Almost every kid loves bike riding as it is not only a lot of fun but it also brings forth fresh air. Most importantly it provides kids the opportunity to explore the world further on than their front lawn on those two wheels. Ask any adult about their favorite pastime in their childhood, 99% would say “bike riding”. Every kid who is fond of bike riding shares a unique bond with their bikes.
The bike riding skill may seem as easy as walking but in reality, it is not the case. Several necessary steps are required to learn this lifelong skill. In this blog, we have gathered most of the information to guide you through the method of teaching your kid how to ride a bike. The process described in this blog outline one general approach but keep in mind that every child is different so as their learning speeds.
When a kid learns to ride a bike, that is the most memorable and major transition moment of their lives. That feeling of accomplishment and independence boosts a kid’s self-confidence which is extraordinary.
5 Things to Know When Teaching Your Kid How to Ride a Bike
1. General Rules:
First, take notes on some universal tips on teaching your kid how to ride a bike.
a. Strengthen your kid’s confidence by showing supportive and encouraging behaviour towards their effort. No matter how little, consider at least that they are trying.
b. You must stay calm and patient throughout the process. As the kids start they will not be pedaling right away, but don’t worry they will get there sooner or later. Keep your nerves calm and continue practicing.
c. Make sure you take frequent breaks during the practice sessions. Keep track of your energy level. Pay attention to the signs of exhaustion and stop to rest.
d. It is very important for you to keep in mind that every kid is different, and they learn at a different pace. Therefore, not one method would work in the same way for all the kids. Try out various strategies and adopt the best suited to your kid.
c. Above all, Keep it fun.
2. Learn When Your Kid Is Ready to Ride a Bike
Generally, kids learn to ride a bike between 3½ and 4½ years of age. However, there is no such thing as the perfect time or age range for bike riding. It solely depends on the physical and mental development of the kid.
The control, coordination and comfort levels also play a key role in determining whether the kid is ready to ride or bike or not. Suppose the child does not have enough strength to pedal then you should probably wait until they are bigger. You can also introduce balance bikes to such kids until they are stronger.
The most significant factor is the will of the child, and you must evaluate this in the beginning. If they are showing no interest in the sports then never try to force them. Best time to start is when they express some sort of willingness to ride a bike.
3. Choose the perfectly fitted bike for your kid:
Essentially you should find a bike that fits your child perfectly. Mostly the kids are found to be learning on the bikes that are too big for them. Usually, parents think that the kid “will grow into” the bigger size. It is rather dangerous because it will be difficult for them to handle and control.
Check for the following points when you are getting a bike for your kid.
a. Your kid should be able to put the balls of their feet on the ground when seated on the saddle.
b. Ensure when they are standing over the top tube that their feet are able to be planted on the ground.
c. Measure the distance of handlebars from the bike seat. The kid should be able to reach the handlebars without any strain or leaning too forward.
d. If the bike has hand brakes then make sure they are easily reachable and squeezable for the kid.
If you need any help in choosing the correct bike for your kid then visit us at Fosters Sports Centre. Our experienced staff will be happy to help you find the perfect bike for your little one.
5. Choose the area wisely where to give the bike riding lessons:
a. Always try to find a quiet spot without any traffic. An empty parking lot would be an ideal place to choose.
b. If you do not have access to such a place, select an area that is large, flat and smooth. Such as an empty tennis or basketball court or a school blacktop.
c. Never pick narrow trails or short driveways as they will make the kid’s worry about going off the pavement.
d. Although grassy areas seem very appealing, they are tougher to ride on. Because kids would not get sufficient pace to glide and coast.
Avoid These Points
Here are a few things to avoid when you’re teaching your kid how to ride a bike:
1. Don’t choose streets to teach:
The last thing you would want your kid is uncomfortable while sitting on the saddle for the first time. Never opt for streets where you start the biking lessons unless you live in an empty cul-de-sac.
2. Never go for training wheels:
Using training wheels for teaching your kid how to ride a bike is the old-school method. This is less effective than the gliding method because it does not teach the balance necessary to ride. Moreover, training wheels require a greater leap of faith to remove.
3. Do not start your kid on an ill-fitted bike:
No one would want to introduce a kid to the bike that is too large and scary to mount and dismount. Always pay attention to the proper fit of the bike from the start.
4. Never try to hold on to the bike and push/run alongside:
This is not a good approach as this act tends to wobble the bike. Also, it will counteract the balancing technique that your kid should be learning. Despite this ineffective tactic let the kids build their momentum by their own pedal strokes.
5. Never pressurize the kids to go too fast or far, too soon:
Allow the kids to practice at their own pace. Never push them to ride longer than their capability. This may cause them to stress out and exhaust to the level where they do not want to ride anymore.
Bike riding is indeed a fun pastime, but more than that it the best way for kids to stay healthy. As we know, that bike riding affects overall fitness by increasing muscle strength, body balance, and burning up calories. Bike riding is a family sport and it can be enjoyed together.
It is clear that kids of all abilities, sizes, shapes have the capability of riding a bike. However, we understand that one can also get irritated easily when the kids do not show progress as desired. In this case, we suggest you stay calm and patient. Convert this learning phase to something fun and silly, this will also help the new rider by taking some pressure off them.
If you think that you can not hold your emotions anymore then it is wise that finish the class as soon as possible. You can always save the day by ending it with nice ice cream.