Do you remember how it felt to have that first bike? There is no feeling more exhilarating than learning to ride a bike.
For a child, teaching them how to ride a bike is giving them the freedom to pedal around the neighborhood, with the wind in their faces, and letting them enjoy their first bit of independence. For us parents, passing the joy of riding on to our children is also a great accomplishment.
While teaching our children to ride the bike can be such a joy, it can also be a great challenge. Here are six tips that will help you get the young ones on their way to their own memorable two-wheeled adventures:
“When is my child ready to ride?”
Once your kids can walk on their own confidently, then you know that they are physically ready to learn how to ride the bike. You will also know that they are mentally ready to learn when you ask them if they want to try, and they say “yes”, or even when they try riding bicycles that belong to their friends or older siblings.
“Am I ready to teach my child to ride?”
Teaching your kids to ride the bike is a lesson in patience. This takes time, and you should be ready to deal with the frustration of knowing that they are ready before they do. You may find other parents who are also teaching their kids to ride, and you can share your experiences. You can even teach your children together. You can always call or stop in for teaching tips from Fort Myers Cyclery!
“What can I do to have tear-free teaching?”
It is best to go to a familiar place that your children can navigate confidently. Praise them often, and be specific about the things that they do correctly. This means applauding every milestone, from steering straight to turning, and even being able to stop before falling off. Never hesitate to let go. You do not want them to get hurt, but they will also never learn the joy of riding independently until you yourself learn to let go.
“How do I get my child to wear a helmet?”
You can make wearing helmets fun by having them pick their own with flashy designs or special colors. You should also talk to them and explain to them that wearing a helmet helps protect them from getting hurt if they fall. You can wear your helmet to show them that protecting your brain is important at every age!
“How do I encourage my child to continue riding?”
Once your kids are riding on their own, you should still continue to ride with them, especially on the streets with little to no traffic. Make sure to take action in your city to improve the cycling infrastructure. Keep in mind that protected bike lanes and traffic-calmed roads are key to keeping more children safe and comfortable on the road. Try taking bike rides around the neighborhood and pointing out interesting trees, animals, reptiles, that they may not notice on their own. Try riding with them to a friends house or to a nearby park, field or water source for different kinds of play time. On rainy days, create bike art with cardboard for spoke cards or colored foam for helmet decorating.