So the day has come! Teaching your child how to learn to bike his or her bike without the support wheels.
First of all this is a BIG day for your child! I remember when I learned to bike without the support wheels, and I am 40 years old 😂
If you can - maybe with the help of a brother/sister/dad/mom/grandparent/friend - get the phone out, and record some video of the efforts. They will be FUN to see in a few years time, and will provide some good fun family laughs later on.
There are quite a few tricks to learn, when it comes to bike the bicycle without support wheels. We have gathered a few of the ones we like, and you can kinda pick and choose the ones that suits your needs the best.
1. Balance bikes
Balance bikes are a great! Most importantly they are fun for the kids to bike when they are younger, and secondly they teach the children a lot of balancing skills. Those skills are important when it comes to learn how to bike. If your child is too big for a balance bike, there is another way.
2. Pedals off
When it comes to bicycling, the most important thing is the balance. Actually the faster they go, the easier it gets for the children to hold their balance (pssst...don't ever tell them that 😁 ).
If you are past the step of balance bikes, another way to learn the basics of balance, is to remove the pedals from the bicycle. Make sure the saddle is all the way down, so the child can reach the ground with a flat foot. It is also VERY IMPORTANT, that you learn this skill on a flat road, AND that the child has handbrakes available. Remember just getting up on a "big" bicycle, is a huge step in the eyes of your child. No need to go biking without brakes as well.
This is the way I teached my own kids how to bicycle. I added a broom stick to the saddle, and ran behind my kids when they went biking. I could tell it gave them comfort knowing, that daddy was right next to them, in case something happened - for example when my youngest saw a butterfly and forgot all about what he was doing and started pointing with his fingers. After a few try outs one afternoon, they were good to go (they spent hours on balance bikes growing up).
4. Run Forrest, run!
The gold old method still works. Run behind them and holding their shoulders while they try to keep their balance. Some children likes this, and others don't. Try and get a feel for it, include your children and ask what they think.
My oldest son was a Daredevil from the very beginning (basically still is). He wanted no part of me whatsoever, in the process of learning to bike. It resulted in a few bruises, but he managed to figure it out.
My youngest was a bit more "seeking-my-help" kinda type. But both methods worked, and after one afternoon of practicing, they both were biking all over the safe roads and bike paths around our neighborhood.
5. Start small
When the child has learned to balance the bike a little bit, try to implement some "gamification" in the proces - make a game out of it.
If you count the seconds the feet are off the ground, your child will experience gratitude and excitement, when beating their own records. At the same time, it will learn the kids to have their feet off the ground, and gain comfort in knowing they can actually balance the bike.
You can go 20 feet down the road, and let them know when they reached you, they will get a big Winners Salute from you. Next time go 25 feet and so on.
6. Always remember!
ALWAYS wear a helmet! That goes without saying of course. Wearing a bicycle helmet is the single most important thing, you can do for your child. It will teach your kids, that it is normal to wear every time they go out bicycling, also when they grow older.
Train on a flat surface in the park, outside your house on a safe road or another place that makes sense for you.
Remember to educate your child in how to use the bike. How to use the brakes, how to stear, what to look for and so on. It is pretty standard for us, but for a child going out to bicycle with support wheels, it can be quite overwhelming at first.
Most importantly is to have FUN when learning to bike. My experience having two boys is, that they can do 10 x times more, then I actually think they can... and a 100 x times more what their mom think they can 😂.
Good luck with one of the greatest days in their lives!
p.s. feel free to post videos and pictures on Instagram and tag our account @Crazy_safety (www.instagram.com/crazy_safety/). That would really make our day (...and all our followers as well).