Teach your kid to ride the bike

Teach your kid to ride the bike

Alexandra Ruticova

 

We discussed so many the times the benefits of cycling and we already know that it’s a great help for brain, heart, bones and lungs, plus a natural empowerment of the immune system. Your kid should be the first to benefit of all these.

Forget about phones, TV and other time killers and go outside for the first ride. Make it memorable, so she/ he will remember it with happiness and keep cycling as a fun and lovely way to relax.

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1. Start before you start

Buy your child a bike without pedals only to improve the confidence and the pleasure for it. Of course, even if he doesn’t pedal, doesn’t mean he don’t work out, his feet make some effort to ride this incomplete bike.

 

2. Only when is ready

Ok, so first thing is to choose the moment when the child is ready for the two wheels adventure. Most children will be ready to learn between three and a half and four and a half years of age.

If they’re not ready, it’s usually pretty obvious right away and they won’t get the hang of moving the pedals in circles quickly.

3. Choose good

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You should shop smart, buying the right-sized set of wheels—likely 14 or 16 inches. Your child’s feet should touch the ground with straight legs when he’s sitting on the seat. If you can, spend a bit more to get a lighter bike, as they take less leg power to propel, and opt for a model that stops by pedaling backward—kids tend to fiddle with handbrakes and not focus on learning.

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3. Attract him more to cycling

Buy a funny and attractive helmet and knee accessories to be more excited to start wearing them. Your child’s bike helmet should fit tightly and not wobble. There should be only two finger widths of space between your child’s eyebrows and the brim, and the straps should be tightened so you can fit only two fingers between the strap and his chin. Knee and elbow pads are also great accessories for beginners.

 

4. Prepare the bike & start the lesson

For teaching a child to ride a bicycle emphasizes balance first and adds pedaling later. Balance bikes are built for this method, but it's easy to modify a standard child's bike as well.

So, remove the training wheels. Training wheels help kids grow accustomed to sitting on a bike and using their legs to pedal, but they won't help them learn to balance.

 

5. Remove the pedals and lower the seat: This allows kids to sit upright with their legs straight and their feet flat on the ground. The goal is to help them feel more comfortable and steady as they begin learning balance.

 

6. Try some games: Count to 10 and see if your child can coast with feet up for the full 10 seconds. Gradually add more time as the child gains confidence (try singing while the child coasts with the legs off the ground). Do some funny routes to in circles or between some objects to feel more excited by the experience.

 

7. Move on to the pedaling

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Hold the bike seat or rest your hand on the back of your child’s neck to help steady him, then get him to start pedaling. He should look ahead, not at the ground, which will help him steer straight. He’ll get the hang of more precision steering with practice. Run alongside until he’s balanced and moving at a good clip, then let go. If there’s a tumble, offer comfort and encouragement so he’ll get back on and try again.

Learning to ride a bike can take an afternoon, a week or even longer. Calling it a day when your training session has stopped being fun, and trying again the next day or week.

Remember, the child should experience it 100% positive and fun!

 

8. Bring your own bike and once your child can ride fairly easily, get on your bike and have him or her follow you. Take it slow and easy, and make big turns every now and then.

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