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9th May Bike to School Day – Top Tips for Helping Your Children Ditch the Stabilisers
Happy Bike to School Day everyone! Celebrating all things health, environment, and cycling, this special day is designed to encourage both us and our little ones to ditch the pollution of our family vehicles and do the school run on a bike instead.
If you’d love to take part in this inspiring day but your child is still a little wobbly on their wheels, here are some top tips to help them ditch the stabilisers and develop a new, healthy hobby for life.
Practise Somewhere Safe
Set free on an unstabilised bike, the chances are your child’s movements are going to be a little unpredictable! Make sure you take them somewhere safe away from roads, pedestrians, pets, and other cyclists so that they can wobble away to their heart’s content without putting themselves or anyone else in danger.
Fix The Saddle
When first practising without stabilisers your little one will need to be able to put their feet on the ground if they lose balance, so make sure their saddle is adjusted to a height that allows this.
In fact, feet can be useful in all sorts of ways when first learning to balance on a bike. Instead of trying to get your child to cycle straight away, remove their pedals and get them to scoot around – lifting their feet off the ground for longer and longer periods of time as they get more confident This will help them build up their balance slowly and safely.
Start With Gliding
When they’ve got their balance and it’s time to reintroduce their pedals, have them use this same incremental method with pedalling. Get them to try pressing down one pedal and gliding for a few seconds at a time – building up pedalling and distance until they’re cycling all by themselves!
When they’ve got more of a hang of pedalling, encourage your child to look up and ahead instead of down at their bike. Not only will this prevent them from accidentally bumping into something (or someone!) it will also aid with their steering in general.
When helping your little one through these first steps, it can be a good idea to keep hold of them in case they lose their balance. After all, a nasty accident at this stage can put a child of cycling for life. Hold onto your child though, not the bike, as this will give you more control and protection.