Teaching them to ride

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barney69
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby barney69 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:08 am

2 years ago my daughter turned 4 and she'd been riding a dora bike with stabilisers and one day she said she'd like to cycle with me. I replied with, not with stabilisers on you cant. So took off the stabilisers ran along behind her holding the seat reiterating she had to keep pedalling and look forward (not down) and then let her go - she got it straight away.
I then did some research (as you/I do) and read about balance bikes.
I bought our 2 year old son a balance bike last year and he loves it. I thought I'd be a bit cheeky and see if he could manage the now passed down Dora bike before his 3rd birthday. Sadly he was nowhere near so I removed the pedals off it and he used it like a balance bike.
Suddenly last week he said he wanted the pedals on (yeah, right another pointless exercise) - I did as i was told and hey presto tried again and he got it - whoop whoop So at 3yrs 1mth he can ride a bike without stabilisers and with a huge amount of confidence.

BAN stabilisers REPLACE with balance bikes

Proud daddy
Tourer: 2010 Dawes Ultra Galaxy
Road: 2011 Trek Madone 4.7
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baudman
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby baudman » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:03 pm

barney69 wrote:BAN stabilisers REPLACE with balance bikes

Proud daddy


Now there's a t-shirt just BEGGING to be printed!
Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike

Balance1st
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Balance1st » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:09 pm

baudman wrote:
barney69 wrote:BAN stabilisers REPLACE with balance bikes

Proud daddy


Now there's a t-shirt just BEGGING to be printed!


I'll drink to that!

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baudman
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby baudman » Mon Oct 22, 2012 09:17 am

Image
https://twitter.com/ChiaraPasserini/sta ... 33/photo/1
(Chiara is a certain former TdF winner and Road World Chamipion's wife, in case you didn't realise) ;)
Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike

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SecretSam
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby SecretSam » Wed Oct 31, 2012 14:30 pm

Well now, in the end I taught one kiddiewink myself using the 'roll down a hill' method, but the other proved more stubborn so we took her to Haddenham Cycle Training!!
--------------------
It's just a hill. Get over it.

macbikes
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby macbikes » Tue Nov 20, 2012 16:29 pm

My first 2 children learnt the old-fashioned way - stabilisers then a run and a push (at he ages of 4 and 6)

By the time I had my 3rd child balance bikes were just starting to become popular. He got a balance bike for his 2nd birthday but he was 2.5 before he was really big enough. He was riding without stabilisers at 2 yrs 11 months.

4th child got a balance bike for Christmas when he was 13 months! I did my research and got the smallest I could find - a Puky LRM. Even then I knew it would be too big for a while. He was 19 months by the time he could reach the floor and he was off!

He learnt to ride a pedal bike (no stabilisers of course!) at 22 MONTHS! He learnt to pedal really quickly because it was a fixed wheel bike.

On Sunday he had his 2nd birthday and we got him a Specialized Hotrock. One very happy bike mad boy.

A couple of days later and he is already trying to stand up to pedal and standing bump down kerbs!

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TheLondonCyclist
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby TheLondonCyclist » Tue Dec 11, 2012 16:54 pm

Go to a park at the top of a hill made with grass.. then push them down... that's what my mum did and I learned how to cycle there and then lol

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baudman
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby baudman » Sun Feb 17, 2013 02:50 am

Another (US) video of the pedals-off-drop-the-saddle method http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADkm4qkXAj8
Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike

mrbubbaman
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby mrbubbaman » Sun Mar 17, 2013 21:50 pm

Wow I wish I'd seen this thread 2 years ago! I'm trying to teach my 5 year old to ride, but made the mistake of putting stabilisers on his bike when he was 3. Now I've taken them off, he just freaks out when I try and get him to ride.
I'm definitely removing the pedals this week and getting him to scoot around.
Will also look at getting a balance bike for his 2 year old brother, as if he's giving it a go, the older one will want to do it too.
I'd eBay the best place fur balance bikes? I've never seen them before

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baudman
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby baudman » Wed Mar 20, 2013 01:07 am

Plenty of bike shops now stock them - some toy stores and chain stores too. Online shops too, and eBay.
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/wiggle-kids-tou ... ont-brake/ (not necessarily recommending that one - just as an example)

With the 5yo, ensure the saddle is dropped so that he can have his feet flat on the ground. That is the key, as it aids in rapid building of confidence. (Unfortunately, some bikes won't allow for this due to the frame geometry).
Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike

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baudman
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby baudman » Tue Apr 23, 2013 01:17 am

What we already know.
http://www.bikeradar.com/beginners/news ... tes-37033/
(Although, I hadn't thought about putting one pedal on).
Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike

mrbubbaman
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby mrbubbaman » Tue May 07, 2013 18:57 pm

Big thumbs up to this thread, today after a few weeks of scooting around without his pedals, I convinced my 5 year old to try again and on the first push off from me, he was away and pedaling!
He loves it and spent the rest of the afternoon showing off to anyone who would watch him, including his 2 year old brother, who I'm pretty sure is almost ready for pedals too, but we only have one bike at the moment :D

I'm going to treat him and buy him a new bike (his one was a hand me down from my sister's boy), just need to work out what sort of bike.

fnegroni
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby fnegroni » Tue May 07, 2013 20:39 pm

For those who might have doubts about the method, and insist that training wheels are just fine.
I am currently teaching a boy with a condition which affects his balance and learning abilities.
Most kids in his condition never learn to ride a bike, and this particular kid never really got the hang of riding a tricycle either.
With this method, in two hours, we are now at a stage where he can balance in a straight line with a little push from behind to help his scooting.
It might take him another three to four hours but i reckon he will be one of the few who will learn to ride.
Method is of the essence.

