Teaching them to ride

Want to get your kids on two wheels? Got any general 'family biking' questions? Chat here
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Eels
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Eels » Sun Jun 23, 2013 21:26 pm

Just wanted to add that a really great technique for moving from balance bike to pedal bike is to loop a long scarf under their arms, across their chest, and hold both ends up behind them. This way they feel supported but can exert the balance skills they've learned already.

I found that by holding any part of the bike I was interfering with the child's own balance. Suspending their body weight a little via the scarf allows them to focus on the pedalling and is easy to gradually withdraw as their confidence grows (2 x 10min sessions in our case)

macbikes
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby macbikes » Mon Jun 24, 2013 16:00 pm

I used a Littlelife Backpack http://www.littlelife.co.uk/products/da ... -aqua.html to do the same job as the scarf.


I still use the backpack to have something to grab!

Hannah_K
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Hannah_K » Thu Sep 26, 2013 15:02 pm

To be honest as long as you're there helping them they will remember and soon get the hang of it. I know my parents didn't bother teaching me how to ride a bike i had to teach myself so they will learn one way or another but just being there will create a wonderful memory which is worth more.

John_Carter
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby John_Carter » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:19 am

Hello People,
My son is almost 3 and had a balance bike for a while now (easy rider- highly recommended and VERY cool).
He has wonderful balance and flies on it everywhere.

I want to move him to a proper bike so I gave him his older sister's old bike a 16" Ridgeback in good condition (but pink...). I lowered everything as much as I could and he just barely reaches the ground (his a tall almost-3) - and of course no stabilisers.

When I push him he's got amazing balance which now comes naturally, but he can't really pedal, I tried to teach him a few times but so far without much success... I don't want to add stabilisers but I can't see how to otherwise teach him to pedal... any ideas are welcome...

macbikes
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby macbikes » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:18 pm

My son learnt to pedal on an old trike at toddler group and also it really helped that his first pedal bike was an old one with a fixed wheel so the spinning of the cranks helped him to pedal.

slickmouse
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby slickmouse » Tue Oct 01, 2013 14:58 pm

John_Carter wrote:Hello People,
My son is almost 3 and had a balance bike for a while now (easy rider- highly recommended and VERY cool).
He has wonderful balance and flies on it everywhere.

I want to move him to a proper bike so I gave him his older sister's old bike a 16" Ridgeback in good condition (but pink...). I lowered everything as much as I could and he just barely reaches the ground (his a tall almost-3) - and of course no stabilisers.

When I push him he's got amazing balance which now comes naturally, but he can't really pedal, I tried to teach him a few times but so far without much success... I don't want to add stabilisers but I can't see how to otherwise teach him to pedal... any ideas are welcome...


when ive lowed kids bikes to their lowest point, ive noticed that its very difficult to pedal, as they are now to high in relation to the seat

perhaps a bike that fits him a bit better is the way to go

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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Mike Healey » Tue Oct 01, 2013 20:56 pm

John_Carter wrote:Hello People,
My son is almost 3 and had a balance bike for a while now (easy rider- highly recommended and VERY cool).
He has wonderful balance and flies on it everywhere.
I want to move him to a proper bike so I gave him his older sister's old bike a 16" Ridgeback in good condition (but pink...). I lowered everything as much as I could and he just barely reaches the ground (his a tall almost-3) - and of course no stabilisers.
When I push him he's got amazing balance which now comes naturally, but he can't really pedal, I tried to teach him a few times but so far without much success... I don't want to add stabilisers but I can't see how to otherwise teach him to pedal... any ideas are welcome...

I suspect that the bike size may have something to do with it. I may be that a 16" is not just a bit high for him, but also too long. If he's stretching to reach the bars this may also effect his confidence as the position will be rather unnatural. If you know anyone with a 14" bike like an Islabike CNOC14 which is aimed at 3+ year olds you might try him with that. alternatively any 12/14 inch "pavement bike will do to get him stated.

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Daz555
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Daz555 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 21:11 pm

John_Carter wrote:Hello People,
My son is almost 3 and had a balance bike for a while now (easy rider- highly recommended and VERY cool).
He has wonderful balance and flies on it everywhere.

I want to move him to a proper bike so I gave him his older sister's old bike a 16" Ridgeback in good condition (but pink...). I lowered everything as much as I could and he just barely reaches the ground (his a tall almost-3) - and of course no stabilisers.

