Teaching my son to ride
Without going into too much history, I started seeing my son again last year (after not seeing him for 3.5 years) and we have been slowly building a relationship since.
Me and his mum have decided that I’m going to do a regulat activity with him and the first thing that has come up is riding a bike. Great! Just one problem, apparently he can’t ride! He’s 7 in July and I am sure I was riding well before then, but the problem is I can’t remember how I learned.
So, does anyone have any helpful hints & tips to teaching a kid to ride a bike?
MorgsPosted 6 years agocreameggMember
just let them play about outside on the bike. My niece whos now 6 hasn’t had any ‘training’ from her dad but can already wheelie, ride with no hands- including turning with no hands, jump over tyres and much more that scares her mum to death. They just pick things naturally from other kids and from messing around.Posted 6 years agojambalayaSubscriber
Firstly it’s really great news you are back in touch with your son.
Does he ride with training wheels already ? Training wheels help get familiarity with basics (but be sensitive to him being embarrassed so perhaps practice somewhere quiet and let him know he’ll soon be riding without them)
Then for me it was always just walking/jogging along behind holding the back of he saddle (hope you’ve not got a bad back) as my kids got balance and confidence.
Encouragement all the way. Be patient. Don’t overdo it. He will have some tumbles and tears but that’s part of it and is great bonding.
Try watching some “cool” youtube/vimeo stuff when he’s ready but don;t scare the life out of him with massive jump videos !
Finally when coaching with Jedi he made some very insightful remarks about learning to ride bikes which is always with your parents/grandparents who are of course “the ultimate higher authority” – except of course my Mum and Dad can’t ride like Jedi. You’ll be sharing something very special with your son, a lifelong skill.Posted 6 years agokcrMember
You might find this discussion useful:Posted 6 years ago
This was prompted by a question about teaching a child with Autism to ride, but the same principles apply to any learner.
I’ve written a longer reply in the above thread, based on my experience of teaching kids to ride, but in very simple terms, start with the pedals off and the saddle low enough to allow your son to get both feet on the ground, don’t use stabilisers and don’t try to hold him up. This will allow him to acquire balance himself, in a controlled way.flatpatMember
Sloping grass so he didn’t need to pedal, running alongside with a hand on his back, holding on to start with, then lightly keeping him in balance by nudging when necessary, then letting go. That worked for my boy’s balance. Also think about using football shin pads or long trousers so that they don’t mash their shins on the pedals until they work out starting and stopping without crashing.Posted 6 years agodaver27Member
Having gone through this last summer with my son, the only real way of doing it is giving him time. make it fun as this will encourage him to spend more time on it when you are not there. start with training wheels (somewhere quiet if he is embarrassed he can’t ride) let him ride with those and get used to stopping and starting on his own. when he’s happy with that, suggest taking the training wheels off (on grass!) and see how he goes. as someone mentioned above, you will get a sore back! It important to keep it fun all the way.
I found it just clicked one day, mine wanted to go back to training wheels, then decided all of a sudden he only wanted one. then did a lap of the garden, proclaimed he was ready for none, i took the other wheel off and off he shot, he’s never looked back!
It can be a slow process, but it will click for him and he will get there, there is no set time on it, it could take him a week, it could take him 6 months, but it will happen.
