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 Post subject: teaching kids to ride
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 10:11 am 
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my daughter, 5 and a bit, is struggling with riding without stabalisers. All her friends are managing it.

We started off with a balance bike couple of years back which she loved and managed quite easily.

Didn't migrate straight to a bike without stabalisers (despite this being the idea of balance bike) as even the smallest seem designed so that if saddle is low enough for legs to touch floor when on saddle then very cramped for peddling and at top of pedal stroke the knee is still higher than hip. Obviously not a problem if put seat up, making peddling easier, (she does have quite short legs for age/height) but doesn't yet have balance skill while peddling.

She loves riding with stabalisers on but does not try to really balance and gets frustrated can't keep up with friends. If take stabalizers off she tends to lean heavily on the support of parent rather defeating the object. She is cautious that means often she won't go fast enough to make easier, she is quite thoughtful about accidents (there is some history that won't go into, nothing too serious just makes her think).

At the moment I have taken the stabalisers off as she seemed to be losing the balancing bit with them on, and for the moment taken the pedals off as well so she uses a bit like a balance bike so she gets use to bigger bike than before with balance and steering.

Sure lots of people on here have taught their kids to ride, so any tips gratefully received.


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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 12:34 pm 
Special Retro Guru
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Location: busy forgetting how to edge flip on a 11x11 monster cube///...
i would suggest take the stabalisers off...throw them away.have them sit on the bike and balance the bike by holding the seat .dont let them lean on you.it makes them sit upright and helps rid them of leaning to high up.hold the bike steady and get them to put their feet on the pedals.get them to stay like it untill they steady them selves .after a while push the bike slowly forwards getting them to pedal at the same time.slowly speed up over a few days and after a while they wont need the help.this works on all the kids ive taught as a cycling teacher including one spud who went from not able to ride at all to riding by erself all the way round the playground several times all by herself in just one lesson.


gibbleking...retired cycling profficiency teacher and rider of bikes with 3 wheels... :D


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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:33 pm
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Location: Highlands
gibbleking wrote:
gibbleking...retired cycling profficiency teacher and rider of bikes with 3 wheels... :D


You have to wonder if it's wise to take advice on teaching balance from a man who needs three wheels :)

Sounded like good advice to me though, and is pretty much how my son learned. Stabilisers are pointless things... try and find somewhere that has a very gentle downwards slope and few obstructions to start with so that she can get the feel of balancing the moving bike without the interruption of pedalling.


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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 2:19 pm 
Karma Queen / Cake Meisterin
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My eldest son when he first started riding had stabilisers and we soon noticed that he was only really using them to set off not while riding, so we ditched them and by holding the seat and letting him set of he grew in confidence quickly and it was just a case of getting him to start off, which with all my children is the hardest part, actually starting from a standing position without support, and that was just a case of trial and error, once mastered, well it's just like riding a bike, you never forget.

Alison


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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 6:12 pm 
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Location: Camden, London
thanks guys, ditching the stabalisers is where we'd got to, good to know that sounds like right decision

I think the challenge is from the non ideal frame sizing when v small legs and her naturally cautious approach with tendency to lean when we are holding the bike giving rise to conflict as support is removed, think we need to persevere but does sound like we are going in right direction.

as an aside, I remember doing my cycle proficiency back in 1970s, do they still do this ?


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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 6:36 pm 
Karma Queen / Cake Meisterin
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Yes my youngest daughter has just done hers, last week, although when my oldest daughter did hers 2 years ago I found her cycling home on the wrong side of the road, it was only a lane going to the house, but after a week of training you'd think she'd know. When my son did it, some years ago now, he arrived with a road bike and the instructor said you can't use that, it's wheels are too thin you'll fall off :roll: he did use it in the end, what a pillock she was.

Alison


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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 10:26 pm 
retrobike rider
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Location: Super Sussex by the Sea
My tips would include trying to encourage the kiddy to look where they are going not at the front wheel (this applies to adults too!), made easier by there being something in the distance to look at, and doing it on a slight downhill to aid legs and centrifugal force...

*Not as many kids taught as Gibble but a few none the less :D


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:09 am 
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My daughter rode round on stabilisers for ages until I assisted her to get off them. She had the right positioning anyway and never overly relied on one stabiliser and got it fairly quickly after that and absolutely loves riding her bike these days at 8. She overtook a load of kids at the St Annes triathlon last week.

Image

Went about it the other way with the boy and got him a balance bike when he was 2 and got him going on that when he was cognisant. He had about 3 months razzing everywhere on it. Got him a Ridgeback MX14 and gave it him without stabilisers and he just got on and rode it down Blackpool front. Was fantastic and he was still 2 at the time. He is on a 20" mini BMX at the moment and is tearing the streets up.

Image

So in my experience I would, if doing it again, go down the balance bike route. His was around 50 quid and was a Scooot if I remember rightly. Aluminium and nice and light.


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 8:06 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Location: Rushden......ish
A lot of it i think is confidence.
Took my daughter ages to learn cos she fell off and hurt herself a from then on was convinced she would always keel over.
Took here to the local park which has a gentle slope & she learned on the grass so no probs if she fell off.
She got it in about an hour :)
Taught my son the same way.

I agree with balance bikes though, my nephew was on one from 3 years old for about a year and then went straight onto a proper bike and zoom'd around faster than my 7 year old.


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 9:33 pm 
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Location: Staffordshire
Don't hold the bike, hold the child. That way they start to feel the balance point of the bike rather than you stopping the subtle way the bike moves as she starts to get the hang of the pedals.

What bike is it? I made the mistake of getting a chopper style bike. This put my son too far behind the BB ruining any chance of him riding easily.

One Islabike Benin 20 later and off he went. No problems at all.


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