When I push him he's got amazing balance which now comes naturally, but he can't really pedal, I tried to teach him a few times but so far without much success... I don't want to add stabilisers but I can't see how to otherwise teach him to pedal... any ideas are welcome...

He may simply not yet have the coordination to pedal. No rush. It will come.
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baudman
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby baudman » Thu Oct 03, 2013 04:54 am

I'm a +1 for a quick ride or three on a trike. There's almost always a friend or someone who has one. Just to get the motion right.

WIth the innate balance from the balance bike, it hopefully won't take long.
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flywheel88
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Re:

Postby flywheel88 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 04:34 am

Thanks for posting this! I have a dyspraxic daughter and have had the hardest time teaching her to ride. I was wrapping a scarf or towel around her to try and get her to keep her balance and it has not worked!

Mike Healey wrote:
fnegroni wrote:Keep the 12 inch bikes.
Take stabilisers off, take that bar you mention off, take pedals off, *if you can* take cranks off too.
Lower the saddle to the lowest comfortable position, so their feet are flat to the floor or just slightly higher.
Then tell them to *scoot*: use their legs to propel forward.
Do not at any time *help* them balance: the sweet spot when balancing is a matter of micro adjustments that they must learn instinctively: your interference will only compromise their progress.
If they fall, it's no big deal: make sure there is plenty of room. Maybe a soft ground would be better.
In a couple of hours they'll most likely get the hang of it and will learn to balance themselves.
Practice makes perfect but, if they have already learnt to pedal, they'll be very keen so don't keep them at that stage for ever. As soon as they can balance lifting their legs while coasting down a gentle slope for a long stretch, put pedals back on and be prepared to be amazed. :-)


+1 We teach about 50 kids a year using this method including (in last year, some with problems like autism, spergers and dyspraxia. Never failed yet.

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kitten2010
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby kitten2010 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:54 pm

My oldest daughter coulcnd ride a bike and didnt really seem intereted until about 5/6. My youngest though is encouraged by seeing her sister on hers and can already ride adn shes only 3. The main thing we try and do to encurage them to lean toride proparly is to make it a family thing and we all go out together.

flywheel88
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Re: Re:

Postby flywheel88 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:50 pm

flywheel88 wrote:Thanks for posting this! I have a dyspraxic daughter and have had the hardest time teaching her to ride. I was wrapping a scarf or towel around her to try and get her to keep her balance and it has not worked!

Mike Healey wrote:
fnegroni wrote:Keep the 12 inch bikes.
Take stabilisers off, take that bar you mention off, take pedals off, *if you can* take cranks off too.
Lower the saddle to the lowest comfortable position, so their feet are flat to the floor or just slightly higher.
Then tell them to *scoot*: use their legs to propel forward.
Do not at any time *help* them balance: the sweet spot when balancing is a matter of micro adjustments that they must learn instinctively: your interference will only compromise their progress.
If they fall, it's no big deal: make sure there is plenty of room. Maybe a soft ground would be better.
In a couple of hours they'll most likely get the hang of it and will learn to balance themselves.
Practice makes perfect but, if they have already learnt to pedal, they'll be very keen so don't keep them at that stage for ever. As soon as they can balance lifting their legs while coasting down a gentle slope for a long stretch, put pedals back on and be prepared to be amazed. :-)


+1 We teach about 50 kids a year using this method including (in last year, some with problems like autism, spergers and dyspraxia. Never failed yet.

Just wanted to report back that by Christmas my daughter was riding her new bike with pedals and her mum and I have had a hard time keeping up with her. She looks forward to our weekly bike tours.

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Sirius631
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Sirius631 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 16:01 pm

John_Carter wrote:Hello People,
My son is almost 3 and had a balance bike for a while now (easy rider- highly recommended and VERY cool).
He has wonderful balance and flies on it everywhere.

I want to move him to a proper bike so I gave him his older sister's old bike a 16" Ridgeback in good condition (but pink...). I lowered everything as much as I could and he just barely reaches the ground (his a tall almost-3) - and of course no stabilisers.

When I push him he's got amazing balance which now comes naturally, but he can't really pedal, I tried to teach him a few times but so far without much success... I don't want to add stabilisers but I can't see how to otherwise teach him to pedal... any ideas are welcome...


