Children learning to ride

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
John Holiday
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Children learning to ride

Postby John Holiday » 1 Sep 2019, 3:35pm

Just back from local Eco-fair where I had offered to do some basic cycle repairs/checks. Little take up unfortunately, but did manage to teach a nine year old & her twelve year old brother to ride for first time.
Younger girl still had dreaded stabilizers fitted,so threw them away & soon had her riding around!
Thought most children learnt to ride when they were about two?
Good to see them riding with some confidence & hopefully will now get out on some of the local traffic network.

Bonefishblues
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Re: Children learning to ride

Postby Bonefishblues » 1 Sep 2019, 3:51pm

Kids are, I think, learning later these days - it's illegal to go on the road, for a start (I made that up, but it might as well be).

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rbrian
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Re: Children learning to ride

Postby rbrian » 1 Sep 2019, 3:58pm

I had a plastic tricycle when I was so young I don't remember getting it. Then a miniature Raleigh Chopper clone, in fetching purple. My dad took the stabilisers off when I was 4. My nephew and neices all had balance bikes, moving on to pedal cycles at around 4 or 5. My friend's 4 year old triplets all have balance bikes, but the smallest one prefers her scooter, and the biggest is ready for pedals. I have an idea what they'll be getting for Christmas!
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tatanab
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Re: Children learning to ride

Postby tatanab » 1 Sep 2019, 4:51pm

I did not learn to ride until I was 9 years old, in the early 1960s so money was tight. I came to dread Sunday afternoons because it meant being pushed up and down the road until I got the hang of it. A couple of months later I went on my first "day" ride with a school friend, all of 8 miles.

rmurphy195
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Re: Children learning to ride

Postby rmurphy195 » 5 Sep 2019, 12:53am

My 3 year old nephew has been happily riding his balance bike through the summer - its equipped with a rear brake so he's learning about that as he goes (I think its a Wiggins). He loves it and is very confident on it.

My own 2 children had stabilisers at first. We took them off my daughters bike one day, and she couldn't get the hang of balancing at all for the first couple of days, then one day I was sitting outside the caravan reading and she said "I'm off to the toilet now dad" "OK Dear" - then "I'm back dad" - I looked around and she'd pedalled off on her own without me hleping to keep her upright!

Son spend lots of time riding around a caravan site access road, we could hear him as he went round 'cos of the noise the balance wheels made. Took the stabilisers off to load the bike into the caravan - flat battery on car! Son wanted to ride his bike while we waited, took it out of the caravan and rode off - no stabilisers! We could tell where he was on the campsite by the cheers of encouragement from the other campers as he went around!
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eileithyia
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Re: Children learning to ride

Postby eileithyia » 5 Sep 2019, 8:27am

rmurphy195 wrote:My 3 year old nephew has been happily riding his balance bike through the summer - its equipped with a rear brake so he's learning about that as he goes (I think its a Wiggins). He loves it and is very confident on it.

My own 2 children had stabilisers at first. We took them off my daughters bike one day, and she couldn't get the hang of balancing at all for the first couple of days, then one day I was sitting outside the caravan reading and she said "I'm off to the toilet now dad" "OK Dear" - then "I'm back dad" - I looked around and she'd pedalled off on her own without me hleping to keep her upright!

Son spend lots of time riding around a caravan site access road, we could hear him as he went round 'cos of the noise the balance wheels made. Took the stabilisers off to load the bike into the caravan - flat battery on car! Son wanted to ride his bike while we waited, took it out of the caravan and rode off - no stabilisers! We could tell where he was on the campsite by the cheers of encouragement from the other campers as he went around!


It's great isn't to see them do this, we have a mix of children and bikes turn up to New forest week most years. Younger children always have a parent /child combo for the daily rides, but often have a bike on site.... oh the cheers as the campsite realise a child has taken off for the first time..... (no perimeter road just some bumpy grass), it's as though they see everyone doing it so just get on and do it.

