pedalSwift.com How To Articles Spring Cycling – So Simple Even Your Kids Can Do It

Spring Cycling – So Simple Even Your Kids Can Do It

Spring Cycling Kids

Spring Cycling - So Simple Even Your Kids Can Do It

Contrary to popular belief, teaching your kids to ride a bike safely and fun when done at the right time. More than half the world knows how to ride a bike, and this important skill is best taught at childhood between 5 and 8 years.

How I wish that every kid had a bike they could ride. It would mean hours of pure fun with their mates instead of playing video games all day. Since (I venture to say) you don’t want a hermit for a child, use this beautiful spring to cycle with them. But first, they need to learn how to cycle.

Spring Cycling

That is the best time to teach kids to ride a bike. Spring is the time of renewal when everything is fresh and flowers and in bloom. The weather is perfect, but there aren’t too many crazies on the streets yet.

Even the air seems to call you outdoors in spring. You want to introduce your kid to the outdoors at this time so that they can learn to appreciate nature at its best. What better way to do that than to go out on a parent/kid ride?

Spring cycling is so easy that you can teach a kid to ride in an hour or less. What you need to do is have the right gear and do it correctly.

What You Need To Get Started

JOYSTAR 12 Inch Girls Bike Toddler Bike for 2 3 4 Years Old Girl 12" Kids Bikes for Ages 2-4 yr with Training Wheels and Basket Children's Bicycle in Purple

You don’t need a lot of gear to get your kid cycling. And please, you don’t need balance wheels! That is the most ineffective way to teach a child to cycle.

All you need is a good bicycle, some safety equipment, and a patch of the clear hardtop. Everything else will just be an unnecessary expense.

Now that you are invested in having your kid learn to bike let me lead you through it.

How To Choose the Right Bike

Picking the right bicycle for your child is the foundation of their riding life. You have to make sure the size is right, and that the bike is comfortable and safe. There are a few things you need to learn about picking the right bicycle for your kid.

Size

Children’s bikes are measured by wheel size. Bigger bikes have bigger wheels.

To get the right bike for your child, measure their inseam. Have them hold a book between their thighs, then measure the distance from the upper part of the book to the floor while standing straight. This is their inseam.

Every bike has an inseam height indicator, so make sure to choose the one that fits. Don’t go for a bigger bike and hope that the kids will grow into it; you are better off with a slightly smaller bike than a larger one.

If you can’t use the inseam, make sure the top bar is well below the crotch when the child is standing up.

How To Choose the Right Bike Size

Source: Medium.com/

Brand

Get a bike from a reputable brand. You can probably remember your first bike’s name and brand because it forms part of your cycling identity. The best brands nowadays include Schwinn, Prevelo, Woom, Early Rider, Guardian, and RoyalBaby.

Types of Bike

As the child gets older, the range of options available starts to open up. At an inseam length of 20″ or more, you can go for a discipline-specific bike.

Bikes for older kids come in many different types. This is the time you have to consider factors such as the bike’s purpose, your budget, and the area you live in, among others.

Cruiser bikes are for casual riding around the neighborhood. They are comfortable, sometimes even flashy in style. A great option is the Schwinn Koen for boys or Schwinn Elm for girls.

Road bikes are just that. They are meant for the open road, and you will start seeing some gears (6-speeds, 8-speeds, and 12-speeds), flat tires, racing handles, and the works. Here is an amazing bike road bike for girls.

Mountain bikes are probably the most popular. They are a highly versatile type of bike that is good for a casual rike, street race, or off-road adventure. However, their price tags will most likely give you sticker shock. This RoadMaster Granite is an excellent mountain bike for your child.

BMX bikes for the modern Kid Knievel. They are super strong, very cool, and made for stunts. Perhaps not the right way to get your kids started on bikes, but who knows what they will achieve? To start you off, here is the best-selling Mongoose BMX bike on Amazon.

Kids’ bikes are expensive in general, so some parents like to get second hands to start with. This is a great option, so long as you do your due diligence and make sure you get a good bike. You can save hundreds this way and still get a serviceable bike.

