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  1. #1
    parenting for gnarness
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    Does anyone have any suggestions for weaining a little girl off training wheels?

    My 3.5 yr old knows how to climb, descend, steer, brake, suffer and be terrified of cars. How to make the next step? Watching her ride from behind she looks like a pretzel humping the Leaning Tower of Pisa - she is ready, but 661 does not make armor so small.

    suggestions appreciated. thank you.
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  2. #2
    slower than you
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    My 3.5 yr old knows how to climb, descend, steer, brake, suffer and be terrified of cars. How to make the next step? Watching her ride from behind she looks like a pretzel humping the Leaning Tower of Pisa - she is ready, but 661 does not make armor so small.

    suggestions appreciated. thank you.
    my 4 year old went from kick-bike (specialized hot walk, in our case) straight to pedaling on her own... spent about a year on the kick bike... then, when we got a new pedal bike for her on her birthday, i took the pedals off the new pedal-bike for a bit and let her kick it around like she did the hot walk... a bit later, popped on the peds and away she went... pretty sure you can accomplish the same net effect by taking off the training wheels and the peds from any bike, let her kick it around, get the balance points figured out, and then see if she can get the hang of the same basic thing with the peds.
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  3. #3
    Calmer than you are.
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    I spent an afternoon with my son running up and down the street holding the back of the saddle, gradually letting him pedal and steer on his own power. He thought I was still holding the saddle when he took off on his own. It's got me thinking about what a really cool day that was, seeing him progress. Good luck and have fun, just let her learn and gain confidence at her own pace.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    My 3.5 yr old knows how to climb, descend, steer, brake, suffer and be terrified of cars. How to make the next step? Watching her ride from behind she looks like a pretzel humping the Leaning Tower of Pisa - she is ready, but 661 does not make armor so small.

    suggestions appreciated. thank you.
    Well haveing had raised three daughters, --( they are grown and have familys of their own now -----THANK GOD )

    Each one had a very different way of learning , -------my oldest daughter needed very little help with me running beside her while she found her balance ----------It took one weekend of work and she was off and never looked back .

    The other two took way longer , I worked many days over several weeks until my middle child finally got her wings , it was hard for her .

    We worked on the grass of the park that was next to the school by our house , ----there was a slight down hill slope that would add alittle gravity to help momentum , I would run by her and hold her up by the rear seat and let go at times so she could feel the force of momentum with balance and the little corrections needed to mantain it.

    She finally got it and was off and going .

    My youngest girl took forever and I thought she would never get it, --------but with alot of running holding on to her seat and just being paitient and slow with her , ------( and many crashes in the grass )
    she finnanly figured it out .

    And she still rides mountainbikes and races today as a rodie up in Denver .

    It takes sometime paitience alittle crying and alot of work and then all of a sudden you look and the swich goes CLICK and they got it .

    It is a great feeling when you see them get it and they know they can do it

  5. #5
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    When my son was just learning, I adjusted the training wheels a little higher so they weren't touching the ground when the bike was perfectly straight up. This way they still function if need be to keep your girl from laying the bike down, but she'll quickly learn the balance point.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAG410
    When my son was just learning, I adjusted the training wheels a little higher so they weren't touching the ground when the bike was perfectly straight up.
    Sounds good in theory, but adjusting the training wheels upward didn't work for either my son or my daughter. Both of my kids would lean to one side or the other so that they were always on one training wheel or the other.

    After watching this for a while (with both kids), I concluded that the training wheels were worthless. (I still had to learn the lesson twice.) I took the training wheels off and held the kids up from behind, occasionally letting them go for short stretches on their own. The amount of time and distance that they were able to go on their own gradually increased until that ah-ha moment when they got the knack of keeping the bike in balance.

  7. #7
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    I stuck a pole in the back of the frame behind the saddle on my now 4 years olds old 12' bike. I ran behind him and used the pole to keep him balanced. I think they make something that is more permanent. But the pole worked well and eventually I started only lightly holding it and then completely let go and once he realized I wasnt holding anymore he was on his own and riding all over the place!!

    Fun times - now he rides San Gabriel flats with me for a quick 3mile out and back!

  8. #8
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    My daughter turned 3 in June and last Monday I asked her if she wanted to take the training wheels off her bike so she could ride like her big brother. How fast and loud she said yea reminded me of Stone Cold Steve Austin saying 'He\\ yeah!' and was pretty funny. So I ran behind her holding onto the seat and she took off. I continued to run behind her acting like I was holding onto the seat. Then I stopped and watch her take off. It took no longer than 5 minutes. She's a natural athlete. My son refused to have the wheels removed until he 4 and by that time I wanted to go riding with him so I just took them off. I did the same trick and he got it in about 15 minutes.
    Why would I need more than one gear?
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  9. #9
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    try finding a small hill that they can coast down. when they master that it won't be long before they are pedaling.

