My 12 year old nephew is your basic overachiever, both academically and athletically. He is a very competitive swimmer with a shelf full of trophies. He gets all A's in school and I think had the highest STAR test scores at his school. He has more common sense that the majority of adults I know and would not do anything stupid or dangerous if he thought it was stupid or dangerous.
He also does not know how to ride a bike.
Not that he isn't capable. I'm sure that given a bike and an afternoon, he could learn on his own no problem and be dusting many of us withing a few months. It's just that he never had any interest. All his life he's lived on a court that opens onto a busy street and never really had anyplace to ride to if he did know how to ride a bike. The elementary school he went to was totally un-bikeable (don't get me started on that). He's very practical, and since biking never had any utilitarian purpose, he never had any desire to do it.
He's also quite a smartass when he wants to be. Recently, we were talking about bikes and I described the sport of track racing. That piqued his interest. I said if he knew how to ride a bike, I'd take him to Hellyer park to one of their training workshop "newbie" sessions which they have on Saturdays. Then he gets the idea that he should go there in order to for him to learn how to ride a bike. We both thought that was pretty funny - that a person could actually learn to ride a bike at a velodrome. It's similar to the idea I had once of teaching my wife to drive a stick shift in the course of test driving a car with a manual transmission.
So the thought of doing this is now the one thing that might motivate him to actually start riding a bike. His mom likes the idea because I think she's paranoid him riding on the street.
Is this a super crazy idea? If you gave the kid a bike and a few laps, I'm sure he'd be riding just fine. At that point, would he be any less of a road hazard than someone who has been riding for years but never been to a velodrome or ridden a fixed gear?