Gear You Will Need

Bell 7073351 Rally Child Helmet, Blue Fins After spending hundreds of dollars on the perfect bike for your kid, you don’t want to be bundled with a whole lot of ‘necessary’ equipment. You shouldn’t make it a bruised knees and bleeding elbows sort of thing either, so get this safety gear also.

Helmet

A bicycle helmet protects the kid’s head from severe head damage when the inevitable fall occurs. Make sure it fits tightly, with no more space between it and the strap than you can fit your forefinger. You can get this classy but affordable Bell Rally helmet on Amazon.

Padding

As it is in skating, so it is in biking. Scraping your skin off the knees or elbows hurts. To spare your kid that pain, get them this fantastic set of gel pads from Mongoose.

Protection from the Elements

Spring brings rain and cold, so you should make sure your kid is well-protected. A cycling jacket and pair of gloves will protect you from the wind, rain, and cold, so get this printed Mountain jacket and Giro bike gloves as well.

Shoes

Any pair of sneakers can do for starters, but as you get into more advanced cycling, you might want to get specialized shoes with hooks or cleats. These Muddyfox cycling shoes for kids are an example.

Now that you are all geared up and ready, let’s get started. First, look for an expansive space preferably paved or covered with asphalt, concrete, or other hard surfaces. It should be away from traffic or distracting activities. A local sports ground will do, but if not, your backyard will do.

How to Teach Your Kids to Ride a Bike

When you get to it, there is no scientific way to teach your kid to ride. My dad had me coasting for a while and then let go. After two painful falls, I got it! Someone else will give you a 10-pointer plan on how to go about it, but you will find that most of them are useless.

The key to teaching your kid to ride a bike is to be responsive and dynamic. Some kids are fast learners and will be zooming around the block in one afternoon of teaching. Others, especially girls, may need weeks of patient coaching.

Instead of an action plan, I will give you a few pointers to light the way. Just remember that this should be one of the best times for you and junior, so be sure to have loads of fun.

Balancing is Key

The first step of riding a bicycle is balancing, but anyone will tell you that training wheels don’t help even a little. The best way to teach your kid to balance is to have them coast gently and counterbalance with their legs.

To do that, use a pedal spanner to remove the pedals from the bike, effectively turning it into a balancing bike. Now they can walk back and forth in hops or long steps as they practice balancing. You should only offer minimal support at this stage.

Mark Out an Obstacle Course

The most important thing with mobility is control. So, make sure your kids learn the importance of keeping the steering in check, finger the brakes, and using their legs for support when needed.

A good way to do that is to mark out an obstacle course with chalk on the surface.

Have them make increasingly tight turns, alternate between fast and slow cycling, and stop. Do this first when learning to balance, and then later when they can pedal.

Drill in the Basics

Always wear your helmet, keep your bike well-maintained, obey traffic rules, and wear high-visibility clothing at night. These are the basics of cycling every kid should make a habit as they grow older.

Remember that kids never forget what they learn, so this is the perfect time to drill in these things. You might save their lives this way. Traffic safety is especially important, so don’t leave them to learn it on their own. You may as well give your car to a 10-year-old.

Some parents are scared of teaching their kids to ride a bike because they don’t want them to hurt themselves.

Remember that cycling is as safe as you make it be. Here are some statistics to show how dangerous or safe it is to ride. Unless your kid rides without a helmet, rides drunk or goes into traffic, there is almost no chance they will die. Don’t deny them this amazing opportunity to enjoy their childhood.

For Very Young Kids, Use Bike Seats and Trailers

Unless your kid really wants to learn, there is no need to teach them to cycle at two or even three years. It’s much better to enjoy some quality out time with them by strapping a child’s seat to your bike or attaching a trailer.

Between the two, a child’s seat allows you to share a beautiful bond by sharing the sights, chatting along the way, and letting them experience the dynamic nature of cycling.

