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to ask you how you taught your children to ride their bikes? [trivial]

(42 Posts)
RagamuffinAndFidget Thu 05-Jul-12 23:48:36

DS2 turned three whole years old on Sunday shock and his big present was, as requested, a lovely, shiny orange bike. He LOVES it. He likes stroking it, wheeling it around, 'polishing' it and sitting on it. What he does not like doing is pedalling it. He will push one pedal down, once. That's it. When we've tried to explain to him how the pedals work he just says, "I know, I KNOW" in a really exasperated tone of voice, like we're idiots..

I know it's early days yet but is there something we can do to help it click for him, or is just one of those things which will come with time?

bramblina Thu 05-Jul-12 23:53:10

I would say, leave him alone. It will be far beneficial for him to get to know his bike and feel 100% confident on it, and it will all happen very naturally. It's quite a big step and I admire him for taking it slowly! It will work in his favour for when he comes to want to remove his stabilisers, we've just done this with ds and he LOVES it, it's a wonderful thing to watch. Has he had various other wheeled toys before, go karts, trikes etc? Is he quite familiar with the concept or is the whole thing quite new to him?

ChameleonCircuit Thu 05-Jul-12 23:53:35

The guy in the bike shop told us to take the pedals off DD's bike and let her coast down a grassy incline until she got the balancing thing. Once she cracked that, we put the pedals back on and she was off.

Not4turning Thu 05-Jul-12 23:55:08

With both of ours, we did the pushing off when they'd got the peddling. If that makes sense. However, I did do it on grass. Very short grass, but when they were 3 they didn't get it. I think maybe stabilisers, then pushing them off when they are 4/5.

I am proud that my little girl has just got the whole pushing off and she's five. I can't wait until we can cycle together.

bramblina Thu 05-Jul-12 23:56:21

I was about to post re. removing the stabilisers but then thought you just meant stage 1, actually pedalling......yes?

fifitrixibell Thu 05-Jul-12 23:56:23

Don't force him. Does he have any siblings/cousins/ friends who have bikes - you could arrange a trip out to a park (with wide flat paths!) with some other children so he can see others enjoying cycling.
I also 2nd what Chameleon said about the peddles - it worked for ours.

CadleCrap Thu 05-Jul-12 23:56:32

They have to learn to do 2 things - 1) pedal and 2)balance.

To pedal They will start by sort of cranking the pedals(as you described) - the way to get them to learn is by a direct drive bike or trike.

To learn balance you can either take the pedals off so it is a type of balance bike or a scooter.(I never bothered with a balance bike as I think they are very expensive and my DS rode a bike at the same age as a boy who had one)

You then have to wait until they are ready. My DS was 4.

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 05-Jul-12 23:56:44

Maybe he's not sure of his balance if both feet come off the ground?

My DH took the pedals off DS's first bike, so that it was more like a hobby-horse. Once DS had his balance and his confidence, the pedals were put back on, and some stabilisers until DS was happy without them.

BackforGood Thu 05-Jul-12 23:58:06

Well, at 3 they had stabilisers, and, if they didn't want to pedal, they didn't go anywhere, but didn't fall off either.
When they got considerably older, and wanted the stabilisers off, and were confident with them on, we did the running along behind holding the saddle then letting go once they were moving, too.

RagamuffinAndFidget Fri 06-Jul-12 00:03:37

He happily takes both feet off the ground and then puts them on the pedals but will only pedal once (so one pedal moves down, IYSWIM?) and then he takes his feet off the pedals for a moment, then repeats the whole thing. He has stabilisers.. he's never had a balance bike but was playing with someone else's at the park yesterday and was doing quite well, so he clearly has fairly good balance. I guess it's more of a coordination thing? He hasn't quite worked out how to move one pedal after the other yet, or something..?

Kahu Fri 06-Jul-12 00:06:03

Take the pedals off. I assume it is a bike with stabilisers? If so take the pedals off & take the stabilisers off and let him use it as a run bike / balance bike (with the seat down nice & low).

You will be suprised at how quickly he starts gliding on it. He will learn all the balance skills he needs to ride a pedal bike without stabilisers. When he does seem ready to move pedalling (no need to rush him, big kids have a load of fun on balance bikes & learn great bike riding skills) then put the pedals back on.

