Teaching them to ride

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  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,266
    well done - I still believe it's much easier (for most) not to do the stabilisers to start with - but there you go ;)
    We didn't have the benefit of peer pressure, so had to use incentives instead... hot chocolate was a favourite, stickers were close - but the final straw was promising him a "GPS just like Daddies" - cost me £20 that promise did ... but he realised he could pedal and didn't need to scoot the whole way... ;)
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,828
    slowbike wrote:
    well done - I still believe it's much easier (for most) not to do the stabilisers to start with - but there you go ;)
    We didn't have the benefit of peer pressure, so had to use incentives instead... hot chocolate was a favourite, stickers were close - but the final straw was promising him a "GPS just like Daddies" - cost me £20 that promise did ... but he realised he could pedal and didn't need to scoot the whole way... ;)

    Oh aye. By the time I got around to getting lWB1 out on a bike of any sort (he loved scooting everywhere on a low level scooter), he was too big for the balance bikes around, and he was more interested in pedalling and kicked of a massive fuss when I took the pedals off to use it as a balance bike, (and the ability to go a lot faster worked very well for us actually getting places , so we just accepted it.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,266
    We're just fortunate to live in a very quiet road and the neighbours have got used to seeing Little Slowbike out on his bike - day/night. We were lucky in getting him interested from before the age of 1 ! Took a couple of years to progress to pedaling though ;)
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,828
    slowbike wrote:
    We're just fortunate to live in a very quiet road and the neighbours have got used to seeing Little Slowbike out on his bike - day/night. We were lucky in getting him interested from before the age of 1 ! Took a couple of years to progress to pedaling though ;)

    My biggest issue with getting mine stabiliser free has been my own time - I generally only manage to get home just in time for bedtime, and then at weekends its' all about other jobs
    The road I live on is generally low traffic (1-2 cars every 10 minutes), but some people really speed on it.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,266
    slowbike wrote:
    We're just fortunate to live in a very quiet road and the neighbours have got used to seeing Little Slowbike out on his bike - day/night. We were lucky in getting him interested from before the age of 1 ! Took a couple of years to progress to pedaling though ;)

    My biggest issue with getting mine stabiliser free has been my own time - I generally only manage to get home just in time for bedtime, and then at weekends its' all about other jobs
    The road I live on is generally low traffic (1-2 cars every 10 minutes), but some people really speed on it.

    yup - time is critical - if anyone can do it and the child doesn't have peers to play with - then I can really advocate getting a kids bike and scooting around with them - using it like a balance bike - we're fortunate enough to have a suitable place just outside - plenty of warning if there are cars approaching. Finding time is tricky, but I'm so glad we did - even if it hasn't made a difference to the type of rider he'll become - we had fun and I'll always remember that.
  • Shirley BassoShirley Basso Posts: 3,132
    Thisll speed them up:

    33704958278_5f6e9fc4a5_z.jpg
  • drhaggisdrhaggis Posts: 756
    This teaching them to ride is not like I was expecting at all! I got a beat up Islabike Cnoc 14 for Tiny Haggis (4 y.o., 42 cm inseam). We then went to a park and, after seeing him a bit confused, removed the pedals so he could compare the feeling of the bike with his Decathlon balance bike. After literally 50 meters of scooting, the pedals went back in, and Tiny Haggis became one of us!

    It was so easy and natural for him, I don't even think he considers it special. Now I only need to train him to start properly, and to avoid breaking with his shoes.
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 3,937
    Our kid is now 6 so been riding for something like two and a half years. He never truly got the bb down. He walked on it rather than scooted.

    So we tried to get him to ride a proper bike a bit early. He knew he wasn't ready so stabilisers until we started with the positives about riding a bike without stabilisers. Talk about summer tour and all the fun things. So we started without the stabilisers and with the pedals. We knew the bb principle never worked with him.

