Learning to ride a bicycle is one of the most important moments in any child’s life. It is their first step towards becoming independent. It is a parent child moment that many children look back at when they grow up to become adults.
The first thing any parent or guardian should keep in mind is to get the kid started on a pedal bike. This can be done by giving them a balance bike for kids to practice their riding skills on. This results in the child learning how to steer a two wheeler and how to maintain their balance. This is all without the complication of taking his or her feet of the ground and pedalling at the same time.
Children as young as 3.5 years of age are ready to learn to ride bicycles. If your child is not ready, then it will be rather obvious as he or she will be unable to move the pedals in circles. Children that witness other children riding their bicycles get a vague idea of how the pedals can be turned. The key thing to remember here is that kids are hardwired to run and walk but not to pedal or ride a bike.
For the first lesson it is rather important to choose an area that is suitable. Many people do choose soft grass because it offers a soft landing for the kid when he or she falls but it is hard to pedal there. The best place would be a smooth rather flat tarmac surface which will let your kid get into certain rolling momentum and there should be a lot of space for the child to move around and of course a place that is far away from any unwanted dangerous traffic.
It should be made sure that you have bought the right sized bike. Do set the saddle in a way that the child can touch the ground with the balls of their feet. Most people do set the pedals so low that the child can touch its feet flat on the ground but that is not right as the knees then restrict the child’s pedalling movement which makes the steering and balances even more difficult.
In order to be careful many teachers do hold on to the saddle and the handlebars but that interferes with how the bike moves and then responds to the rider’s weight. The best way is to stand behind the bicycle and then wedge the rear wheel in between your calves and feet. Support the child with your hands under their armpits so that they have complete control of the bike, it is also rather easier on the back.
As soon as the child begins to gain some confidence let the bike go. But you have to be ready to catch then under the armpits if they stumble. If you are running behind the bicycle, you can help them understand how the bike responds to their weight and their leaning. Do show them how to make S-turns and turn corners.
Make the child walk beside the bike and then pull the breaks to see how the bike responds to the break. In the beginning the kid will pull the breaks too hard but you have to teach them to squeeze the breaks rather slowly. No matter what do not forget protective gear.