The best way to make your child become a confident cyclist, is to start early! If they are happy walking and running then from the age of about 1,5 they can start playing on a balance bike. Balance bike is a small bike for toddlers. It has no pedals so it’s main principle is, in fact, to run, seating on a saddle and learn to keep balance!
Here are some easy steps to help you get started:
- We highly recommend to use helmet during riding a balance bike! It will protect from injuries in case of falls. Make sure it is worn properly: it must cover both forehead and the back of the head, the straps should be tight.
- Choose a proper size of the bike (not oversized!) Don’t forget to adjust the saddle height (and, if possible, all the other adjustments) and check the tire pressure.
- Go to the park or any other safe and flat place with rather smooth cover. There should be no cars, open water, borders or stairs.
- Let your child try to take balance bike from the ground and sit on it by him/herself. Repeat a few times.
- Before starting the ride, both feet should be flat on the ground and both hands on the handlebars.
- Have a go, walking slowly with the bike. At these first steps you can support the bike and help your kid understand the principles of moove.
- You should work on starts and stops, giving a simple voice commands. To help keep it fun you can perform it as a game.
- Oh, don’t forget to look where you are going! )) At this age kids are so easily distracted 🙂 It helps to have someone up ahead to look at. This will encourage the rider to move from one grown-up to another.
- Do this many times and your child will naturally pick up speed!
- As your riders gain confidence, try to encourage them to take longer steps and lift their feet off the ground.
- Always stop before your child is tired, bored or hungry 🙂
- Take your balance bike out little but often
Why to choose a balance bike?
There are many reasons why to choose a balance bike rather than a one with stabilizers or a trike as a very first bike! Most cycling instructors agree that it’s best to learn to balance first before trying to pedal unaided. Your child will have more control over their bike and will learn to steer and slow down properly.