    Anyway early spring he didn't like it. Two weeks later he asked to learn out of the blue. A week later a tarmac slope and he got it within 5 minutes. Day later he was riding along the front near us. That summer he did 15+ miles per day on his bike both solo and attached via a FollowMe Tandem. Year later that on his own with a set of two panniers!

    Started school, did cycling lessons. Spent them doing stunts. Yr 1 he's winning all the cycling races. This year we're planning on joining a local kids cycling group. There really is no stopping them once they decide it's time to learn and then they get the bug. It's freedom. They're the captain of their own vessel!

    Whatever technique you use, go in for it 100% bit listen to your kid. They know it's time better than you. You do have to bring them with you on this journey or you might not get a cyclist out of the process.

    Sorry for the ramblings of a proud dad of a cyclist!
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,266
    We went on a bit of a ride yesterday - with an afternoon tea shop stop ... (what else!) - saw a couple with bags on their bikes - asked them if they'd come far - or going far - they were down from London on their way to portsmouth, then off to Spain for a 2 week ride ... sparked Little Slowbikes interest and we may be off for a cycle tour this summer ... :)
    Oh - and having watched me pre-set his gears - he's now stopping to change his gears before setting off again (doesn't matter that it's deraillieur gears - we'll worry about changing on the move when he's a bit older!)
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 3,937
    Yes, gears are something to teach. Our son is kind of resisting changing his. He spins wildly in lowest gear then we convince him to change to a higher gear. Then we find he's not changed down again at the hill, he's powering up the hill in 8th gear!

    This summer the goal is to teach him to use his gears better. He can change on the go and does respond to suggestions but he needs to do it for himself. These things come though.
  • Hi!
    What was the first bike you bought for your child? I have a son of 1.5 years and he is already showing interest in children on bicycles in a children's playground near our house. What can you advise for this age? And can he ride a bike or wait up to three years?
  • drhaggisdrhaggis Posts: 756
    It depends on how tall he is. At 18 months, he may be able to "scoot" on a small balance bike. The smallest pedal bikes have 14" wheels, and a proportional inside leg length requirement. I've seen very few kids under 3 cycling properly (w/o stabilisers), but it's doable.

    Following my experience with my youngest, my cousin, and based on what others here say, I would avoid stabilisers at all. These only teach kids how to pedal forward... and bad balancing habits. Go balance bike, and once he can advance on a slight downhill slope without his feet, he's physically ready for a bike (but wait until he's mentally ready!).
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,266
    Our son started on a wooden trike (present from a friend) - he still uses this over 3 years later ... he was very interested in bikes from an early age (hardly surprising given the number of bikes in the house) - as he was small (although tall for his age) we bought him a Puky balance bike - he'd seen one on holiday and was transfixed by it ...
    Saddle height is 30cm+ so as long as his inside leg measurement is 30cm or more then he'll fit it - but they do grow very quickly so don't worry if he's not quite there yet. Our son still rides it - despite now being on a 20" bike ...

    We didn't do a pedal bike until he was 2 1/2 - then we got him an Islabike Cnoc14 small as it was the one with the lowest standover height.
  • matt_n-2matt_n-2 Posts: 581
    Hi!
    What was the first bike you bought for your child? I have a son of 1.5 years and he is already showing interest in children on bicycles in a children's playground near our house. What can you advise for this age? And can he ride a bike or wait up to three years?

    My lad started on a Specialized Hotwalk (12” wheel) aged around 2 and then transitioned to a Frog 43 at just over 3, straight on it pedalling away.

    There are some small balance bikes out there, take a look at the Frog Tadpole Mini, 10” wheel and suits an inside leg of just 21cm.

    Micro do a couple of different ones that are quite small too.

    Or go with something like the Chillafish Bunzi which starts as a trike and can be turned into a balance bike.

    Really depends how tall they are.
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  • What is the best way to teach them to use pedals?

    My daughter was riding by 3 1/2 & my aim is to get my son riding by 3. He'll be 2 1/2 this month & last weekend I bought a little 12" pedal bike off eBay for £9 with the view to put it away until he is ready.