For the actual action of pedalling you can tell him to pretend to put some sticky glue on his toes to stick his feet to the pedals & get him to push one foot down & pull the other up. A small gradual hill or some speed from a big push will help. If he is already comfortable using the bike as a balance bike then the hill part is not a scary proposition - he will have the balance & know how to control a bit of speed.

Whatever you do, don't go from using a balance bike to put stabilisers back on when he starts with pedals.

Whilst he is scooting around on the run bike you can give him other opportunities to begin to get the concept of pedalling eg borrow a friends trike or sit on toy.

Hope that helps!

Kahu Fri 06-Jul-12 00:08:45

X-post!

Grassy slope, absolutely perfect!

Balance skills first, then pedalling skills.

Kahu Fri 06-Jul-12 00:10:38

Sounds like he needs a bit of speed to get the whole arc of the pedal rotation IYKWIM? He'll get confidence with that speed on a run bike for sure & then you can introduce a bit of a hill when it's time to start to learn to pedal.

ShellyBoobs Fri 06-Jul-12 00:15:03

DD learned at 3 and it was done by OH or me holding the back of the seat a lot of few times as she set off (on grass) on a normal little bike with pedals.

We didn't use stabilisers but to be fair she never had any difficulty with the pedalling bit from the first time we tried her with one of us holding her up, otherwise we might have tried stabilisers for her to get used to it.

I recall that within an hour or so of trying, she was managing to wobble along pretty well with her feet up. I must add though that she was very keen to get on her bike, so no issue with her wanting to take things slowly.

bejeezus Fri 06-Jul-12 00:18:36

Get a Gator-bar and attach his bike to the back of yours. So its like a tag along

bea Fri 06-Jul-12 00:19:25

dd2 learnt on a balance bike at nursery... kept telling us that she sould ride a bike... we of course didn't believe her... let her have a go on a little pedal bike and off she went... so definitely letting them learn balance first and then off they go!

she cycles like a fiend now...she's five and competes with her 8 yr old brother to see who can do the best skids on the dirt track by their school!! (she's very good!!!)

definitely take the pedals off and let your ds learn balance! Balance is the key to everything! a wise man once said!!!

Pedigree Fri 06-Jul-12 00:21:09

DS had the stabilisers on the bike for months, then one day, his dad was looking at him in his scooter and decided his balance was right and therefore ready... removed the stabilisers and off he went.

bramblina Fri 06-Jul-12 00:22:39

Raggamiffin......are you just wondering how to get him to actually move the bike? I think the posters above think you are wondering how to get him to cycle without his stabilisers, which you are not.....am I right?

RagamuffinAndFidget Fri 06-Jul-12 00:26:17

Oh sorry, I should have been clearer! Yes, I'm looking for advice on how to get him to pedal properly so the bike actually moves!

bejeezus Fri 06-Jul-12 00:27:06

Gator bar

bramblina Fri 06-Jul-12 00:29:46

Well, I got it wink.

If he doesn't want to, then just leave him for a bit. When he does though, just spend ten mins actually pushing each foot down with your hand so he sees what he is doing, and sees the consequences of it- that he actually moves himself by doing this! It won't take long when he really wants to.

Ta da!

bejeezus Fri 06-Jul-12 00:42:26

Gaffer tape his feet onto the pedals? grin

Rowgtfc72 Fri 06-Jul-12 16:27:22

Agree with gator bar. That worked for dd when she was three. She also used to do the pedal once and stop thing !

dementedma Fri 06-Jul-12 17:25:06

I am blush. DS is 10 years old and can't ride a bike. his big sisters could when they were 3 or 4. he just keeps saying he's going to fall and won't try.
Any thoughts? Tried the holding the back of the seat thing, but he's too heavy to keep upright like that.

girlpancake Fri 06-Jul-12 21:39:39

My friend actually took their ds age 8 to a professional who teaches bike-riding for a living. The first thing she did was spend more than half an hour just having the kid wheel the kid back and forth, climb on and off it etc. Generally letting the kid getting the feel of how the bike acted without the pressure of sitting on it. But what do I know, I still can't figure out gears.

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