were maintained five months later. However, the cycle training course was not effective in increasing children's cycling to school levels.

Fabian Ducheyne, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Matthieu Lenoir,  Greet Cardon,. (2014). Effects of a cycle training course on children's cycling skills and levels of cycling to school.Accident  Analysis & Prevention, 4 Feb 2014(4 Feb 2014 (online)). 

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