How To

June 16, 2012

How to Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike

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Written by: William Scheckel

Some of the best conversations on the Internet happen at Reddit. If you’re not familiar with the site, here’s a prime example of what I mean (and when you’re done with this article, be sure to check out the rest of Reddit).

A Redditor named kjmonty came up with this easy guide for learning how to ride a bike. I edited it slightly. Read the complete story here. I wish I had learned this way, so be sure to read this before you seize the opportunity this sunny weekend.

“A bike with wide handlebars and a fairly upright riding position is best to learn on – for that reason I would recommend a mountain bike rather than a touring bike.

So, first take the pedals off. Adjust the saddle height so that you can easily put both feet flat on the ground. This is the key to the whole thing because you can use your feet to stay upright until you get the hang of steering and balance. Find a nice long very gentle slope. Just enough slope that the bike will roll very easily, but not run away with you. Test the brakes, get the feel of them. Waggle the bars around, rock back and forth, just get comfy. Then give yourself a push forward and pick your feet up. See how far you can get without putting them down again. Repeat.

Eventually, you will find you can go pretty far. Try changing direction, doing nice ‘S’ turns. Pick points to stop at to practice braking. When you can go as far as you like, change direction and stop at will, it’s time to put the pedals back on. But not before! (There is a left and a right pedal, don’t mix them up and make sure they are good and tight).

Now, put the bike in a nice easy gear before you start. Put one hand on the small of your child’s back and push. Have your child pick their feet up and put them on the pedals while you keep moving steadily at a brisk walking pace. They decide where to steer, you just provide a bit of momentum. Start pedaling gently, and when he or she feels in control, stop pushing and watch them ride!
Now have them practice from a standing start – put their stronger foot on the pedal at the 2 o’clock position. Keep the other foot on the ground, out of the way of the other pedal. Kick off with that foot at the same time you give the stronger foot a really good push, and you’re away. Now just have them practice riding around the park with a ridiculous grin on their face!”

 

 

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About the Author

William Scheckel
Editor-in-Chief of The Fathers' Lounge, Marketing Consultant, Social Media Professor and, of course, Dad. For more on the professional me, visit www.scheckel.us




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