Steady rider wrote:
My suggestion was trying to avoid even a couple of falls, that may be typical when kids learn to ride. Kids have learnt to balance when learning to walk. Applying it to cycling can be done without falling off but needs a suitable progressive process. Could be suitable for research?
That a child has learned to balance walking is only part of the game, because a standing stance is stable side to side but a cycling stance is stable end to end. Also, balance and steering on a bike are intimately entwined, where as it's rather different on foot, and to get more stable on foot you stop, but to get more stable on a bike you speed up... In other words, it's a very different sort of balance.
As our various posts (even from a very small sample) show, different horses, different courses, but an important aspect is it's largely the child who will pick the course. As parents know, there are times when you can lead a horse to water, stick a high pressure hose in its mouth and turn it on, but you still can't get them to drink... If a child doesn't want your preferred option, for whatever reason (it's the wrong colour, Billy down the street has a different one, there's a 'y' in the day etc.) then that is pretty much that.
So it tends to be a collaborative effort (and this may extend to helmets, track mitts etc. as well as choice of bike) starting when the child has decided they'll start, and no matter how good your notional "progressive process" it'll have to account for the child's wishes too. Thus I suspect that research efforts here would be less useful than one might hope. Balance bikes are favoured as a progress path now as cycle trainers have found they seem to get the best results (including at adult level, taking off pedals and moving seats down), but I recall a balance bike review in Cycle
where Dan Joyce used his young children and friends as testers, and one just wouldn't be having anything to do with pedal-free cycling.
Also the case that their environment will have a lot to do with it. So children in NL, where so many people cycle, will be more likely to want to cycle because that's what everybody does
so you'd expect it to happen more across the board, including younger kids. The point of the wee film that's generally liked here isn't it's a good way to train a cyclist, but that it represents normality
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...