Happyhiker
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Happyhiker » Wed May 15, 2013 21:16 pm

My 5 year old is proving difficult to teach. He's had stabilisers, but I've taken them off now. He's okay going straight, and balancing, but very wobbly on corners and can't stop. I've lowered the seat all the way but really he can only touch the floor with his toes. It's the right height for pedalling, but not learning. Any suggestions, I can't lower the bike more. I think he gets scared when he stops because he ends up falling over ( usually in An over dramatic, motorbike crash way). We got his sister going in a couple of hours, but so far we've spent 2 weekends and not getting very far. Makes my back hurt! Any help?

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baudman
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby baudman » Thu May 16, 2013 00:27 am

Happyhiker wrote: I've lowered the seat all the way but really he can only touch the floor with his toes. It's the right height for pedalling, but not learning. Any suggestions...


Unfortunately, I can think of only two. Either borrow a smaller bike - even a balance bike/runbike. The key? A bike where the saddle can go lower. Or the other option is wait.

For that 'runbike' method to work, in my experience, the saddle needs to be low enough for them to put both feet flat on the ground when in the saddle. It's really as much a confidence-building exercise as it is a balance-learning one... and they need those feet solid to get that. So he's part of the way there... but because he can't quite reach, it's taking time.

Alas, many bikes are made with stabilizers in mind, so their geometry does not allow saddles to go that low.

You can (within reason) let some air out of the tyres - that may give you another half-inch or so... Otherwise, patience. The 'one pedal' method mentioned earlier could be beneficial - it's not something I've tried.

The good news, is when it does click, I reckon he'll be going gangbusters. And, who knows, that could happen on the next try. He has to do things that are counterintuitive to him. Leaning the bike to make it corner is not something he's had to do, because he's had stabilizers. When really, that's 90% of cornering. So, it will take some time to 'unlearn' what he has learned.
Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike

Happyhiker
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Happyhiker » Thu May 16, 2013 21:03 pm

Thanks air out of tyres is worth trying. We're going to take him to a big park at the weekend, so he doesn't need to stop.
To be fair he did really well tonight, four times round the close without crashing, stopping by leaping off on to the cross bar. There was a stationary bag of sand that kept leaping out in front of him, in a totally stationary way, that he ran in to twice, but other than that he's definitely getting there! Big open field should seal the deal I hope.

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baudman
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby baudman » Fri May 17, 2013 01:47 am

Don't go overboard with the tyres. And it will make it slower, so an area in the park with a light slope may be the thing to counter that. Slower moving bikes take more balance skills.

Good luck. Have fun.
Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike

cavembr
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby cavembr » Wed May 22, 2013 04:06 am

TheLondonCyclist wrote:Go to a park at the top of a hill made with grass.. then push them down... that's what my mum did and I learned how to cycle there and then lol

That's how I learned balancing and pedaling. It's fun, too.

raldat
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby raldat » Thu Jun 06, 2013 04:51 am

barney69 wrote:
BAN stabilisers REPLACE with balance bikes

Proud daddy


Totally agree. Got my boy on a balance bike at 2 then onto a 12 inch pedal bike at 3. Took him a total of 20 min to get going and was competent after 2 weeks having worked out how to use the coaster brake efficiently. A month on and he rides 1km to and from kindergarten each day. Helps that we live in a quite village with little traffic and he is under close supervision of course.

I am so proud of him, but I think a huge amount of credit goes to the balance bike. They are standard practice over here in Denmark where I live so we just followed and it worked.

Mike Healey
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Re: Teaching them to ride

Postby Mike Healey » Mon Jun 10, 2013 15:15 pm

I came up with an additional wrinkle on Saturday. A girl who I could see could now ride, didn't have enough confidence to keep going after her mum or I stopped giving her a slight hand (light pressure on the back to get her started).

I told her that I would help her but tell her that I was going to take my hand off her back for, first, a count of 1, then a count of 2, then,,etc. She got up to a count of 11 within a minute and then was away. Knwong that she wasn't being left entirely alone clearly helped.

Tactic now added to my list of things which should be done when parents we've trained to teach kids to ride take on this task. Unfortunately, we had 5 newbies that morning so had to keep an intermittent eye on them all (parents and kids) rather than doing the usual skills coaching.

Result: 3 of the five now a source of terror to their parents, 1 on the verge and one still in the process (but only just 3 yrs old).


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