I'm going to relate here how I taught my son to ride a bike. I see the process of learning to bike in two parts: 1) development of sufficient leg strength to be able to pedal and 2) development of balance. In order to work on the first, a bicycle with training wheels is fine. Once your child can pedal around comfortably they are ready for phase two, a pedalless bike.
I posted a while back a picture of a German pedalless like called a Laufrad
(in German, Lauf = run and Rad = wheel, so the term translates to "running wheel"), which is how German kids learn to ride. Rather than looking for a Laufrad, make a pedalless bike by removing the pedals.
The Laufrad, a German learning bicycle which has no pedals.
To remove the pedals, the right pedal comes off normally, but the left one if reverse threaded, in order to keep it from loosening while being ridden. (The old righty - tighty rule is reversed on this pedal.) Keep the pedals handy, you'll need them in 4 or 6 weeks. When you're ready to reinstall, make sure you check which pedal is which (one or both is usually marked to identify sides) before installing.
Have your child ride by pushing the bike and gliding. Then, once they've developed a sense of balance, generally just a few weeks, put the pedals on. They will be riding in an hour or less.
This post was written for JK Running
, who has a child struggling with learning to bike.
Labels: bicycling, kids, life