Teaching them to ride

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  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    barney69 wrote:
    BAN stabilisers REPLACE with balance bikes

    Proud daddy

    Now there's a t-shirt just BEGGING to be printed!
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • baudman wrote:
    barney69 wrote:
    BAN stabilisers REPLACE with balance bikes

    Proud daddy

    Now there's a t-shirt just BEGGING to be printed!

    I'll drink to that!
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
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    https://twitter.com/ChiaraPasserini/sta ... 33/photo/1
    (Chiara is a certain former TdF winner and Road World Chamipion's wife, in case you didn't realise) ;)
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,507
    Well now, in the end I taught one kiddiewink myself using the 'roll down a hill' method, but the other proved more stubborn so we took her to Haddenham Cycle Training!!

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • My first 2 children learnt the old-fashioned way - stabilisers then a run and a push (at he ages of 4 and 6)

    By the time I had my 3rd child balance bikes were just starting to become popular. He got a balance bike for his 2nd birthday but he was 2.5 before he was really big enough. He was riding without stabilisers at 2 yrs 11 months.

    4th child got a balance bike for Christmas when he was 13 months! I did my research and got the smallest I could find - a Puky LRM. Even then I knew it would be too big for a while. He was 19 months by the time he could reach the floor and he was off!

    He learnt to ride a pedal bike (no stabilisers of course!) at 22 MONTHS! He learnt to pedal really quickly because it was a fixed wheel bike.

    On Sunday he had his 2nd birthday and we got him a Specialized Hotrock. One very happy bike mad boy.

    A couple of days later and he is already trying to stand up to pedal and standing bump down kerbs!
  • Go to a park at the top of a hill made with grass.. then push them down... that's what my mum did and I learned how to cycle there and then lol
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    Another (US) video of the pedals-off-drop-the-saddle method http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADkm4qkXAj8
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • mrbubbamanmrbubbaman Posts: 165
    Wow I wish I'd seen this thread 2 years ago! I'm trying to teach my 5 year old to ride, but made the mistake of putting stabilisers on his bike when he was 3. Now I've taken them off, he just freaks out when I try and get him to ride.
    I'm definitely removing the pedals this week and getting him to scoot around.
    Will also look at getting a balance bike for his 2 year old brother, as if he's giving it a go, the older one will want to do it too.
    I'd eBay the best place fur balance bikes? I've never seen them before
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    Plenty of bike shops now stock them - some toy stores and chain stores too. Online shops too, and eBay.
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/wiggle-kids-tou ... ont-brake/ (not necessarily recommending that one - just as an example)

    With the 5yo, ensure the saddle is dropped so that he can have his feet flat on the ground. That is the key, as it aids in rapid building of confidence. (Unfortunately, some bikes won't allow for this due to the frame geometry).
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    What we already know.
    http://www.bikeradar.com/beginners/news ... tes-37033/
    (Although, I hadn't thought about putting one pedal on).
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • mrbubbamanmrbubbaman Posts: 165
    Big thumbs up to this thread, today after a few weeks of scooting around without his pedals, I convinced my 5 year old to try again and on the first push off from me, he was away and pedaling!
    He loves it and spent the rest of the afternoon showing off to anyone who would watch him, including his 2 year old brother, who I'm pretty sure is almost ready for pedals too, but we only have one bike at the moment :D

    I'm going to treat him and buy him a new bike (his one was a hand me down from my sister's boy), just need to work out what sort of bike.
  • fnegronifnegroni Posts: 794
    For those who might have doubts about the method, and insist that training wheels are just fine.
    I am currently teaching a boy with a condition which affects his balance and learning abilities.
    Most kids in his condition never learn to ride a bike, and this particular kid never really got the hang of riding a tricycle either.
    With this method, in two hours, we are now at a stage where he can balance in a straight line with a little push from behind to help his scooting.
    It might take him another three to four hours but i reckon he will be one of the few who will learn to ride.
    Method is of the essence.
  • HappyhikerHappyhiker Posts: 11
    My 5 year old is proving difficult to teach. He's had stabilisers, but I've taken them off now. He's okay going straight, and balancing, but very wobbly on corners and can't stop. I've lowered the seat all the way but really he can only touch the floor with his toes. It's the right height for pedalling, but not learning. Any suggestions, I can't lower the bike more. I think he gets scared when he stops because he ends up falling over ( usually in An over dramatic, motorbike crash way). We got his sister going in a couple of hours, but so far we've spent 2 weekends and not getting very far. Makes my back hurt! Any help?
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    Happyhiker wrote:
    I've lowered the seat all the way but really he can only touch the floor with his toes. It's the right height for pedalling, but not learning. Any suggestions...