    Out of curiosity I thought that I would put him on it just to see where he will need work. He has great balance, when I give him a push & let him go.

    The only problem is that he is currently pedaling forwards half a rotation & then back pedaling, then forwards half a rotation, then backwards half a rotation etc, rather than forwards for a full rotation.

    I'm picking him up a pedal trike on the way home tonight (Hopefully he's big enough to use it as he's a bit of a short 20p for the swearbox :) ) thinking that should be a good way for him to learn in isolation and not have to concern himself with balance.

    I was just wondering how everyone else has taught their children to use the pedals correctly?
  • Do you think it has any kind of effect it is lighter? Going from a light bicycle to driving pedals round on a heavier bicycle?
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,266
    What is the best way to teach them to use pedals?
    I don't think there is a "best way" just alternative methods that work differently on different little people!

    Our son had his first pedal bike at 2 1/2 - wanted to ride it, but didn't know how to pedal / didn't have the co-ordination to turn the pedals - plus it was a different geometry to his balance bike. So we tackled it two ways.
    1) we removed the pedals so he could ride it as a balance bike independently.
    2) we towed him on the follow-me tandem with the pedals on - often putting them on mid ride - and encouraged the pedaling action.
    It took a couple of months for him to get it - he had a lot of self-doubt that we had to encourage him through - videos of him riding helped enormously ...

    The two bits I would advocate are
    a) get down and ride at their level so they have someone to ride with
    b) make it about more than just riding a bike, so make it games or riding to somewhere for a purpose (usually a treat).

    I rode a 20" bike with our son from the very start - he had no peers to ride with, it meant I could play bumping up and down curbs, across drains and stopping for the trains whilst scooting or pedaling - all on his level. When we went further it was usually to go somewhere for a hot chocolate or sweets - even if we had the hot choc in a flask... He's 4 now and can ride >5 miles solo including off-road, on the 20" bike that I used and is starting to tackle some gradients.
  • drhaggisdrhaggis Posts: 756
    slowbike wrote:
    b) make it about more than just riding a bike, so make it games or riding to somewhere for a purpose (usually a treat).

    This, This, and a thousand times This. Something fun that makes it not about the bike worked great with my youngest too. Even our eldest, who'll turn 8 soon, is happy going along, but is not into riding the bike for its sake.
  • drhaggis wrote:
    slowbike wrote:
    b) make it about more than just riding a bike, so make it games or riding to somewhere for a purpose (usually a treat).

    This, This, and a thousand times This. Something fun that makes it not about the bike worked great with my youngest too. Even our eldest, who'll turn 8 soon, is happy going along, but is not into riding the bike for its sake.

    Thanks both for taking the time to offer advice, apologies for the slow reply.

    I can confirm that he quickly learn't how to pedal the trike, but this did not transfer onto the bike like I hoped that it would. Trying to keep it fun for him & just trying him again every 7-10 days to keep it all fun & new, the good news is that he definitely wants to learn :D

    Had a bit of a brake through last night where he was actually turning the pedals all the way round (but then we had to go in for dinner :roll: ), so fingers crossed it will all click into place soon.
  • MugenSiMugenSi Posts: 571
    I taught both mine to ride at the age of 3 with a balance bike but they also had a 12" bike with stabilisers so as to teach them pedalling skills. Once they were confident scooting about on the balance bike without putting their feet down, I removed the stabilisers and got them to try the bike. They both mastered it immediately (like within 2 minutes) I think balance bikes are the way forward and they appear to get confident on them very quickly.
  • Yeah I was considering the stabiliser route just to get him to grasp how to pedal properly, I still might (I don't think that my back can take much more bending down & holding onto him :lol: ). He's been on a balance bike for over a year, so he's got balancing down, plus he will still be using his balance bike, so won't become reliant on stabilisers for balance.

    MugenSi, the user name rings a bell from ITR-DC2 forum???
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