Getting Them Going: Balance and Pedal
Teach A Love Of Cycling
In those first few days, we understand that it can be tricky and sometimes frustrating when introducing and teaching your child to ride their new bike.
Perhaps you're not sure where to start? No worries. Here's some tips on getting your toddler or child going on their balance or pedal bike 🚴♂️
These tips come straight from one of our bike expert, Lewis, who’s spent time teaching children of all ages to cycle.
Getting Started on Balance Bikes
Take a Seat 🧘♀️
The first step can start with getting your little one sitting on their bike. Even if just for 3-5 minutes a day to begin with. This will help your child to feel comfortable in the seat. You can even start by lowering the height of the seat to its lowest point (as this will help with balance).
Start Small 🌱
When your child has grown familiar with sitting on the bike, try a few short journeys. Even if your little one only wants to ride 10 feet or so at the start, that’s okay. It’s the little journeys that count, so aim small and build up the length in time. Confidence will build with each lesson.
Child See. Child Do 😯
Why not ask around at nursery to see if any parents would be interested in getting together to teach your toddlers to balance bike together? We all know kids learn from watching each other.
In Their Own Strides 👣
Start using the bike as a balance bike if your child is a little nervous of pedalling. Keep the pedals off and let them push themselves along.
Once they’ve picked up to a running speed, encourage them to lift and hold their feet off the floor. When they’re confident enough to hold their feet up for about 3-5 seconds, pop on the pedals and have a go.
Around We Go 🔄
When introducing the pedals, your child is likely to start pedalling backwards because there is less resistance. With a bit of encouragement to pedal forwards, they'll soon realise that this will get them moving.
Your child is likely to want you to hold onto the back of their seat to begin with. When you think they'll be okay without your support, step away and follow along beside them instead.
Brakes = Easy Squeezy 🍋
Brakes should be squeezed. Not pulled on. Encourage your little one to keep their fingers rested on the brakes when holding the handlebar. Tell them that this will help them squeeze the brakes to stop quicker when they want/need to.
Fuel for thought 🍎 ...
Free family events: Let's Ride Pop-Up
Did you know that British Cycling provide free and family friendly pop-up cycling events around the country every month? They're bursting with fun and encourage the whole family to get cycling, no matter what level!
"Each pop-up provides a safe and friendly space to enjoy cycling... There's something for everyone to enjoy. From coaching to improve your skills, through to activities for kids... A great way to ride together as a family at a pace that suits you."
Read more and find your next and nearest Let's Ride pop-up event.
We'll be sharing more on family cycling events that you can join around the UK. Stay tuned!
We hope this has been helpful to you. If you’re in need of any more top teaching tips, please feel free to get in touch with the team by live chat or email 💬✉️😀