Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Acworth, GA

    Teaching a Kid to Ride a Bike

    I have been woefully negligent, and have not yet taught my 6 year-old how to ride a bike without training wheels.

    Any suggestions on how best to do this whilst minimizing angst and/or pain?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    There's a bike precursor, called something like the "balancing bike," more popular in Europe. It's like a bike w/o pedals, and the kid uses his feet - fred flinstone style - to propel himself. They learn how to balance and steer, without having to worry about pedaling first. Supposedly, it's much easier to move from that to a real bike, than to go from training wheels to no training wheels. YMMV.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Shammrog View Post
    I have been woefully negligent, and have not yet taught my 6 year-old how to ride a bike without training wheels.

    Any suggestions on how best to do this whilst minimizing angst and/or pain?
    I turned my sons loose with training wheels and let them go. In about three days, the trainers were off and they were on their way. The same thing happened with my grandson. He was riding solo at 4 years.

    Give you 6 year old a loose reign. Let her be comfortable with the trainers - and she probably will find her balance quickly. Then you can remove the extra wheels and let her go. Scrapes heal and confidence soars.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Both of my kids can ride bikes, and I don't remember having to do too much "teaching" to get rid of the training wheels.

    I think all we did was remove the wheels, put one hand on the bike seat and ran next to them. IIRC (dangerous assumption, sometimes!), they picked it up pretty quickly. Maybe inside of an hour? I just don't remember it being a hassle. (My kids are 17 and 19, so this was a long time ago!)

    I think the key is whether the child thinks he/she is ready and can do it. Is your child asking you to take them off? If so, he/she will learn quickly. Children are amazingly capable when they think they can do something. The corollary is that they are completely incapable of something if they think they can't. If your child is apprehensive, you might spare yourself and your child some agony until they are convinced they want to learn to ride without training wheels.

  5. #5
    I'm of no help in this discussion. I've actually never learned how to ride a bike. 21 years old and still clueless as to how to do it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    I would start by teaching her to ride a unicycle. Once she can do that, the transition to a bike is pretty easy. Plus, no guilt in waiting until 6 to teach here the unicycle -- actually ahead of the curve there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilAlumna View Post
    There's a bike precursor, called something like the "balancing bike," more popular in Europe. It's like a bike w/o pedals, and the kid uses his feet - fred flinstone style - to propel himself. They learn how to balance and steer, without having to worry about pedaling first. Supposedly, it's much easier to move from that to a real bike, than to go from training wheels to no training wheels. YMMV.
    My granddaughter learned on one of those things--at three years old. She is now 3.5 and riding a "real" bike. Just received a video of her this morning showing her riding down the sidewalk in Fort Collins.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ohioguy2 View Post
    My granddaughter learned on one of those things--at three years old. She is now 3.5 and riding a "real" bike. Just received a video of her this morning showing her riding down the sidewalk in Fort Collins.
    Cycling magazine did an article a number of years ago about teaching kids to ride a bike. From what I remember, the Fred Flintstone idea was the first thing they stated. Drop the seat low enough so the kid can reach the ground. Find a gentle hill so they can get some speed and then let them go. The hill gets them to speed without pedaling (which can upset the delicate balance) and the lowered seat allows them to stop by simply putting their feet down.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hotlanta
    I progressively raised the training wheels.
    The only thing worse than getting older is the alternative.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by hughgs View Post
    Cycling magazine did an article a number of years ago about teaching kids to ride a bike. From what I remember, the Fred Flintstone idea was the first thing they stated. Drop the seat low enough so the kid can reach the ground. Find a gentle hill so they can get some speed and then let them go. The hill gets them to speed without pedaling (which can upset the delicate balance) and the lowered seat allows them to stop by simply putting their feet down.
    Now that I think about it (it was a LONG time ago), this describes pretty perfectly how I learned to ride.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Annandale, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by Shammrog View Post
    I have been woefully negligent, and have not yet taught my 6 year-old how to ride a bike without training wheels.

    Any suggestions on how best to do this whilst minimizing angst and/or pain?
    With my son we kind of stumbled upon the solution. Most training wheelss are somewhat "adjustable" by either bending, losening or moving them up a bit. So just gradually adjust the trainers so that the child is rocking back and forth between riding on the right trainer with the main (middle) wheel and the left trainer with the main wheel. They will feel themselves momentarily on just the middle wheel. The moments will get longer and longer. Our son had one summer on training wheels (age 4) and at the start of the second (age 5) he was free of them.
    The Gordog

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