Learning to ride a bike is a rite of passage for most children but it can end in frustration. So here are some simple steps to help you get started and make it a fun experience for all.
Getting ready to cycle
If your child is wearing a helmet, make sure it’s on properly. It needs to cover their forehead and the straps should be tight, but comfy.
The bike we’re using today has a chain guard, but if your bike doesn’t do make sure that shoelaces are tied up tight so they don’t get caught in the chain. Before we start, it’s important to check the bike. Tires should be pumped up the saddle shouldn’t be wobbly the pedals should turn smoothly and most importantly, the breaks should work.
Getting on and off a bike
Ok, so to get on the bike hold on to the breaks lean it over a bit swing your leg over and you can sit on the saddle. Both their feet should be flat on the ground and both hands should be on the break levers. Get them to squeeze both breaks gently at the same time.
Now you’re ready to start scooting So just let go of the breaks and push down on the ground, and off you go. Push down on the ground with your feet, that’s it! When they want to stop, tell them to squeeze both breaks gently at the same time, and put their feet down only when the bike has stopped. Remind them to look where they’re going and not down at their feet. We need to sit up and look straight ahead.
Learning to balance is instinctive for some children, others may need a bit more practice. Encourage them to steer into the turn, and move with the bike. Now they can scoot with their feet off the ground play few games! Get them to scoot over to a cone and stop as close to it as they can.
Ready to pedal
Once they can balance, it’s time to use the pedals. so teach them to put the breaks on with one foot firmly on the ground, and with the other foot set the pedal at two o’clock – that means in line with the frame. So now you’re ready to start pedalling! Let go of your breaks, get your foot up onto the pedal, in this position and when you’re ready, push off.
Time to let go
Do this a few times until they’re balancing really well and pedalling by themselves. Tell them to keep pedalling and stop when you say. Practice makes perfect try it again and again.
Always stop before your child is tired, bored or hungry. About half an hour is right for young children. Be encouraging, be positive and they’ll really enjoy learning to cycle.