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How can I help my child to ride a bicycle?

Learning to ride a bicycle will boost your child's confidence and give her the freedom to explore


Posted: 23 August 2012
by Helen McKay-Ferguson

As a child, your route to bicycling probably went a little something like this: first came a tricycle - a stable little vehicle that you could scoot around on, no problem. Then came a bike fitted out with stabilisers, giving you extra support either side. Finally there was the moment when the stabilisers came off and you spent hours wobbling and weaving about on two wheels trying to find your balance – and then keep it.

These days, cycle experts advocate a different approach. Instead of a tricycle, a training bicycle with no pedals – such as a Likeabike or a Wishbone Bike – is lauded as the ideal vehicle to help a preschooler find her balance. A pedal-free bike also helps children get the knack of steering using the front wheel. Your child will then find it much easier to progress onto a bigger bike, and may not even need to use stabilisers. To start with, it's a good idea to set the seat as low as possible so your child can reach the floor with her feet. As she gains her confidence, you can raise the seat to the right height so she can touch the ground on her tiptoes.

Enrolling your child in a cycling course can help give your child that extra little bit of support she needs. Try:
Balanceability - 12-week training courses for children aged two and a half to six years.
The British Cycling Federation - for details of Go-Ride Holiday Schools.
London Recumbents
- hire, sell and teach on a variety of bikes. Branches in Dulwich Park (020 8299 6636), Battersea Park (020 7498 6543) and Brighton (Life Cycle 07939 588 044).

And, once your child is riding, track down a traffic-free cycle route near you with Sustrans,the sustainable transport charity who opened 5,000 miles of cycle paths in the last year and can provide details of national traffic-free cycle routes.

Read all about...
The Wishbone 3-in-1 Balance Bike, winner in the category of Best Eco Toy in our Junior Design Awards 2012.



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