About to teach your child to ride a bike? Here are some useful tips and advice…
The sunny days are approaching, your child is growing … and it feels like the right time to get him on his bike. Typically, learning to ride a child’s bicycle follows a number of steps. Here is a small guide for your child to help get him or her pedalling.
One of the most amazing feelings of freedom you can experiance as a child is learning to ride a bicycle. This introduction to cycling often occurs in early childhood, following common steps. Balance bike first or perhaps a trike, then a small wheeled bike with pedals and stabilizer wheels, then fully riding and pedalling on two wheels only
Discovering the balance
From 18 months, a child will be able to learn the bike … or almost. In this first cycle, he can indeed climb on tricycles, often linked to a removable rod that allows parents to push. Around two years old, your child will start to be old enough to pedal on his own and start feeling the sensation of balance. Another option very popular lately: the balance bike. This pedalless bike is a hit with both parents and children because it has the advantage of naturally introducing the smallest to the balance and the maintenance of the handlebars, to roll straight.
Controlling the bike
To familiarize your little one with the bike, you can start by making a small trip with him, in a passenger carrier for example. On the other hand, before getting him on his bike himself, you can start by taking a short walk by walking beside, holding the bike. It will become aware of the space occupied by such a machine, see how to control it to avoid an obstacle or the necessary space to turn around. You can also take the opportunity to show him how to get on and off the bike properly, how to adjust his seat to his height or how to store it when you decide to park.
Start and pedal
Once the basics of balance and apprehension of the bike acquired, it is time to learn to pedal, without making any gaps. The key word to achieve this?The coordination, which is acquired after a little training. The ideal is to settle in a street without passage or a wood with a flat path. Do not rush the child with a crowded environment. Then start by making him understand how the pedal works. On a gentle slope, for example, put your child on the bike (while holding him) and tell him to step on the pedals. Even if it is you who push, he apprehends the movement he will have to do. When he manages to put his feet without looking too much on the ground but rather in front of him, comes the stage of starting. The easiest way to start is to place the bike between your legs, position a pedal at the top and put your foot on it to give the first impulse. After several starts, it’s time to pedal. He must realize that he will have to push harder uphill, for example. For all these steps, you can start by using small wheels if the child is more reassured.
If knowing how to regulate your speed while pedaling is important, knowing how to dose your braking is just as important. Your child must be able to brake quickly in an emergency without being abrupt and risk falling. To achieve this, you must teach him to brake simultaneously with the front and rear brakes, to avoid tipping. The front brakes actuated too suddenly may block the wheel, the rear wheel can then lift and unbalance .. To train, install him a course with small obstacles like studs, in front of which he must stop precisely.
Ride on the bike without support
Now that he is beginning to master every aspect of riding a bike, it’s time to get started. Without small wheels and without you. Depending on his feeling, you can either remove the wheels from his usual bike with which he will feel more confident, or offer him a new bike to motivate him. To adapt according to your child! But most importantly, do not forget the helmet for security.
Holding a Straight Line
Once your little one has started, he will have to manage to go straight without making any gaps. To help him get there, several exercises are possible. For example, you can draw a chalk line on the floor that he must follow. You can then add obstacles while asking your little budding cyclist to go around the right and then following to the left, so that it adapts to different trajectories.
Learning to Turn
Then comes the learning curve. If he masters the straight line, changing direction has another complexity, that of adapting his movement to more or less tight turns. First exercise: the slalom, between different marks. Vary the distances and angles so that the child adapts to different turns. Then you can also ask him to make a course in the form of 8 smaller and smaller, and in both directions.
Teaching Safety Rules
Your little one has all the skills in place now to ride his bike. But even if he has the technique, it is not enough to be safe on the road. We must not neglect security and therefore teach him some basic rules. For example, he must understand that he must warn other vehicles of his direction, extending his arm. And so be able to control driving with one hand on the handlebars, while keeping a straight trajectory. It is a step that will certainly come later, because he will be with you in the early days, but showing him the right gestures is a good reflex. You must also keep a safe distance from other vehicles and drive in single file when you are several.