Introducing children to cycling at a young age can pay off eventually. There are many Bikes for kid’s options that are available for parents. However, for a start, a balance bike is the best option.
Teaching children to ride a bike is becoming a perennial parental rite of passage. Often, you are likely to see the dad or mom running after their child while puffing and huffing. It is the joy of seeing your child mater bike riding that makes one do such.
There are different safer and effective ways to teach a child how to ride. It first starts with pedaling, then balancing. Does this mean your back is not going to ache anymore? Yes, we teach you how to efficiently ditch the training wheels and train your kids with less energy.
This article addresses how to get children off training wheels. It also delves, partly, into overcoming the fear of cycling, the appropriate age for toddlers to learn to pedal, and the age to ride a tricycle and a balance bike.
The Age and Method for Learning How to Ride a Bike for Children
While riding a bike is a lot more fun, the mastery of balancing a bike does not come overnight. Bikes make children active, and it is a good exercise for kids. It is categorized as a low-impact activity. Therefore, learning how to ride a two-wheeled bicycle with some little training can be a significant developmental milestone. However, not all children learn the same.
Generally, children learn to ride a bike between the age of 3 and 8 years. The average age for learning how to ride a bike is above 5 years. A child at the age of 5 years and above can learn to ride a bike without stabilizers.
Mostly, while a balance bike might be preferable, some kids begin pedaling the tricycles. Tricycles are a preference for children between the age of 1 and 3 years. Majorly, a kid about 3 years can comfortably ride a tricycle.
As the kids develop their cycling skills, they hit their first milestone: pedaling. Even though they might take longer to hit the second milestone: balancing, the first one is exhilarating. The second milestone means a kid can ride a bike on two wheels without a training wheel.
A Tricycle or a Balance Bike for First Time Kid Cyclist Trainees?
Most parents often ask: how do I teach a kid to ride a bike without training wheels? Well, some parents prefer tricycles while others a balance bike with training wheels. Surprisingly, some with a hybrid mind prefer using both approaches to teaching their kids how to ride. The latter often get their kids to transition from tricycles to bicycles with training wheels in their pre-school years.
Not a single method is superior to the other, it all boils down to personal preference or what your kid wants. You can end up buying a bike after bike for your kids if not careful. In the end, your garage can become cluttered with bikes especially, if you are teaching your scared child how to ride a bike. In a short while, we will tell you why you need to forget the training wheels.
Ditch the Training Wheels and Follow these Steps Instead
Ditch the training wheel and follow these simple steps to teach your kid how to ride in less than 15 minutes. It is epic to learn how to ride a bike with no training wheels. In fact, it is a major developmental milestone for kids.
While there are different progress rates of learning, the average age for one to master bike riding without the training wheels is about 5 to 7 years. Therefore, if your seven-year-old wants to ride, this is the time to ditch the training wheels. This works wonders even for the children who are scared of riding.
Studies show that learning to ride can help kids overcome their fears. Besides, studies have also shown that anxious parent passes the same fears to their children. Therefore, if you fear cycling, first overcome it and get to train your child.
Let us begin dissecting this parental code by looking at some of the pro-proven methods.
1. Listen to Your Child. It is good to suggest riding to your child and let them develop interest.
One way to compel them to be involuntary do so is to get a good bike yourself. Pushing a child to learn how to ride can be disastrous as it can be met with massive.
When making a decision, also figure out the level of instruction adherence for the safety of your kid while riding. Remember, by law; a bicycle is considered a vehicle and all traffic rules must be followed.
2. Begin by Practicing Balance. While balancing is the second most important milestone in cycling for kids, it is a good starting point. There is never an order to follow.
It is prudent to test the balancing skills of the child even before they get on a bike. In this, you could watch out for their performance activities such as gymnastics, riding a scooter, running, and ice skating.
Showing signs of balancing capabilities means that a child is ready to learn to ride.
3. Choose the Right Bike for your Kid. Bikes are not a one-size fit all. The number one mistake a parent can do is to buy a bicycle hoping that a child will grow into it. Shock befalls them because it either turns out so big or too small that it makes it difficult for the child to be comfortable, balance, and control.
Your kid should be able to put both legs on the ground when standing over the crossbar. Also, have an inch to spare in between the thigh area and the crossbar.
4. Locational factors. The terrain is vital when training your kid to ride. Always, get a calm grassy place devoid of traffic and where the child cannot get embarrassed if they fail. Fails are part of learning how to ride bikes.
Probably, a park, home compound, or school field would be a convenient pick. Teaching a child how to cycle alongside friends and peers is a distraction in itself. A training wheel is just a funky gadget. Good ground would do your kid wonders.
All you need is a fairly sloping grassy landscape and a wrench. Remember, 4-7 years of age kids can safely take on two wheels as they have both coordination and balance. Find an area where the bike can coast down.
It should be gentle enough to allow the child to hold to the bike. An appropriate fit should be around 20 yards in either direction.
5. Teach the child how to break. It is essential to learn how to stop a bike before learning how to move it. Introduce the child to hoe brakes work, how and when they are used. It is the best defensive technique for a kid on the bike.
It is also important to tell the kids when to put their feet on the ground as it is also a braking technique. For a child that is super scared of falling, encourage them that cycling is like walking.
6. Do away with the pedals, if you must, and raise the saddle. If you are on a tight budget, buying another balance bike would be an extravagance. Thus, you can take off the pedals and adjust the saddle height so that the kid can stand on both feet. This allows their feet to glide down as they take on the terrain with their new bikes.
7. Slow but sure moves. Training should be done in phases. It is recommended that you make manageable increments. Just do around 30-45 minutes of training in your free days or daily if you can. One hour of training is too much for kids to take and it can cause fatigue.
Start from the level grounds and let the kids roll with the bike to the bottom of the slope. A proud smile from dad or mum as your child slowly rides a bike is a good incentive to learn.
8. Patience and Persistence. It takes an average of three to four weeks for a child to master riding a bike without training wheels. Assess the emotions of your kid while they are at it. If you sense they are stressed or worked up, or are just losing their interest in riding, it is time to have a recovery break. A few weeks off training would do.
9. Safety First. It is critical that every training session involves safety tips when cycling. Insist on wearing a helmet and how to fit it in the kids' head. The CPSC recommends wearing helmets to prevent head injuries that are caused by kids not wearing helmets while cycling. An article by the Helmets.org stresses the importance of wearing helmets. Approximately, 85% of head injuries occur due to lack of wearing cycling helmets.
Check whether the child has worn the helmet correctly. Use stickers that come with the helmets to guide them on wearing helmets. We need the brains to innovate and make the world great, take care of your kids head. Our article on how to choose the right helmet is a good starting point.
Does your Kid really need Training Wheels when learning to ride? No!
These tips can only work when you are really determined to train your kids to ride without training wheels. Surprisingly, these steps work quite well even with the scariest of all children. Is your child scared of riding and you want to train them? All right, ditch the training wheels. Remember, when learning set achievable targets for your child.
Do not overstretch to the extent of diluting their newly acquired knowledge and skills. It is always one step and one instruction set at a time. Whether you are training for winter or summer biking events for kids, or just a casual training to keep your child active, be very careful of safety.
Safety is not substitutable. Always remind the child that a bike is considered a vehicle and pedestrians and traffic laws must be obeyed. Who knows, maybe we are raising a Geraint Thomas or a Chris Froome of tomorrow.
Bike riding is a sport on its own, let that little champion learn. Cycling is not just a hobby anymore; it brings inner peace as well.