Try to find something that actually fits him.
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baudman
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby baudman » Mon Feb 24, 2014 23:01 pm

Struggling with your child to move up from a [cough] "baby bike"?

Let Pepper Pig provide a bit of not-so-subtle encouragement.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oee5H4SGlV0
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MtbDiyShed
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby MtbDiyShed » Tue Jun 17, 2014 09:03 am

SecretSam wrote:So - any tips? our two (twins) are 4 and a half, and have bikes (12" wheels, need something bigger really) and we're trying to teach them to ride without stabilisers. We have 'handles' for the bikes that enable us to hold them upright while they practice, but wanted to know if anyone has some top tips on how to get them up and running.

Thanks in advance.


Just to add. You seem to be more organised than me. With stabalisers or without my 5 and 8 year old girls are still struggling. I'm desperate for them to get the hang of it. Would like to get some top tips as well please.

Thanks

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baudman
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby baudman » Mon Jul 14, 2014 07:08 am

MtbDiyShed wrote:. With stabalisers or without my 5 and 8 year old girls are still struggling. I'm desperate for them to get the hang of it. Would like to get some top tips as well please.


The pedals-off, balance bike method. I even use that with adults (although, I generally use a folding bike and flip the pedals, but I also remove pedals from their own bike if they prefer).

They can then slowly learn balance. Choose a good venue - grassy field with trim grass but a slight slope is perfect - they need to be able to roll, but it not get away from them - and a softer landing should that happen.

Also, they are going to have to want to do it - otherwise it's VERY difficult - peer group pressure (as mentioned above) can help.
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jomoj
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby jomoj » Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:20 pm

My daughter (7) was a slow learner cyclist, not very confident physically (apart from dancing) and was really hard to persuade to even try a bike. We tried balance bike from about 4 - didn't like the wobble, tried stabilisers - too awkward. Instead we got her a scooter and waited until she was confident on that, balancing, cornering etc and then gambled on a Frog bike for 7th birthday, hoping the combination of shiny bike, lightweight and proper fit would do it

Took the pedals off, and found a gentle slope that she could freewheel down and did a few sessions on that until she 'got it' that actually the bike balances itself once you are moving fast enough.

Next step - pedals back on and found a nice flat space so she could practice getting started. I would put my hand on her back for reassurance and to help keep her moving as she started so she could find the pedals. She was a bit all over the place trying to pedal and steer so i would just keep my hand there to reassure her and then that moment when I just let go and shouted "you're riding your bike!"

After that she cracked starting herself after about an hour and now she's flying. My son by contrast is 2 and half and has had a balance bike since 2. He scoots along, lifts his feet up to coast and loves playing on the little ramps in the skate park. I think he'll be on a pedal bike by 3 and half.

Kids are different, sometimes you have to be patient and pick the timing, some just aren't ready to do it at an early age. If they aren't ready for a balance bike then i would still avoid stabilisers like the plague and try them on a scooter instead. it still builds balance and riding feel then go back to bike when they are ready

daveb99
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby daveb99 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 14:36 pm

Hoping for some advice to help my 6 year old daughter. Her 7th birthday is approaching (4 weeks time) and she hasn't really learned how to ride a bike yet. We took her stabilisers off at Center Parcs about 18 months ago, and she pretty much cracked it, but we haven't really had her riding since, partly due to where we live, and she has preferred to take her scooter instead.

Now we would like to surprise her with a new bike for her birthday - I am thinking of the Frog 55. Size wise it seems to be OK, I've measured her up etc, but I was wondering whether to get her on the old bike, which is WAY too small for her now, it has 12" wheels, where the Frog has 20". I would put the seat up to max, and the bars if possible, but of course would just be an exercise of re-familiarisation - but at least it would get her used to riding again.

The alternative is to wait, and get her straight on the new bike, but remove the pedals, following the advice on this thread.

Not sure what would be best - any advice or guidance would be much appreciated!
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matthewpurser
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby matthewpurser » Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:25 pm

Going to buy our kids first bike this weekend this was a blooming good read thanks all! :) #firstpost

mhtmstudio
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby mhtmstudio » Mon Nov 02, 2015 22:11 pm

Hi,
In my opinion, the bes way to teach children riding is.... to give them balance bike when they are around 2 years old. My kids just moved from running bike to the "normal" one when they were 4 years old in 30 sec. Obviously without stabilisers.

Take care;-)


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