Everyone knows that the skill of riding a bicycle is acquired once and for all. But how to acquire this skill is a good question. It’s not as difficult as it may seem at first glance, the details are in our step-by-step guide.
When you can put a child on a bicycle
If you want to help your child learn to ride a bike, it is important to remember individual characteristics: some children do not have perfect coordination, they can constantly bump into something and fall. In this case, it is better to either postpone cycling lessons for later, or buy a children’s four-wheeled bicycle, or start with a treadmill (a bicycle without pedals, when riding on which the child simply pushes off the ground with his feet).
Do not focus on peers, even if they are already cutting everything on two-wheeled bicycles. The bike is selected not by age, but by height and physical development: someone is already able to ride by himself at the age of three, while someone else should stay on the treadmill.
The first bicycle for a child: which one to buy
Parents are quite rightly in no hurry to buy a sports bike for a preschooler. He just won’t get along with him. For beginners, there are many options when choosing a bike:
- Bicycle with parent handle;
- Bicycle with additional safety rings.
A treadmill is a great option for children 2-3 years old who are just learning to keep their balance: it is difficult to fall from a treadmill, because the child is constantly standing on the ground with his feet on the ground.
Advantages of jogging:
- low weight;
- low landing;
- minimal management;
- rapid learning.
You can immediately buy a child’s quadricycle or a bicycle with safety rings. So he will be able to learn to turn the pedals and will drive himself, while not risking losing his balance and falling. It is not so easy, and parents will have to help the child the first time. Instead, he will fully master speed, coordination and braking.
How to install safety wheels and when you can remove them
Additional wheels on a full-sized bicycle help maintain stability, so the child is not afraid of falling over.
How to properly install locking wheels:
- do not expose the safety wheels to the level with the rear wheel;
- fasten them 1-1.5 cm above the ground;
- adjust the wheels and raise them from time to time so that the child gradually begins to balance himself.
You can give up the safety wheels when the child grows up or when the parents see that he already feels confident enough on the road.
There are parents who are completely against additional circles, because they are afraid that it will be difficult for the child to give them up later. It’s everyone’s choice: most likely, the child will be as afraid to give up spare wheels as it is to switch to a two-wheeled bicycle from a treadmill.
How to choose a suitable site for your first trip
When you decide to buy your child’s first two-wheeled bike, the first thought is to get out in the yard and try it out as soon as possible. But you should not hurry. First, you should choose a suitable place for this. Parking near the house or a playground is a bad option: there are too many obstacles for a beginner.
The best option is a stadium or a sports field with a rubberized surface. It will be easier for a child to ride on such a surface than on grass or a sidewalk, there will be room to turn around. He will be able to practice turns and calmly experiment. The main thing is that it won’t hurt him to fall off the bike. And falls the first time cannot be avoided.
How to set up a bike properly
The bike should be the size of the child. If it is not a treadmill, then you need to adjust the height of the saddle so that the child can reach the pedals in any position. Many parents make the mistake of lowering the saddle too low. As a result, the child’s knees rise too high and he cannot turn the steering wheel normally.
How to understand that a child can ride a bicycle by himself
While the child feels insecure, it is better to hold him by the armpits. If the parent is holding on to the seat, it can interfere with the child’s balance and speed. This only harms, and it will not work from such a position to reach out to the falling child to help.
You can let go when the child learns balance and gains sufficient speed. As soon as he can drive a few meters without support, you can teach him to start and stop on his own, and for several runs it is better for parents to be close to catch the child in case of something.
How to teach a child to brake
If the child has already learned to drive with your support, he should be taught to brake before he is allowed to drive on his own. It is best to demonstrate how the brake works when the child is not in the saddle. Let him step on the brake and feel how it works. Otherwise, the child may brake hard and fall off the bike. As soon as he gets used to it, you can make a couple of attempts to slow down. The main thing is to always be ready to catch the child, because he can hit the brakes at any moment.
What equipment to buy, besides a bicycle
For cycling, comfortable shoes are important (light sneakers with flexible soles or sneakers are best, but flip-flops, sandals or boots are not the best option) and pants that will not interfere with riding (for example, joggers or leggings). Clothing should be light. Cycling is a serious aerobic exercise, a person sweats and overheats during it.
It is very important to think about protection: a helmet is a must for beginners. Special protective gloves and knee pads will also not be superfluous if the child loves to drive on asphalt paths.
Cover image: Irina Wilhauk / Shutterstock / Fotodom