Trailers may be more convenient, but they are heavier and expose your kids to more vehicle exhaust and potential danger from cars. For kids older than 5, it’s best to let them come on their bikes.

FAQs

What age should you teach your child to ride?

Some kids might be ready to ride at 3 or 4, while others may not be ready until 5 or 6. You have to watch for physical signs that your child is ready, such as coordination and balance skills.

To make learning to ride easier, consider getting a balance bike. They help children learn to balance on two wheels before they have to worry about pedaling.

When it’s time to teach your child to ride, be patient, and encouraging. Start with gliding on the bike with their feet on the ground, then gradually move to pedaling. Don’t forget to make sure your child wears a properly fitting helmet and other protective gear to prevent injuries.

Do you need training wheels to teach a child to cycle?

Well, it depends on various factors such as the child’s age, size, and experience with cycling.

Younger or inexperienced children might benefit from using training wheels. Training wheels provide extra stability and help the child learn how to balance and pedal. However, they can also create a false sense of security, making it harder for the child to learn to balance independently.

As the child becomes more comfortable cycling, you can gradually raise the training wheels to encourage them to balance on their own. Eventually, you can remove the training wheels altogether when the child has developed the necessary skills and confidence to ride without them.

Training wheels can be useful for some children, but it’s important to gradually wean them off and encourage the child to develop their balance and coordination. It’s a process that takes time and patience, but with practice and support, your child can become a confident cyclist.

How do you teach an older child to ride a bike?

Firstly, ensure your child has the correct bike size, with feet touching the ground when seated. Then, remove the pedals and lower the seat. This approach helps the child develop coordination and balance without the distraction of pedaling.

Next, choose a flat, open area with no obstacles or traffic. Encourage your child to push off with their feet and glide on the bike. This will help them get accustomed to the sensation of balancing on two wheels.

Gradually raise the seat as they become more confident, and when they are ready, reattach the pedals. Encourage them to pedal gradually and to use their brakes to stop.

The key to success is practice. Encourage your child to ride every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes. As they become more comfortable, slowly increase the distance and speed.

Be patient and supportive throughout the process. Commend their successes and don’t get discouraged by setbacks. Remember, with time and practice, your child will soon be riding confidently on their own!

How do you teach a reluctant child to ride a bike?

Firstly, start with a balance bike, this will help them get comfortable with balancing and steering. Next, choose a flat and obstacle-free location, like a park or a playground. Be patient, learning to ride a bike takes time. Don’t put too much pressure on your child to succeed immediately.

You can also use training wheels as a helpful tool for hesitant children. Break the process down into small achievable steps. For example, start with sitting on the bike, then balancing and gliding, and finally adding pedaling.

Make it fun! Incorporate games and activities to make it enjoyable. Lastly, set a good example by wearing a helmet and following the rules of the road. Every child is different, so adapt to your child’s needs, and most importantly, have fun!

How old does my child have to be to ride with me?

It’s important to know your local laws because they can differ. Typically, a child should use a car seat or booster seat until they weigh around 40 pounds and are around 4 years old. After that, they can use a regular seat with a seat belt.

However, keep in mind that laws vary, so it’s always best to check. Also, it’s a good idea to use a car seat or booster seat for as long as possible, even if it’s not required by law.

Final Thoughts

Riding with kids is fun and easy. In spring, when the weather is mellow and everybody is getting their bikes out, make sure to entice your kids to get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful sights.

If your child already knows how to ride a bike, they don’t need much help. The trick lies in teaching them to start biking. This is where you need a few tips or two on the equipment and the actual learning process.

Learning to ride a bike should be one of the most memorable parts of a child’s life. It’s a skill that lasts with them through life, and one they can remember you by. Make sure you invest and do it right.

If you’re just looking to take your baby out with you to enjoy the spring weather, a bike seat or trailer is an amazing option. All you need to do is prepare them properly for the road.

All in all, spring cycling is so simple even your kids can do it. Don’t let them miss out on the fun!

Related Post