Teaching your child to ride a bike is something you’ll never forget. It can be a challenge to get them to ditch the stabilisers and it probably pays to know how to clean grass stains out of clothes, but all the stumbles and shaky legs are well worth it when you get there. Watching your child riding down the road with a big grin on their face is the best reward you can get!
To help make your lessons easier, we’ve teamed up with www.dirtisgood.com who are committed to getting kids to play outdoors again, and put together some handy tips that will help you both in your cycling adventure.
Find the Right Space
Find a quiet space where there aren’t tons of people watching to practice in. Your child won’t be as embarrassed if they fall off and no one’s around – plus, watchful eyes can be pretty off-putting! Make sure the space you find has an even, smooth surface and won’t cause a whole lot of scrapes and bruises if your child does come off their bike.
Use the Proper Gear
Always, always, always kit your child out in all the correct safety gear. Essentials include a good helmet, elbow and knee pads and the right shoes, as well as anything else you think is necessary. This’ll make your child feel safer, boosting their confidence, and preventing any horrible injuries if they fall.
How to Start Teaching
When you start teaching, begin by holding the bike and gently pushing it along, encouraging your child to turn the pedals. This’ll get them used to the feeling of being on a bike in a way that they still feel safe. Then, stop pushing and simply have a gentle hold to stabilize the bike whilst your kid does all the leg work.
Pushing Off and Braking
Once they’ve got pedaling down, teach them how to push off, still holding the bike to keep its balance. Then teach them how to break, again whilst holding on. Now they’ve mastered all the techniques, hold the seat from behind and, without letting them know, slowly let go – they won’t even know they’ve mastered the art of cycling until they’re a pro!
Be Patient with Fears
There are a whole lot of fears that, to us experienced bikers, can seem pretty mundane, but to a little one they’re huge terrors that they need to overcome. Be patient and show them that they don’t need to be scared. It can take some time to get your child riding fearlessly but pushing them into it too fast won’t help.
Follow this advice and your child will be cycling along next to you in no time, and once they’ve got the art down to a T, it’ll never leave them! As they say, you never forget how to ride a bike.
Show your support for the #dirtisgood campaign on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and be sure to tag us in posts of your little ones taking their first ride!