Hints and tips for riding a bike
- Bumps and bruises can be minimsed if the child wears long trousers and shirts with long sleeves.
- Practice at the weekends and during holidays when things are more relaxed and the child is less tired from school.
- Drop the saddle so that the child's feet can rest flat on the ground. This increases feelings of security for children with poor balance.
- It may help to take the pedals off at first, and let the child push the bike with their feet, while their balance and confidence improves. Encourage the child to lift their feet and move a short distance whilst holding their balance.
- It is a little easier for children to balance on bikes with wider tyres.
- If you are helping your child to learn to ride a bike by running along and holding the saddle, make sure you stand a little behind the child. They won't then notice when you let go.
- Stabilisers can be raised gradually. Teach the child to listen to the sound of the “trainer” wheels on the ground: when they can't hear this sound any more then don't need stabilisers.
- Alternatively, remove one trainer wheel until the child becomes confident enough to do without it.
- It is possible to buy special stabilisers to help improve riding balance. The trainer wheels are gradually moved in towards the main wheel so that the base for balancing on is reduced. These are available from Good Designs, 133 Morton Lane, East Morton, KEIGHLEY, West Yorkshire BD20 5RS, Tel: 01274 560400, email: email@example.com. Adjustabilisers can be purchased on their website.
- Some families have reported that starting the child off on a gentle slope has helped. The child puts their feet on the pedals while the adult supports the bicycle. The child then “feels” the pedals moving round.
Alternatives to traditional bike riding include:
- Using a 3-wheeler
- Riding a tandem