Remove Pedals When Teaching Kids to Ride a Bike

The traditional method of teaching kids to ride a bike is to wait until they have mastered the art of locomotion with learning wheels, and then suddenly let go of that sense of security while mom takes a camcorder and videotapes the important moment. It worked for most of us – maybe our knees were flayed and our parental trust shattered, but we learned.

I was surprised to learn a few years ago that training in cycling has changed. One way to learn to ride a two-wheeled bike comfortably before they start rolling is to skip the training wheels and start without pedaling. Ben Sherratt, an instructor working with the British cycling organization Sustrans , demonstrates inthis video a non-intimidating step-by-step approach to teaching kids to ride a bike. He tells me that the great method is that “99.9% get it very quickly,” and children can start very early. “If they are stable on their feet while running and can climb stairs without assistance (like pedaling), then they should be ready,” he says.

Take a wrench, find a place where there is no movement, and try it yourself. Don’t forget the helmet!

Here are Sherratt’s steps:

Remove the pedals and lower the seat.

Remove the pedals and lower the seat so that the child can place both feet on the ground. (Alternatively, toddlers as young as 18 months old can start with a balance bike, although Sherrat says these bikes may not last as long as parents hope because kids often want to get on real bikes quickly.) show her how to use the brakes.

Move forward with giant steps and kangaroo jump

When the rider is ready, encourage her to move forward on the bike, taking giant strides (Sherratt shouts “Fi-fi-fo-fum!” So ​​the child can imagine himself as a giant). After she learns to do this, have her do the “kangaroo jump,” which is essentially a big, smooth slide.

Insert one pedal back

“Left or right, it doesn’t matter,” Sherratt says. After switching on, ask your child to get on the bike. Stand behind her, hold her back, and swing a little with the brakes on to make sure she is safe.

Practice “Single Pedal Scooter”

Have your child put one foot on the pedal and lean forward with the other. Keep reminding her to look straight ahead and not at her feet.

Turn on the other pedal again

It’s time to ride.

First, ask your child to sit on the bike with both feet on the pedals. Start by grabbing your child’s back and forearm and tell her to look straight ahead and pedal. Continue to hold onto the child as you walk forward, and then slowly loosen your grip. Say stop after about 10 feet.

Approach two : Grasp the child’s back and forearm and let her pedal for a count of three. Release slowly and step back as she drives to exaggerate the distance traveled. Say stop after about 20 feet. Be in awe of how far she has come.

Approach three: This time, only hold on to the handle of the bike and the child’s clothes to make her feel more independent. On the count of three, release her and let her ride as much as she wishes.

Finally, after reassuring your child, take a step back and possibly hide the fact that you are crying a little. We know. Look at her.

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