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Tips for teaching dd to ride a bicycle without stabilisers?

(15 Posts)
Earlybird Tue 30-May-06 20:43:20

Took the stabilisers off dd's bike today with the idea that we'll try learning to ride without them during half term. She's not hugely athletic, is a bit reticent about trying new things, and can nurse the tiniest bump for ages.

Anyone got any foolproof tips - such as best surface to learn on, how to explain it to her, little formulas/rhymes (that worked a treat when she learned to ride a scooter), ways to start out, etc. I want it to be fun, and not an ordeal!

Spagblog Tue 30-May-06 20:45:13

we started on grass - just pushed her off and let her go basically.
She too is not particularly atheletic and seems okay, but can't turn yet!

Gem13 Tue 30-May-06 20:46:05

I read the other day that you should take the pedals off so they learn to balance first (like the expensive wooden like-a-bikes). Then when they have mastered that - put the pedals back on.

Too early for us to try this out.

florenceuk Tue 30-May-06 22:21:00

I assume she knows how to pedal, steer and use the brakes? Take her to a grassy slope. Take the pedals off and lower the seat so she can reach the ground. Let her push herself off and get used to the idea that movement = balance. Then when she can taxi down the slope, stick the pedals back on and let her ride around a bit. haven't actually tried this yet but this is the advice the bike shop people gave us!

BTW I learned on a bike that was too big and on a small slope that ended with a concrete block wall - and even I (completely non athletic and very clumsy) managed!

sphil Tue 30-May-06 22:44:48

Earlybird - can you tell me the formula/rhyme you used to teach your DD to ride a scooter? My son is finding it very difficult!
Thanks

Earlybird Tue 30-May-06 23:05:04

Thanks for advice everyone. Think I'll take her to the park in the next few days (assuming it stops raining), and try running next to her on a grassy slope. Hopefully my proximity and guiding/balancing hand will reassure her...along with the fact that she can concentrate on balance, and won't have to think of pedalling if we going down a slight hill. Also hopefully, when she inevitably comes off the bike, it won't be too big a thing.

sphil - How old is your son? DD is just 5, and had been messing about on the scooter, but not enjoying it. I took her to a pedestrian plaza (surface much smoother than pavement/sidewalks) at a time when very few people were around. I just let her practice, but found it helped tremendously when I told her to repeat "push, push, glide", and I demonstrated what that looked like on the scooter. She hopped on, tried to imitate me, and in doing so, was able to do it a different way instead of frantically pushing off/exhausting herself. The mantra also gave her something to focus on, which I think helped her. As she started to get the hang of it, I'd tell her to go from point A to point B and back - made a game out of it, which she loved. Can't stop her now - she's a scootering demon! Good luck, and let us know how you get on.

kid Tue 30-May-06 23:12:22

I let DH teach DS how to ride without the stabalisers. He managed it after DH let go of the seat without DS noticing.
I took him out on the bike yesterday just as he hasn't been out on it since April and he couldn't balance again. He thought he would just be able to ride it again so he fell straight off. He didn't want to ride it after that. Looks like I will have to get DH to take him out again to restore his confidence.

notagrannyyet Tue 30-May-06 23:36:42

I found that all mine stared at the handle bars or wheel. It helped to encourage them to 'aim ' for something in the distance, and then peddle like hell! I then had to run after them , because of course they can't stop or turn corners! At what age 'they go it alone ' varies tremendously . All my six were different. ranging from riding off happily at the 1st attempt age 3, to screaming Don't let me go!!! and falling off at 6 1/2. It was a bit like learnig to swim really some kids find it easy some don't.... They all manage in the end though!

Albert Wed 31-May-06 00:09:57

When DS learned to ride we removed the stabilisers and shoved a long broom handle down the back of the bike over the mudguard. This meant that DH or I could hold the handle without killing our backs, balance DS enough for him to be stable but not actually holding him IYSWIM. We charged around like this for a bit, DS loved it because he couldn't see us and felt like he was already riding alone. After a while we took him to the park and he practised on the grass, 2 circuits later he did it on his own and then we couldn't get him off his bike although I draw a line about riding it around the supermarket!
We got this tip from Denmark where people seem to be born on bikes.

sphil Wed 31-May-06 23:51:45

Earlybird - DS1 is 5 on Friday so nearly same age as your DD. Push push glide is a brilliant idea - he has a good sense of rhythm so can see this working well. Will let you know how we get on.

I like the broom handle idea - though we're a long way off that yet - DS1 has only just learnt to ride with stabilisers.

pippi123 Thu 01-Jun-06 19:29:34

My DD was struggling with this until she went to her cousin's. She followed along behind her cousin being told to watch her ponytail - this seemed to work as up until then she was too busy looking at her feet to balance properly.

Not much help if you only have boy cousins though!

Arabica Thu 01-Jun-06 21:37:49

I'd suggest she goes to the park with a friend of similar age who is already a confident rider. DS learned on a like-a-bike (the £30 version from Lidl supermarket) so we knew he already had the ability to balance on 2 wheels, but riding a 'big' bike without stabilisers is largely a psychological feat. If they think they can do it, they will--one of his girlfriends offered him a ride on her shiny new bike and he mastered it within minutes!

rktb Fri 02-Jun-06 22:07:38

We took stabilisers AND pedals off her normal bike (bit of spanner hassle) and sent her down gentle slope with legs out ready to fall a few times (in great fear) then when we put pedals back on (but not the stabilizers) - she was balancing and the pedals were a reassurance. She was away!

Also taught her that the more she pedalled the less wobbly it would be. We were gobsmacked because it only took a day and she was in no way confident (pedals off for 1hr's riding in the morning then back on, without the stabilizers, in the afternoon after a couple of refresher goes with nothing).

So you don't really need to buy those wooden pedal-less bikes, although they are much less hassle and very nice!

sharry Mon 05-Jun-06 17:04:06

Make obstacle course for 2 wheeled scooter to help steering etc move cones further in to make it more tricky and visa versa. Also practice on a grassy slope so they can balance for longer (without scooting)
Didn't put stabilisers on dd's bike just ran with her on grass holding on slightly on back seat she was away straight off! 4 years 1 month

LotosEater Mon 05-Jun-06 17:10:55

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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