Learning to ride a 2-wheeled bicycle is a very exciting goal for kids. The skill lasts a lifetime and has great purpose and fun. Our local expert provides bicycle riding tips for kids to ensure a smooth ride.
“Everyone remembers where and when they learned to ride a bicycle. They are hopefully positive memories that do not resemble a roller coaster ride,” said Steve Finkelstein, Founder of Professor Pedals, a service that offers private bicycle riding lessons on Long Island.
It is critical to approach the learning process positively and properly. Follow these simple tips to achieve great riding skills.
Think safety. “A child is dangerous if they can ride a bicycle. They need to have total control of the bicycle, not just how to move and balance it. They must know how to stop and manage the bicycle without injury,” said Finkelstein. Wear safety gear including a helmet and padding. Make sure shoe laces are tied as they can get caught in the bicycle.
Be patient. Developing the skills to ride a bicycle takes time. Keep lesson duration at a manageable level. Know the limits of the student and avoid exhausting their patience and ability. Exhaustion can lower performance and reduce control of the bicycle.
Avoid distractions & obstacles. Train on a quiet, flat, smooth, authorized location. Avoid distractions and maybe even the student’s friends. Students could be embarrassed if they are seen by their friends learning to ride a bicycle.
Soften the tires. Keep the tire pressure on the bicycle at a less than firm level. This reduces the speed and improves stability for the rider.
Lower the seat. Allow the student to place both feet flat on the ground when seated.
Be a shadow. Assist in the learning process by helping navigate at the handlebars and stabilize at the seat. Assist them with smooth and simple corrections.
Prepare to jog. Don’t run. Running with a student indicates that they are traveling too fast and may lose control of the bicycle. A comfortable learning pace for a bicycle is the trainer at a light jog. Plus, you won’t tire out as a teacher too fast!
Have fun. Keep the process positive and exciting. These are memorable moments that will last a lifetime. Bicycle riding is usually one of the first major goals a child achieves.
By Steve Finkelstein of Professor Pedals in Syosset, NY