How to Teach Your Child to Ride a Bicycle

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Knowledge is not bricks, it does not burden. All the more so when you don’t even think about when to start teaching a child, what to take into account when preparing a child’s bike , or choosing a route. And it touches – every little thing has weight.

Interesting article: Running bike or bicycle: 6 facts about each type of child transport

At what age is it better to teach a child to ride a bike?

First of all, do not rush. From 3 to 8 years old is the optimal time to master the skill of riding a two-wheeled bike.

Specialists of the American edition of Accident Analysis & Prevention conducted a study. And they found out that kids who were taught to ride a bike at 3-5 years old were more likely to get injured than those who learned to ride at 6-7 years old.

Which bike to start with?

If you want to help your child curb the iron horse as early as possible, you should start with four options to choose from.

  • Great or children’s wheelchairs, which have large inflated wheels, because this type of wheels will soften the bumps on the road, and also easily ride on sand and snow.
  • Models with three wheels (for pedaling training).
  • Runbike – It has no pedals. There is no need to twist anything, so it will be easier for the child to maintain balance and balance while rolling.
  • Two-wheeled bicycle with safety net. On such transport, the child will feel confident, and a pair of wheels, for safety reasons, will not be allowed to fall. In addition, the insurance can be lifted or removed at any time so that the baby can train independently to maintain balance.

In the table, we have listed the strengths and weaknesses of each of the modes of transport, based on user feedback.

Transport pros Minuses
Great with wide wheels Easy to ride even over bumps and holes No
Tricycle Develops pedaling skill Balance is not exercised when riding
Two-wheel with safety wheels Additional wheels can be lifted for balance training It is difficult for a kid to wean himself from additional wheels and drive confidently without them
Runbike Trains balance well There is no way to learn to pedal

Cognitive article: How to adjust a kid’s bike: 4 steps

Preparing the bike

Before training, it is better to double-check the transport for safety reasons. The mechanism is well thought out so that it can be adjusted to the individual parameters of the driver. Check:

  1. Handlebar Height
    This should be set so that the child’s body is at a 90 degree angle to the bike. This will prevent unnecessary stress on the child’s lower back, back and arms. To change the height of the steering wheel, loosen the steering bolt, set the desired position and tighten the mount.
  2. Saddle height
    It should be such that when pedaling the child’s legs are fully extended at the knees. Otherwise, pedaling will be heavy, creating unnecessary stress. You can adjust the position of the saddle according to a scheme similar to adjusting the steering wheel: loosened, adjusted, twisted.
  3. Serviceability of the brakes
    To do this, raise the front wheel of the bicycle from the floor, spin it at speed and press the brake lever. Ideally, the wheel should come to a stop as soon as you begin to grip the handle. If it stops only when the handle touches the steering wheel, pull the brake cable. To do this, unscrew the fixing screw in the place where the cable is attached to the brake lever. Next, use the pliers to set the optimal tension of the cable (so that when you press the brake lever, the wheel stops immediately) and tighten the screw again.
  4. Tires, or rather, the pressure in them
    If you don’t have a pressure gauge at hand, you can put your child on a bicycle and see how much the tire sags under its weight. If less than 1 cm – you can go, and not – then you need to inflate the tires.

Preparing your bike correctly will avoid unnecessary stress on your back, knees and arms.

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Insurance and safety

To protect a young cyclist from injury during training, protective equipment is indispensable. Three components must be in children’s equipment.

  • Bike helmet

Its function is to soften the blow to the head when falling. The helmet is taken in accordance with the size of the child’s head and the strength of its fixation is individually adjusted with the help of a strap.

  • Protection for knees and elbows

Such devices can reduce the risk of injury if a novice rider falls. The products should be such that the child in them can easily bend the knees and arms at the elbows. Protection should not hinder movement.

  • Reflectors that can be attached to the bike and to your child’s clothing

With them, the young driver will be seen at dusk, in rain and fog.

It is also important to teach the child the basics of road safety: keep the same speed, look around carefully, keep to the right of the road. It is best if you teach riding on special bike paths. Most often they have markings and the child will get used to driving only in the lane allotted to him. Also on such tracks there is a high-quality asphalt surface, smooth turns.

Useful info: How to choose a children’s bike

Seat selection

Many outdoor sports stadiums have bike paths that make it easier for a beginner to learn. If there are no stadiums nearby, they choose a place where there are no cars, for example, a park, a square or a path on a playground.

It’s great if the track is smooth, so that the bumps and holes do not interfere with the movement of the young driver. It is desirable that the road is not just straight, but with turns. Then the student can try to turn.

Learning to keep balance

So, how to teach a child to keep balance on a bicycle. If the child is not familiar with the balance bike, we recommend that you first ride without pedals. To do this, sit the child on a seat, ask him to take the wheel and push off the ground with his legs. When the student begins to do this confidently, invite him to lift his legs from the ground while moving and ride a meter or two this way.

The trick is that it is easier for the child to balance without focusing on the pedals. In addition, if he begins to fall to either side, he will be able to rest on his foot, which will give confidence in his abilities and reduce the fear of falling. Having ridden in this way for an hour, you can try to connect the pedals to the process.

Learn to pedal

In order for the little driver to learn to ride, they adhere to the beaten path.

  1. Explain to the child that in order for the bike to budge, you need to pedal. Let the driver sit on the seat as he is comfortable and try to spin.
  2. The straight leg should reach the bottom pedal.
  3. Press on the pedal not with the toe, but with the central part of the foot. Make sure that the child does not feel uncomfortable.
  4. The second leg must be placed on the pedal in the upper position and pressed down. When she drops down, make a rotation with the other leg.

A parent teaching a young rider should always be there to support the bike. You need to train until the student gets used to it and can find the desired pedal by touch.

Learning to slow down

Braking is just as important as pedaling and balancing. Experienced cyclists use both front and rear brakes at the same time. A child who has just learned to ride a bike is unlikely to be able to master this skill, but it is important to convey to him the main points of safe braking.

In order for the child to work out the process of inhibition to automatism, two exercises are regularly performed.

  1. Draw a finish line on the track where the child is riding. It will symbolize the point in front of which the bike should be stopped and, taking your foot off the pedal, lean on the ground. Increase the speed little by little so that your student learns to brake, moving both slowly and quickly.
  2. Work on the speed of your child’s reaction. Let him ride his bike calmly at a comfortable pace, but agree that when you say the word “Stop!”, The young cyclist should immediately brake and touch the ground with his feet. At the command “Let’s go!” the child immediately starts to move.

Exercise in this way regularly and be sure to pay due attention to the development of the little driver’s reaction. In the future, the skill of quick response will come in handy on the road.

Do not force the kid to exercise when he has no desire, mood. It is more interesting to study in a playful way, so as not to discourage the exercise on a bike.

Improving the skill

Practice is one of the most important elements of learning. So let the kid ride more often. A great option is when parents also participate in cycling. After all, the example of their adults is the best for a young driver.

Captivate your child by driving in difficult conditions: on a bumpy road, bypassing holes, driving along narrow paths. Train the skill of braking and quick reaction to road conditions. Then in the future, letting your child go on a bike ride alone or with friends, you will be sure of his safety on the road.

Now you know how to teach a child to ride a bike. Perhaps he will not succeed right away – let it be! Not holy pots are made, so sooner or later everything will happen. Most importantly, be patient and persistent. And then there will be one more cyclist in your family. It’s just a matter of time.

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