OT: Anyone have tips on teaching the kids to ride?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    AOK
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    OT: Anyone have tips on teaching the kids to ride?

    Trying to get my jr. singlespeeder weaned off of the training wheels. Took them off today & we had some good progress.

    Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.

    I'm beginning to realize that trying to explain to someone how to balance on a bike is like trying to explain how to breathe.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOK
    Trying to get my jr. singlespeeder weaned off of the training wheels. Took them off today & we had some good progress.

    Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.

    I'm beginning to realize that trying to explain to someone how to balance on a bike is like trying to explain how to breathe.

    Thanks!
    Take the pedals off, lower the seat so they can put both feet flat on the ground while seated and have them "scooter" around that way to learn the balance without having to pedal at the same time.

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon
    Take the pedals off, lower the seat so they can put both feet flat on the ground while seated and have them "scooter" around that way to learn the balance without having to pedal at the same time.
    Yep. that works like a charm. had my little grom riding in 1 afternoon, and riding well in 3...

  5. #5
    Where's Toto?
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    Never thought of that one (pedals off). That makes a lot of sense. My folks ran behind me providing balance while I pedaled. Eventually I sorta figured it out by the end of the day.

    The real kicker was the next day, when this little girl that lived down the street came over and wanted me to go riding with her. No question at that point, I had to ride - my 5 year old manhood was on the line!

  6. #6
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    neither of my kids got on with that method.

    now I've got 2 more, I'll probably try that again though.

    I think they kind of do it when they want to. A slightly sloping grassy downhill at a bike race with lots of kids zipping around on bikes was enough to get Toby to take the training wheels off last summer.

  7. #7
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    I looped a belt under my kid's armpits and then held onto the ends loosely while running next to him as he was pedalling. I could control the tension in the belt depending on how much "help" he needed to stay upright. As his balance improved, I lessened my hold on the belt until I simple let go of one end an pulled it out and let him go.

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    This worked for us

    Get the kid a used scooter--razor, walmart, whatever--and let them scoot around, learning balance on their own. This can start long before the bike action begins.

    On the bike, lower the seat, remove pedals if desired, install small handbrake. You can push them around or find a super gentle slope and let them ride down with one finger on the hand brake. That way they control the speed and pickup the balance.

    If they've learned to use the scooter, you'll probably want to leave the pedals on the bike. They will most likely want to pedal within an hour of getting on the hand-brake bike.

    The only difficulty we had was finding a smallish bmx handbrake to install on the 16" wheel bikes we had for the kids. Our kids never learned to operate a coaster brake, which is no loss. They're both on freewheel, multi gear Fishers these days.

  9. #9
    Shreddin the Cul de Sac
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    Three easy steps...

    1) Lower the seat so kid can put their feet down easily.

    2) Have kid sit on bike, feet on pedals, hands on bars, while you hold under the seat.

    3) While holding the seat, explain to kid that if bike starts to tip left (while slightly tipping bike left), kid must turn bars a little left. If bike starts tipping right (tip bike slightly right), turn bars a little right. May be run along beside and demonstrate a little.

    That's it. Now give the old heave ho down the driveway toward the grass. And again. And again. And again...

    Both my kids dropped their training wheels before their 5th birthday this way.
    Bribery also works well - Kid gets a new bike when they drop the training wheels.

    Quote Originally Posted by AOK
    Trying to get my jr. singlespeeder weaned off of the training wheels. Took them off today & we had some good progress.

    Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.

    I'm beginning to realize that trying to explain to someone how to balance on a bike is like trying to explain how to breathe.

    Thanks!
    keep moving

  10. #10
    pedalphile
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    What worked for me

    I didn't find this out until years later, but here's what my dad did for me:

    He got me a bike with training wheels, which I obviously learned to ride like a tricycle. Over the course of several weeks, he would periodically adjust the training wheels without my knowledge so they were *slightly* off the ground. He'd keep adjusting them up and up, until (though I didn't realize it) I wasn't using them at all. Then when he removed them altogether, and I was good to go.

    Makes me wonder what other tricks he pulled over the years...
    now the world is gone i'm just o n e

  11. #11
    AOK
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    One thing I did do....

    Quote Originally Posted by Burpee
    explain to kid that if bike starts to tip left (while slightly tipping bike left), kid must turn bars a little left. If bike starts tipping right (tip bike slightly right), turn bars a little right.
    I actually did explain things just this way yesterday. Seemed to help a little. Maybe I do know how to explain breathing after all.

    Thanks to all for the good suggestions. I will definitely be trying some of them out over the next few days.

  12. #12
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    psyc hack

    I've noticed that some parents feed a childs emotions when they fall. It's scary for a parent to see there kid fall but try to control your reaction when they do. If you are loosing your mind with concern when you help them up they realise that you ( the protector) are scared they see your fear and it scares them to realise mounting biking scares you. If they obviously aren't hurt joke with them about it, something like take it easy on the ground and try to make them laugh. It can put them at ease if they see how at ease you are.

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