How to choose a children’s bike? How to teach a child to ride a bicycle? Is it necessary to ride a bicycle with a helmet? Why does the little one run? We asked all these questions to the experts of the “Red Pump” school and the creators of children’s bicycles “Lisaped”.

Before the start of the season, we have collected the main questions parents have about children’s bikes. How to choose the coolest one and learn to ride it? What to do if a child refuses to wear a helmet? Why does a baby have a treadmill and why can extra rings be dangerous? We understand all the subtleties together with experts.

At what age can you start skating?

Olga Barabanova: There is no single age, because everyone is different. I guess from my two children. My daughter learned to ride a bike closer to the age of six, she was a very careful child – she didn’t want to get hit or get dirty one more time, and therefore adrenaline and speed did not arouse enthusiasm in her at all. But my son went jogging in one year and two months! He was always very large, physically developed.

Denis Kargaev: Usually, children are ready to start learning the treadmill at the age of two. At this moment, the child already understands a lot, is able to actively move, knows how to steer, and most importantly – he already has the ability to keep balance. And in three years you can already try to ride a bicycle. This is more difficult than driving a treadmill, because the brain has to process the additional task of pedaling.

Of course, there are exceptions: it can be difficult for someone to start riding at the age of four or even five, while someone, on the contrary, matures early and learns to ride a bike before three. My son Vanya tried to ride a treadmill when he was one and a half years old, and he really liked it. He would come to classes at the school where the older kids were learning to skate, but his attention would last for 15 minutes, and then he would switch, run off to play something else, or just watch others skate. And this, by the way, is also a very important stage. vicarious teachingwhen self-confidence comes from watching your peers learn.

A child looks at how other children ride, i.e. someone equal to him in terms of capabilities, and realizes that he too will succeed. This stage of training should not be neglected, it is very motivating.

At the “Red Pump” cycling school, we emphasize that the child feels that learning is really within his abilities. We, and about ourselves, immediately say that we are not athletes, not champions, but ordinary people. Let’s try to be closer to children, not to set any goals and far-reaching plans for them. Our task is for the child to learn to ride a bicycle. safely, confidently and with pleasure. These three factors are equally important. If you cross out even one thing, then the whole meaning of using a bicycle is lost.

Classes at the school “Red Pump”

© “Red Pump”/Dzianis Shchepinov

Why do you need a treadmill?

Olga Barabanova: Begavel is a story for toddlers who are still developing coordination. It is lighter and more compact, and most importantly – helps to learn to maintain balance in motion, So that in the future it is easy to ride a bicycle with pedals immediately without any additional rings. By the way, there are treadmills for adults; I tried riding one at a bike show, it’s a very cool experience when you don’t have to think about the pedals. At the same time, there is a feeling that you are in very good control of the situation: to gain support, you can simply put your feet on the ground.

Why is it important to learn without using extra rings? First, they are very difficult to set up correctly. For some reason, they are always either a little lower or a little higher than they should be. As a result, they only distract the child from the opportunity to feel how it is to keep balance with the help of the body. That is, in fact, such rings prevent you from acquiring the skill of skating. Moreover, they also create an additional danger because they provoke lateral falls. The child feels confident, accelerates, but at high speed the side ring cannot hold the bicycle, and the child does not have the skill to hold it with his body. As a result, he falls to the side.

Even if you are dealing not with a small child, but with a very cautious older child who is afraid to get on a bicycle and immediately take his feet off the ground, then instead of putting additional rings, it is better to unscrew the pedals and temporarily turn the bicycle into a treadmill. And of course, to be safe while riding, you should always wear a helmet!

About protection against falls

Denis Kargaev: A helmet is really important to protect your head. Select it according to size, make sure that it fits correctly, fastens securely. There are children who do not want to wear a helmet. Here we go for a trick: we explain that the helmet improves aerodynamics, that is, it helps the fastest cyclists develop even higher speeds – it’s true, and it’s a strong argument to still wear it! And, of course, it is important that adults, when they also ride a bicycle, do it with a helmet – only by your example can you convey to the child that this rule must be followed at all times.

Apart from a helmet, no protection is needed. Of course, gloves or pads on the elbows and knees will protect against wounds if the child falls. But they create a false sense of invulnerability in some children. As a result, children begin to move and behave as if nothing will happen to them at all from the fall.

After all, riding a bike gives a child an important skill – understanding the limits of their strength. You’re still vulnerable, even if you know how to drive.

It happens that during classes, children specially start to speed up, aim at the walls, make such turns that it is impossible not to fall. Because it is important for them not only to learn to drive, but also to protest: what will happen if I fall? A fall, pain, bruises or scratches provide insight: “I am vulnerable. High speed isn’t very good if I can’t control it.”

The task of a parent or coach is not to wrap the whole child in protection, but to create conditions so that he learns to feel his true physical capabilities.

Tatsiana Galakhava’s video for “Lisapedo”

How to choose the first bike?

