Riding a bike is a fun experience. It gets even more fun teaching your kid how to ride one. But the learning process isn’t as easy as it sounds. In fact, there will be many trials and errors before your kid gets the hang of it. This article offers simple tips to make it easy on you and your kid.
1. Shop Smart
Make sure to buy the right bike size. Your child’s feet should be able to touch the ground while in a seating position. Consider a lightweight bike that takes less power to propel.
2. Lower seat and remove training wheels
Balancing is the very first thing your kid needs to master. The good thing is that you don’t need a balance bike to make that happen. After all, buying two separate bikes (balance bike and regular bike) costs you more.
Settle for a regular bike, remove the training wheels, and lower the seat such that the feet rest flat on the ground. Teaching your kid how to ride a bike without training wheels helps remove the fear of falling, which in turn builds confidence.
3. Choose suitable area
Find the perfect spot for the lesson, preferably an open area with plenty of space. Make sure the surface is smooth and relatively flat to provide rolling momentum. A paved playground, empty parking lot, or a well-trimmed field are suitable spots for the purpose.
Soft grass is preferred since it gives a softer landing. However, you tend to lose rolling momentum. Solve the problem by finding a grassy spot with a gentle downward slope.
4. Don’t hold onto the bike
It’s a bit tempting to try and hold onto the bike. However, the act might throw your child off balance. Wedge the rear wheel such that it sits between your feet and calves. You can support your child under the armpit for improved control.
5. Gradually let go
As your kid gains confidence, gradually let go of the bike. But then, you need to be ready to catch them. This is a good time to teach them how to corner and make turns.
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6. Practice pedaling
Once your kid learns how to balance, it’s time to take some pedaling lessons. The pedaling motion is comfortable following the use of training wheels. However, on a balance bike, you’ll need to teach your kid the basics.
7. Starting solo
Your kid is now ready for a solo start. I mean, you need to let them start on their own. Make it easier on them by positioning the pedal into the 2 o’clock position on the side of the stronger foot. Let them push down on the pedal and use the other leg to push on the ground.
8. Teach how to brake
Does everything look right? I yes, then it’s time to give braking lessons. Let your kid walk alongside the bike and then pull on the brake levers. Teach them how to squeeze slowly on the brake levers. Once your kid gets the hang of it, it’s time to saddle and have a few goes while practicing braking.
Teaching your kid how to ride does not have to be that hard, provided you follow the simple tips outlined above. But remember, practice makes perfect. That said, you need to let your kid try again and again. Oh, and do not forget protective gear since it always comes in handy.