Good luckPosted 6 years agorossmMember
+1 for sloping grass
*learning to ride is principally learning to make the teeny tiny steering or balance inputs to counter the mass of your legs going up and downPosted 6 years ago
*(don’t tell the kid this, or he’ll start pedaling, flail the handlebars side to side madly, and fall off)
*coasting the bike down grass is perfect because the bike will move without the complication of pedaling, and being grass it won’t “run away” too fast, also falling off hurts a bit less
*the pedaling and related stuff can be introduced a little at a time on subsequent runsturqMember
kcr is right on this one – not read the full seperate post but pedals off, seat down is the best way. He’ll learn to balance and steer without having to learn to pedal at the same time…..too much to take in at first. Get him to scoot along in a sort of running motion with his feet, then lifting his feet up once momentum is gained. Feet up and steering can then be developed. Once mastered, put the pedals on and get him riding.Posted 6 years ago
Like others have said too, keep it fun, quiet place and time on the bike is vital. Best of luck.yetidaveMember
turn the bike into a balance bike by taking cranks off. scoot around until happy on sloping grass, re-introduce cranks and he’ll be fine. Prsonally don’t like the parent holding on thing as they become reliant on you. with cranks off their feet on the ground they become a bit more independant. have fun! #edit# like he ^ said!Posted 6 years agotomglass20Member
+1 for yetidave
The balance bike is the best way IMO, my little man had some time on a balance then once the time was right we got him a proper bike. It took him 5 mins and he was riding like a pro. Congrats with reconnecting with your wee fella and best of luck
TomPosted 6 years agoTreksterSubscriber
Something else I find usefull is before the child gets on the bike is to start by pushing the bike. First in a straight line, then in circles and the create a slalom/obstacle course with some old coke/milk cartons etc. this gives them the idea of steering. Do this from both left/right sides, clockwise and antoclock. Then how to mount/dismount. Then repeat with above exercises. Do occasional work with special needs kids and this works for some. Maybe get some cheap elbow/knee pads and some gloves to save on the bumps and bruisesPosted 6 years agoreedspeedMember
My lads 7 & hes been riding 2 years now without stabilsors,the wife & i tought him on the local plsying field,by making him ride unassisted from one to tother,he did in 20 mins !,balance the lot,hes now got a full suss bike with discs onPosted 6 years ago
!,lol,we’ve just done Sherwood pines thisaft & he’s been messin around in the tech park & fell off the bit of north shore in there a few times but got straight back on that’s how I teach him ,it’s easy to be a bit too close to them & cuddle them but at the same time he needs to toughen up ,we all did !,but he’s fine.stumpyjonSubscriber
Balance bikes are a good idea but don’t work for all kids. My daughter learnt to ride last summer at 7. Had tried her with the pedals off etc but to no avail. Finally cracked after a 2 hour stint on a gently sloping grassy area in the local park. I found holding under the saddle worked well, that way she couldn’t feel me touching her so when I finally let go she didn’t notice (wrecked my back but it was worth it).Posted 6 years agoalexpalacefanSubscriber
Stay away from training wheels if you possibly can. They DON’T teach a kid to ride a bike! Rather they just teach how to ride a bike with training wheels on, a completely different thing.
Gentle slope, grass, and balance bikes are the way.
APF (sometimes cycling instructor)Posted 6 years agotakisawa2Subscriber
If your local, Islabikes have an open day in March. Seeing all the other wobbly riders really spurs them on.Posted 6 years ago
As above, hold under the arms, they need to feel the bike leaning & instinct will make them lean the opposite way. If you feel them do that they are ready, & at 7 he should have the strength. My youngest could balance at 3, but lacked the strength to pedal along till gone four.mark90Member
Took the stabilisers of my daughters bike just before she was 4 and she was really struggling to get the hang of balance and pedalling at the same time. We got her a ‘balance bike’ (ie no pedals or drive train) to scoot along. Few weeks playing on this and she was ready to introduce pedalling on her ‘proper’ bike. So I would certainly recommend the advice give to remove the pedals/cranks to get the balance part nailed first then introduce the pedals. Good luck, and make sure you both enjoy it, good times 🙂Posted 6 years ago
Thanks guys for the advice – just thought I’d update you on how we got on.
I picked him and his ‘stunt king’ bike (and MTB-sylee SS kids bike with stunt pegs 😕 ????) on Saturday and headed back to my place. Waited for the weather to clear up a bit before having lunch then heading out.
Went down the grassy hill route, but we had to write it off as it was too muddy to get any forward momentum
Oh well, here’s to next time!Posted 6 years agonealyMember
Have at look at this link for pointers for the next time you’re out.
Patience will be the best thing you can exercise while he’s starting off, my eldest is 4 years old and isn’t too interested in putting the work in with the bike so it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll be carrying the bike for a large part of each trip to the park but there are plenty of other dads doing the same so it’s quite common.Posted 6 years ago
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