  10. #10
    parenting for gnarness
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    thanks much everyone for your suggestions. Seems like no one has a perfect solution, but that means I'm on track with everyone else. I tried raising the training wheels but they become useless while she was still relying on them - kinda funny watching her slow speed topple

    I was hoping to do this on something smoother than the street, might try a bball court at one of our parks. Also might hold off til its cooler and she can wear pants and sleeves.

    thanks again for the feedback.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    thanks much everyone for your suggestions. Seems like no one has a perfect solution, but that means I'm on track with everyone else. I tried raising the training wheels but they become useless while she was still relying on them - kinda funny watching her slow speed topple

    I was hoping to do this on something smoother than the street, might try a bball court at one of our parks. Also might hold off til its cooler and she can wear pants and sleeves.

    thanks again for the feedback.
    I also went over to our local park and did the ride on the grass, so a little softer for those first falls. Obviously not as smooth as the pavement/court surface, but a tad safer perhaps! Good luck on the training.

  12. #12
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    Jason, my suggestion would be to no just raise the height of the training wheels, but to randomly move them to different heights. making one side higher than the other, switch it up, etc. she should quickly learn that she cannot rely on them, but they are still there to save her.

    worked for my cousin.
    b

  13. #13
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    Jason, most of all... does she WANT to lose the training wheels? If not, you're setting yourself and her, up for a a lot of drama and it will be a bad experience.

    The way I got my 3 kids to let go of the t.wheels, was to, well, essentially shame them. lol I mean, YOU know, when they are ready and if THEY don't know that yet, then a little "push" will help. I started calling them "baby wheels". No kid wants to be associated with something for a "baby", esp when they HAVE a cute little baby sis at home, like G does. So get her turned OFF of the training wheels, then take her to a flat parking lot, and do the tried and true, age-old method of "holding onto the back of the seat". They get it. And they crash, yeah, but they get so stoked that they were doing it on their own, that they get back up.
    "People do not lack strength; they lack will" (Victor Hugo)

  14. #14
    I am Doctor Remulak
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    I started by removing the training wheels and lowering the seat so my daughter could push herself around and start learning how to balance the bike. From there we went to the park and used a slope to build some momentum and after she started to get the hang of it, we used the slope of the driveway to get started. It wasn't long before she started to pedal down the street on her own.

  15. #15
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    Sometime it just takes little girls awhile. Pwrtrainer just got off the training wheels last week.
    JRA

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    My 3.5 yr old knows how to climb, descend, steer, brake, suffer and be terrified of cars. How to make the next step? Watching her ride from behind she looks like a pretzel humping the Leaning Tower of Pisa - she is ready, but 661 does not make armor so small.

    suggestions appreciated. thank you.
    I think that three and a half is a bit too young.

    Perhaps she would enjoy stoking a trailer-bike for a while.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by eabos
    Sometime it just takes little girls awhile. Pwrtrainer just got off the training wheels last week.
    Sometimes this is so true-------It took alittle bit for my daughters to get the hang of it --( my first born was not to bad )--
    But about seven years ago I got to help my grandson of my first born learn to ride without training wheels, he was just 4 ---and it took only one saturday morning and he was off and rippin it up , I could not believe how quickly he learned .

  18. #18
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    /\ Awesome idea !!!

  19. #19
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    I used the CoyoteKis method... training wheels really are a huge waste of time. They don't teach a kid ANYTHING. I sort of tell the kids tehy really need to get off the training wheels to safely ride.

    One thing that has worked with many of my friends, I bought this little barbie bike from Goodwill for 6 dollars, it has tiny 10" wheels and the kids can really sit flat footed with it, it's very slow so it forces them to torque the pedals. Anyway, once I got this barbie bike instead of the SWEET specialized hot rock that is waay too fast and tall.. my little girl was done in about 1 hour. I noticed that while the grass idea seems safe, it's never the place where it clicks. It always clicks on the pavement. So, I got elbows, knees, and gloves and most of the crashes have been OK. Almost as soon as they learn to ride on the tiny, junky barbie bike, I put em on the hotrock which is lightweight and sweet. The barbie bike has learnt about 6 kids now.

    Aside from the bike, I had a hard case with my son, he was timid. I found that persistence on my part was key. Gentle pressure, rah rah lets go. Took him to the park with a winding concrete walkway in the nice grass, that did the trick for him after a couple weekends of trying. He learned on the hotrock tho, which is a fast bike, which makes it harder to learn for some reason. At least I perceive it that way. When he crashed, he would be done for the day, and perhaps a few weeks.. but then I'd bring it up again. He did it right after he turned 4. and little kate was motivated by our riding, so she got it done with the barbie bike when she was 3. There's no set age of course! I have seen kids at the BMX track who can ride it at 2.5.. no kidding.