    Unfortunately, I can think of only two. Either borrow a smaller bike - even a balance bike/runbike. The key? A bike where the saddle can go lower. Or the other option is wait.

    For that 'runbike' method to work, in my experience, the saddle needs to be low enough for them to put both feet flat on the ground when in the saddle. It's really as much a confidence-building exercise as it is a balance-learning one... and they need those feet solid to get that. So he's part of the way there... but because he can't quite reach, it's taking time.

    Alas, many bikes are made with stabilizers in mind, so their geometry does not allow saddles to go that low.

    You can (within reason) let some air out of the tyres - that may give you another half-inch or so... Otherwise, patience. The 'one pedal' method mentioned earlier could be beneficial - it's not something I've tried.

    The good news, is when it does click, I reckon he'll be going gangbusters. And, who knows, that could happen on the next try. He has to do things that are counterintuitive to him. Leaning the bike to make it corner is not something he's had to do, because he's had stabilizers. When really, that's 90% of cornering. So, it will take some time to 'unlearn' what he has learned.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • HappyhikerHappyhiker Posts: 11
    Thanks air out of tyres is worth trying. We're going to take him to a big park at the weekend, so he doesn't need to stop.
    To be fair he did really well tonight, four times round the close without crashing, stopping by leaping off on to the cross bar. There was a stationary bag of sand that kept leaping out in front of him, in a totally stationary way, that he ran in to twice, but other than that he's definately getting there! Big open field should seal the deal I hope.
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    Don't go overboard with the tyres. And it will make it slower, so an area in the park with a light slope may be the thing to counter that. Slower moving bikes take more balance skills.

    Good luck. Have fun.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • cavembrcavembr Posts: 3
    Go to a park at the top of a hill made with grass.. then push them down... that's what my mum did and I learned how to cycle there and then lol
    That's how I learned balancing and pedaling. It's fun, too.
  • raldatraldat Posts: 242
    barney69 wrote:

    BAN stabilisers REPLACE with balance bikes

    Proud daddy

    Totally agree. Got my boy on a balance bike at 2 then onto a 12 inch pedal bike at 3. Took him a total of 20 min to get going and was competent after 2 weeks having worked out how to use the coaster brake efficiently. A month on and he rides 1km to and from kindergarten each day. Helps that we live in a quite village with little traffic and he is under close supervision of course.

    I am so proud of him, but I think a huge amount of credit goes to the balance bike. They are standard practice over here in Denmark where I live so we just followed and it worked.
  • Mike HealeyMike Healey Posts: 1,023
    I came up with an additional wrinkle on Saturday. A girl who I could see could now ride, didn't have enough confidence to keep going after her mum or I stopped giving her a slight hand (light pressure on the back to get her started).

    I told her that I would help her but tell her that I was going to take my hand off her back for, first, a count of 1, then a count of 2, then,,etc. She got up to a count of 11 within a minute and then was away. Knwong that she wasn't being left entirely alone clearly helped.

    Tactic now added to my list of things which should be done when parents we've trained to teach kids to ride take on this task. Unfortunately, we had 5 newbies that morning so had to keep an intermittent eye on them all (parents and kids) rather than doing the usual skills coaching.

    Result: 3 of the five now a source of terror to their parents, 1 on the verge and one still in the process (but only just 3 yrs old).
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
  • EelsEels Posts: 11
    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)
  • macbikesmacbikes Posts: 58
    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!
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Mike HealeyMike Healey Posts: 1,023
    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.
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    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.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    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.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • 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!
    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.
  • 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.
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