Learning to ride

Your first wobbly solo bike ride is a great achievement!

But some kids need a little more help.

I was one of them.

I was eight when I made my first epic traverse of the front yard. After hours of riding up and down the driveway begging Mum “Don’t let go!”, I was on my own.

I was riding!

I was flying!

Until I flew over the handlebars, headfirst into the fence.

“Why didn’t you stop? Why didn’t you steer?” someone asked me.

“Because I was BALANCING!” I yelled through the tears.

Steering, balancing, pedalling, remembering where those brakes are and when to use them… it’s a lot to coordinate!

For some kids we play running games to practice moving while looking straight ahead before we start riding.

Sometimes we take the pedals and training wheels off a bike so the rider can focus on balance and steering.

We might switch between a bike with training wheels to practice steering, braking, pedalling and riding with confidence, and a bike with no training wheels to practice balance.

Whatever the approach… keeping it fun, breaking it down into manageable steps, and making sure the rider feels successful with their attempts is key.

Until one day, it all clicks and riding a bike becomes just like… riding a bike!

 

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