Riding a bike is among the most popular athletic or sports activities for kids. We all remember the time we rode our first bikes. It wasn’t a pleasant experience, even if we had training wheels. But that’s not something your kids will have to worry about anymore.
Modern innovations have made it possible for kids to learn biking naturally. Of course, it has become a regular part of our lives. Balancing a bike, riding a bike, and then evolving to motorcycles and other vehicles.
With this in mind, a balance bike has come as a boon for the kids. You can get your kid into cycle sports as early as the age of 2. They will learn it naturally as if it is part of their growing process. But how can you make sure that they know the best and in the proper manner?
Here is a roadmap for you. This is a complete guide on how to teach kids to ride a balance bike:
The first lesson you need to teach a kid is the value of protective gear. Injuries are common in sports. Yes, riding a bike is a sport for the kids. Therefore, you need to help them learn about helmets.
But don’t go overboard and try to saddle them on the seat or give them knee and elbow guards. They are great for the beginning phase but remove them as you progress. However, the helmet is something a kid should learn to ride with.
Now, the first step of teaching a kid is about getting on and off the bike. Teach them the proper way. Some kids try to get on from the front by swinging their legs from the front. It is not practical, and it is not common sense for the kids either.
You need to teach them to swing the leg over the seat and get on it. Then you have to teach them to take a comfortable position on the seat and handle. Apart from getting on and off, you need to teach them the importance of keeping both hands on the handle.
Then you will eventually extend to the brakes.
Let your kids get comfortable with the bike and carrying it. Then they should get on with it just fine. The helmet should be comfortable to wear. But there’s another significant aspect of the comfort, and that’s the size of the bike.
You need to consider the right size of the balance bike. There are different sizes according to age. Make sure that your kid can get on the seat and the feet still reach the ground. The brakes should be easy to pull, and the handle should be smooth to move.
If your kid is too big for a balance bike, you can buy a real bike. All you’d have to do is remove the paddles, and it will become a balance bike.
After following the first three steps, the initial phase of learning to ride a balance bike begins. It will start with the walks. Allow the kids to get seated on the bike and use their legs to start walking.
Remember, there are no paddles in a balance bike. You can go ahead and allow them to walk with it as much as they like. They will learn to handle the bike’s weight and stop with the time.
Any fall or stumble is part of the learning process. Don’t be too overprotective. Once the kid gets comfortable walking the bike, it’s time to take it to the next step. Help them learn to take larger steps. The longer steps with the strength to push the bike will help them speed up the cycle.
They might even run a bike and then sit while letting the motion glide them through. Yes, gliding will be an essential process. Allow them to speed and then glide with the bikes. But you will also have to teach them about the brakes now.
Learning about brakes will come later. You need to help them stop themselves. They need to know how much speed the glide will support before they put their feet. Try to stay ahead of the kids to catch them consistently.
Don’t stay behind them because if they speed up and glide, you won’t be able to catch them. Staying ahead also helps you ensure that the path is clear enough to keep riding their balance bikes.
A balance bike comes with a single break function. You need to teach your child how to press the brakes and stop in time. It will be a gradual process and one of the most challenging ones, as well.
This is also a vital process. They will learn how to apply breaks and how much to apply. Having patience before this step helps them move to the next step, also a final step.
The final step is all about practising on the slopes. You will have to find these slopes, but parks usually have some. Allow them to start with gentle slopes that won’t ascend or descend too much. Then go for steeper slopes as they learn to control the speed and the brakes.
Finally, you can go ahead and let them run free. Just like the braking process, slopes will take time. It is the most challenging one. Your kid has to learn how to use brakes and stop before trying this method. So, make double sure of that.
Learning to ride a bike helps the kid learn how to balance themselves. It is the same as using a baby walker and helping them learn to walk. If you bought an actual bike, you can install the paddles and see if they are ready for an actual bike. Don’t forget to start with the training wheels.
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