WASHINGTON, May 6, 2016 – Do you remember your first young adventure on a bike and how intimidating it may have appeared to you and perhaps certainly to your parents? Ready set go is not necessarily the most effective way to teach your child to learn how to ride a bike.
Well, here are some helpful tips that you can use to teach your child to ride a bike in less than 30 minutes and have fun doing it as well!
One of the first decisions parents have to make is just how early they want to begin their little tyke on the undertaking of riding a bike without training wheels. Of course safety of the young cyclist is of primary importance for mom and dad, but there are other considerations which are equally important as well.
While age may be an issue, the confidence level and maturity of the child is also important. For instance, for many young children, there may be some degree of peer pressure involved both from family members and from some of the neighborhood kids who are seen whizzing around the area on their bikes.
Your child may be motivated to join the kids but also feel a bit of insecurity about his or her ability to actually get on the bike and be part of the excitement.
This is where parents will have to determine for themselves as well as for their child if riding without training wheels or if starting out riding a bike without training wheels is what is best. One way to handle this dilemma is to begin communicating with the soon-to-be cyclist about what to expect and explain how the safety of the child is going to be protected at all times.
Next, develop a timetable for the launch and make certain that you go through a short list of the type of riding gear that will keep the child safe, such as the riding helmet, knee pads and elbow pads. Then point out the safety features on the bike that will be used as necessary measures that will also insure their safety. This initial communication is an excellent way to marginalize unnecessary fear and reinforce their confidence.
Ok let’s get started.
- For safety sake, that first bike should have simple foot brakes and your child’s feet should be able to touch the ground when standing. This is crucial for the child so that when they have to stop they can maintain their balance.
- Choose a location that has grass near the sidewalk. Avoid an area that has pavement on all sides. Falling off the bike is going to happen, but there is no need to increase the occurrence of skinned knees, elbows or fingers. Also remember to tie your child’s shoelaces in order to prevent them getting entangled in the bike’s wheel spokes.
- While your child is on the bike, go through the safety check. Keep it fun as well as simple. It might be a great idea for you to also wear knee pads, elbow pads and a bike helmet to show that you are child’s partner in this new undertaking too.
- Select a short straight level path instead of choosing a small hill for your child to ride down. The level bike path will allow your child to make steer more easily.
- Now you are ready to launch. Begin by having your child perform short scoots, then progressively longer and longer scoots. The first several attempts should be conducted with both parent and child. The child is the pilot and you are the co-pilot. For your child’s comfort and confidence, you can help control the steering by running alongside your child. Eventually, you will be holding less, and running alongside when necessary. Don’t forget to cheer your child as they ride. That is a wonderful confidence booster.
- Practice increasing the length of the riding as well as the turns, as the child demonstrates more comfort, ease and confidence.
- Dealing with the turns may seem a little nerve wrecking for parents but begin in brief stages. Have the child learn to make big wider turns. When they are more practiced then they can begin to make tighter turns that they will use when they arrive at a corner and need to make a turn.
Ok, you are now probably at the 20 plus minute mark and your child is well on the way to embarking on that great big unknown with a lot more confidence. In ten or eleven years your young rider will be ready for the car keys.
But that is another lesson. Enjoy and take your new biker out for lunch.
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