Olga Barabanova: The smallest bike in our line – with 14 inch wheels. It weighs 5.3 kilograms and is suitable for children whose height is even slightly less than 90 centimeters. Of course, when choosing the very first bicycle, it is very important to pay attention to its weight and maneuverability. The less weight, the easier it is to learn to ride, and also to carry the bike yourself, to move not only on it, but also with it. Little ones really benefit from feeling like they can control the bike, so lightness is the number one parameter.

How to check if the bike is suitable for height? The child’s legs should touch the ground when he is sitting. At the same time, the position of the back should remain more or less even, without a strong inclination to the steering wheel. The softness of the brakes and the convenience of the handle are also very important.this is necessary both for safety and for self-confidence: a soft brake will give the child the opportunity to control the situation, which means – to relax and drive himself!

By the way, before buying a bike, it’s great to test it in real life. If you’ve inherited a large one or bought a used one, it’s worth paying special attention to the technical inspection. It is also important to do this at the beginning of the season, after winter storage. Check that there is no mechanical damage, that everything is in order with the brake and speed switch – their cables should be taut, not hard, but without sagging. Make sure that in connecting rodsBicycle cranksThe levers that transfer the effort from the pedals to the bottom bracket are some of the most heavily loaded parts on a bicycle. A pair of cranks are mounted on the carriage shaft from opposite sides at an angle of 180° to each other, so that the cyclist can constantly exert pressure on one of them while pedaling. In this case, the legs alternately rest from effort. there is no backlash and also assess the condition of the chain. Pump up the tires if necessary. Don’t be afraid to buy a used bike if it’s a quality brand to begin with. I can vouch for our bikes – they go from the oldest to the youngest in good condition, several children ride them perfectly. And in our service center in Moscow, we offer free maintenance for all “Lisapeds”.

Denis Kargaev: Light weight makes learning to skate much easier. The heavier the bike, the more difficult it is to move, stop, or move it to one side. In addition to the Lisapeds that we train the kids on at our school, I can also recommend the brands Woom and Early Rider – both make great bikes. All three of these brands take the child’s anatomy into account when developing their models, as a result of which it is really easier for a child to ride these bikes right away.

Details on the topic

43% of Russians plan to ride a bike this season

43% of Russians plan to ride a bike this season

How to teach a child to ride?

Denis Kargaev:
Be sure to warm up first to warm up the muscles and joints – this is something that a trainer starts with and something parents often don’t know or forget. Start with the basics. Look at the bike together. Figure out how the steering wheel, pedals, brake are arranged. Show how to drive a bicycle correctly, from which side to get on it. How to hold it or put it on the floor. It’s also a safety technique – knowing how to handle your bike properly so that it stays in good working order.

When a child begins to learn to ride a bicycle, he will ride a bicycle almost immediately, because he will already have the skill of maintaining balance, understanding where his center of gravity is when moving. It is difficult to say that there is some special coaching or parenting technique that will help better than a self-acquired skill. Therefore, if you want to teach your child to ride a bicycle correctly, then start with a treadmill and let him learn by himself.

Classes at the school “Red Pump”

© “Red Pump”/Dzianis Shchepinov

How to prepare a child for cycling around the city?

Denis Kargaev: Unfortunately, large cities in Russia are poorly adapted not only for bicycle trips, but also for moving children and with children in general.

If you sit down and look at the world through the eyes of a 3-4-year-old child, you can see that the city consists mainly of exhaust pipes, dirty wheels and headlights.

This is a huge problem because it forces children into “designated places”: they have to play in playgrounds, where they are led by the hand or taken in a wheelchair. At the same time, the child is actually deprived of the possibility of independent movement around the city, because it is dangerous.

Creating an environment in the city that would allow a child to move safely is a task for experts around the world; there are places where it is arranged better, there are those where everything is still bad. In Holland, for example, children can ride on regular city bike lanes starting at 3.5 years old. Helmets are not compulsory, but the level of child injuries on the roads is very low. I want to believe that in the future this direction of urban improvement will develop.

If the child freely owns a bicycle, it is difficult for an adult on his feet to keep up with him, so the most comfortable option is for everyone to ride their own bicycle at the same speed and with clearly marked rules. These rules must be told to the child in advance and explained that they must be followed for safety. For example, you must get off your bike to cross the road – this is how everyone should act, both adults and children. Still useful agree on short commands. With my son, I use the words “behind me” – which means that we are riding behind each other, he is behind. Before leaving the park, make sure the child has mastered emergency braking and is confident in maneuvering the bikethat he will be able to react quickly if a dog or a person runs out onto the path.

There is also a special lure – a tandem bar for connecting adult and children’s bicycles. This is an excellent device that keeps the child all the sensations of riding, but at the same time fixes his bike behind the adult. In such a coupling, driving in the park or outside the city is really quite safe.

Details on the topic

Where to ride a bike in Moscow? The best routes are advised by experienced cyclists

Where to ride a bike in Moscow? The best routes are advised by experienced cyclists

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