In most cases, learning to ride a bike can be a fundamental part of a child’s life. However, no child is born with bike riding instincts. Luckily, bike riding can be taught in a few steps and can be rewarding for both the child and the teacher.
Preparing for the Ride
The first step in teaching a child to ride a bike is to make sure they are ready. Most children show signs of readiness between the ages of three and four. They get an idea of how a bike works by watching others pedal and ride.
When they are ready to learn, choosing the perfect area for their first bike ride is very important. It may seem that soft grass would be ideal in the event that the child does fall. However, soft grass can actually make riding more difficult. They would need to be on a smooth, firm, and flat surface with a lot of space and away from any traffic.
The bike itself should be the right size for the child and should be adjusted to their individual needs. The saddle of the bike should be adjusted so that their feet are in a good position for pedaling. Proper placement of the feet will allow easier steering and balance.
Get the Wheels Turning
When it’s time for take off, the child will need some type of support at first. It’s more effective to stand behind the child as opposed to holding on to the saddle or handlebars. The child will need to have full control of the bike. Supporting them underneath their armpits is enough to get them started.
After a few supported rides, it’s important to allow the child to gain the confidence of riding alone. Staying behind them for a period of time helps them learn the mechanics of how a bike functions and how to maneuver. Usually, one half hour session of guided riding is enough practice for them to start off on their own. They need to be shown how to start the bike ride by pushing down on the pedal as they push off the ground with their other leg. With a little practice, they will be starting off by themselves in no time.
Another important part of this process is definitely learning to brake. It actually may be easier to teach the concept of braking off the bike rather than while riding. This will allow them to gauge how much pressure is needed to stop the bike when riding.
Learning to ride a bike definitely takes a lot of practice and patience. Children should not feel any pressure or stress during the learning process. Bike riding should be fun and exciting for them. Every child learns at a different pace. With a bit of preparation, learning to ride a bike can be an enduring and reward experience.