Teach Your Child How To Ride A Bike
There may not be a manual on how to raise children, however when it comes to teaching them how to ride a bike we’ve eliminated the guess work for you. This video takes you from introducing the bike to your child, through teaching them how to shift gears. We suggest introducing one skill at a time, and using each one as a building block for the next. This helps to build their riding confidence overtime and keeps their relationship with their bike a positive one.
Step 1: Getting Comfortable
For the best experience, start with a balance bike or a bike with the wheels removed. First, introduce the bike to your child as a new companion. Allow them time to explore the bike and help guide them if they decide to sit on the saddle. Once they are comfortable on the saddle, move to a flat area and show them how to use their feet to scoot around.
Step 2: Balance
Once they’re comfortable with how a bike rolls move to a small incline with a very gentle grade and a flat roll out. Start towards the bottom of the incline and guide them as they coast down with their feet just barely off the ground. Continue moving further up, until they’re confident about coasting from the top.
Step 3: Steering
Now that they can balance on a bike, it’s time to introduce steering.
To get them used to how a bike leans in a turn set up a slalom course on the gentle hill. Starting them in the middle of the hill, guide them as they steer to the right and left of the objects. As they gain confidence in steering, ask them to move further up the hill. A fun game you can play with your child to build on steering, is to go to a flat area and have them scoot in a circle while trying to make the circle as small as they can.
Step 4: Pedaling
Now that they’re certain in their ability to steer let’s move on to pedaling. Start again towards the bottom of the incline and have them begin by pushing off as if they were scooting. Once they have their balance ask them to put their feet on the pedals and apply gentle pressure for a few pedal strokes then come to a stop with their feet.
Step 5: Braking
There are two different types of brakes for children’s bikes, a coaster brake and a hand brake.
Coaster Brake –
Start by putting something they can see, such as an orange cone, on the roll out of the gentle hill. As they pedal down the incline instruct them to stop by pedaling backwards, without hitting the object. To practice braking, do this exercise at different speeds and with the object at different distances.
Hand Brake –
The idea for this is the same as using a coaster brake. Start by putting an object on the roll out that they can see. As they pedal down the incline, instruct them to stop by gently squeezing the handle without hitting the object.
Step 6: Shifting
The final skill to learn is shifting and we suggest doing it on a flat path.Put the bike in an easy gear and let them ride it for a day or two to get comfortable with the bike. Now, have them shift the gears up and down while pedaling to get use to how the gears move and feel. Discuss with your child how to use the gears in different inclines and speeds
Some older kids can learn in a matter of minutes, but younger children may need to progress over longer periods of time.
With enough practice they’ll feel more confident, independent, and best of all be excited about riding their bike.
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