  20. #20
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    my oldest was on training wheels for a *long* time until we picked up a kettler bike for my youngest. one morning of paddling around and he
    got it. it's hard in the summer here.. too damn hot, unless you get them up
    early early..

  21. #21
    I'm Lazy, So I Shuttle
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    My son rode training wheels for about 15 min I think then asked me to take them off and was fine. My friend bought this handle thing u can attach to the seat post and u can hold it while they ride to help them learn the balance. It helped his girl out alot and she was ripping alone in about 2 hours. Another was is to buy a trail a bike thing they make real small ones that whay u can attach it to ur bike and help here out also.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash.- Julie Furtado

  22. #22
    Ouch, I am hot!
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    I was hoping to do this on something smoother than the street, might try a bball court at one of our parks. Also might hold off til its cooler and she can wear pants and sleeves.

    thanks again for the feedback.
    Go to the park and use grass. My older daughter crashed on concrete on her first attempt without training wheels. After that, she stopped trying for at least 6 more months.

    If the kid is not really afraid of crashing, they will learn it real fast. I did no work with my younger daughter. Just took off the training wheels at the park on the grass and away she went. Difference between my two girls was night and day. I think it came down to fear of crashing and natural ability.
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  23. #23
    parenting for gnarness
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    Go to the park and use grass. My older daughter crashed on concrete on her first attempt without training wheels. After that, she stopped trying for at least 6 more months.

    If the kid is not really afraid of crashing, they will learn it real fast. I did no work with my younger daughter. Just took off the training wheels at the park on the grass and away she went. Difference between my two girls was night and day. I think it came down to fear of crashing and natural ability.
    i think the right grass is a better idea than anything. first time we tried a doggie\drainage park and the turf was all ankle-biter. it sucked and turned her off like your oldest. Gonna try the park at Las Sendas that is groomed as a soccer field - smooth and low cut. Also the right mood will be key - when she is tired one fall upsets her, the Tour de France has been lost with more dignity. when she is fresh she can bounce off the ground over and over. Definitely I want to wait til she can be in pants.

    again, thanks all for the discussion - its definitely helping me come up with a plan that will be well suited to my girl.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerdave
    I think that three and a half is a bit too young.
    Nah, depends more on the child. My girl just turned 3 in June and learned to ride in 5 minutes w/o training wheels.
    Why would I need more than one gear?
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  25. #25
    Fragile - must be Italian
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    My daughter refused to learn to ride a bike w/o training wheels until she felt confident to do so. Every time I tried to trick her into doing it, she didn't want to. I tried everything to get her to 'want' to ride the bike without the kiddie wheels, but she wouldn't. Eventually I pulled the pedals and training wheels off the bike so she could scoot around and get comfortable with the balance, but at that point she lost interest in the bike altogether.

    But what she *did* want to learn was how to ride a scooter. So I bought her a little Razor scooter and she kicked it all over the house. Initially she was very wobbly on it...but after a few weeks she was comfortable enough to coast on it for a few seconds without putting a foot down...and after a few months she was whizzing around with both feet on the platform and doing fast turns on it.

    After learning to balance on the Razor, it was a 1 minute exercise to get her to ride a bike. The balance/counter-steer of the Razor is no different than a bike. So at my urging, she just sat down on her bike and pedaled away.

    So if your daughter is so-so about the bike, try the scooter. Kids seem to love them. Eventually the skill of the scooter will translate over to the bike.

    Thx...Doug

  26. #26
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    I have five kids I'm pulling through the ranks:

    Kid 1: Had training wheels until I got fed up and pulled them off. Refused to ride for months after, then finally got it and is a great rider now.

    Kid 2: Very cautious. Able to balance, but freaked/stubborn about learning anything more. Any bad experience or the slightest fall was a set back. Did not ride until 5. She started riding after her 2 year younger sister learned it. Amazingly, after the younger sister learned, she was riding a day later. Sibling rivalry can be highly motivating.

    Enjoys it now, but still very cautious.

    Kid 3: natural athlete, and a bit reckless. Rode very young after balance bike. Has had a few wrecks and throttled back a bit since. No problem motivating her at all.

    Kid 4: I finally got a Strider, and he is gliding/balancing since about 2 years old. He has no interest in pedaling since he is almost as fast as the other kids on the Strider. He handles it well even in hills. I'm not worrying about it. He'll pedal whenever.

    Kid 5: TBD

    The fact is, they will ride when they are ready.

    Tips/conclusions I have come to:

    1. Training wheels are a waste. They teach bad habits, and really shouldn't be on any kids bike.
    2. Strider type balance bikes are awesome, fun, and teach bike handling from the youngest age. They are so addicting and fun it is hard to get them off of.
    3. Each kid is different and will ride when they are ready.
    4. Parents worry about all this stuff too much.
    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

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