If you want to explore the health benefits for children that only cycling can bring, you’ve certainly come to the right place. To make things nice and easy for you to get started, we’re going to talk you through a fast, effective and simple way to get your child cycling.
You’ll learn everything you need to know so that you can leave all those other complex approaches you’ll have seen online behind. Perfect for getting your little one to enjoy the world on two wheels before they know it.
Take Things at Their Pace
First things first, don’t be tempted to try and rush them. Children will start cycling when they’re good and ready, and all they need is a gentle nudge in the right direction to get moving. If they say they’re feeling tired or want a break, let them have it. Otherwise, all you’re doing is making cycling something they don’t associate with fun, and that’s never a good way to create a habit that could last a lifetime.
Start With a Balance Bike
Balance bikes are ideal if you want to help your little one develop their balance and coordination in those precious early years. They’re fun, affordable and easy to get hold of — three reasons we think they’re the ideal starting point for teaching any child to cycle the easy way.
If you make riding their balance bike a fun activity that’s part of everyday life, you’ll soon find they never want to go anywhere without it. Before you know it they’ll be seeing adults and older kids riding pedal bikes and they’ll want to know why they have to miss out. The good news for them is they don’t, and the good news for you is that you’ll now have an attentive and enthusiastic student who is ready to learn to cycle.
Let Them Go
The best way to build their confidence is to show them that they can control the bike by themselves. If you’re always holding onto the saddle then the bike is either not going to move naturally and affect their balance, or they will think that there is a big risk involved. Or, most likely, a little bit of both.
That’s why we always suggest finding a correctly sized bike and just letting go. Make sure they’re well away from the road and other forms of traffic and make sure they know how to operate the brakes. Show them that you’re right there with them, but that they’re the one who is going to have the fun of controlling the bike.
They might be a little nervous at first, but by the time they get the hang of it, you can rest assured that they will be feeling much more secure in what they are doing.
Set the Gears For Them
Next up we have the gears. Now that your little one can balance on the bike and use the brakes, you want to show them how they can really pick up speed. A lot of kids get confused when it comes to gearing because they’ll think that to go faster you just need to pedal faster.
The key here is to keep things as simple as possible by only focusing on two gears. Make sure that their ratios are far enough apart so that the child can feel the different levels of resistance, as well as see firsthand how that translates into significantly more speed.
Set Them a Challenge
Lastly, how about setting them a challenge so that they really want to stick with their new hobby? We could have devoted this section to laying out cones and teaching them to go around corners, but you’ll be amazed at just how much they pick up with you watching on.
Instead, why not show them some of the cycle routes the two of you could head off and explore together? It’ll pique their interest and give them something to aim for — ideal if you want to get them outside and out of breath every day so they grow up big and strong.
Just make sure that you set realistic expectations in the first few weeks of them having mastered the basics. The last thing you want is a disappointed little face staring back at you when you tell them that their trip down the Tarka Line is about another 10 years away!
Now you’ve heard all about the easiest way to get your child cycling, all you have to do is go and tell them the good news. You’re going to teach them a skill that will make them big and strong, give them years of fun and will allow them to go out there and explore the world. They won’t be able to believe their luck!
About The Author
I’m Rebecca, a translator and avid traveler, a book worm and horror flick enthusiast. My job has given me the amazing opportunity to travel to dozens of countries around the world, and writing on Rough Draft gives me a chance to try to showcase some of them.