As an aside we never had stabilisers, just good ole dad hanging on (or not) to our saddles to keep us steady. My son didn't either though he did take longer to learn..... but I put that down to his learning issues shaping his confidence along with riding tandem for many years.
A friend who did have stabilisers didn't ever get rid of them and learn to ride.
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Tangled Metal
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Re: Children learning to ride

Postby Tangled Metal » 5 Sep 2019, 9:32am

Riding at 2? I think that's a bit optimistic especially since from what I remember there's really no pedal bike small enough for my son when 2 and he has always been among the tallest at his age.

3 is the earliest I reckon you'll get a kid riding a pedal bike and that's really early. In my sons school in reception he was the only one able to ride and by the end of the year one or two still couldn't.

Just deleted a couple of comments, they were too much like proud parent brags. Our son was an early rider compared to local kids his age, but that was at 3 years and 3 months.

keyboardmonkey
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Re: Children learning to ride

Postby keyboardmonkey » 5 Sep 2019, 11:31am

John Holiday wrote:... Thought most children learnt to ride when they were about two?...

I seriously doubt it. My son started on a balance bike at two, and continued to ride his little trike. I think the pedalling aspect of the trike was very handy when he got his first ‘big boy’ bike at the age of three (a Cnoc 14).

After a few minutes he was riding on his own - just struggling to get on and off. IME experience three is young - especially without stabilisers - and I was sceptical about whether he could take to it.

By contrast, at the age of four my youngest can turn the pedals for a few strokes, seemingly forgets, then has to be caught by me or ends with a tearful crash. Perhaps crucially she never bothered much with the trike and still prefers her ‘baby bike’ - or her scooter. C’est la vie.

John Holiday
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Re: Children learning to ride

Postby John Holiday » 6 Sep 2019, 5:37pm

Interesting responses to my original comment.
As National Standards Bikeability Instructor in schools,
I am always keen to persuade people to buy a balance bike,rather than the dreaded stabilizers, or just remove the pedals.
With regard to age,was in Switzerland a couple of years ago at UECT Rally, & met a Dutch couple with their toddler scooting along on balance bike & just 18 months old!

Darkman
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Re: Children learning to ride

Postby Darkman » 19 Sep 2019, 11:40am

My daughter (now 10) had little interest in bikes, but we bought her one about three years ago just to get her able to ride, even if she didn't like it.

Last summer, she was quite enjoying riding it around the village green, where cars are few. I was stood watching, and she got knocked off - by a bee! Panicked, steered and braked at the same time, front wheel folded, down she went. I was 23 stone at the time and it took me what seemed like AGES to get over there and pick her up.

This was the event that prompted me to sort myself out (even if I was months just thinking about it before taking action).

But the upshot is, she's only been on a bike once since, and that was for Bikeability at school but she refused day 2 when they went on quiet roads. She's big enough to almost be able to ride an adult bike now, but flat out refuses. Myself and the missus both like a bike ride and we'd like her to come with us, but no idea how to persuade her to give it another go. I've already tried explaining that everybody falls off at some point (I came unstuck three times before I was her age) but to no avail.

Anywho, here's my bike! Found in my dad's cellar just a few days ago. It's probably stood in that exact spot, rotting for over thirty years, and the cellar has been flooded twice that I know of in that time. I was a bit like a Grifter, but not a Grifter. It was called a Bronco or something (probably why I fell off it!), and originally had a big yellow plate on the front with a number 8 on it. Notice the weight-reducing modifications - no rear brake, and just the one hand grip! :mrgreen:

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Vorpal
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Re: Children learning to ride

Postby Vorpal » 19 Sep 2019, 11:49am

Darkman wrote:But the upshot is, she's only been on a bike once since, and that was for Bikeability at school but she refused day 2 when they went on quiet roads. She's big enough to almost be able to ride an adult bike now, but flat out refuses. Myself and the missus both like a bike ride and we'd like her to come with us, but no idea how to persuade her to give it another go. I've already tried explaining that everybody falls off at some point (I came unstuck three times before I was her age) but to no avail.

Maybe a tandem? https://www.tandeming.co.uk/ or https://tandem-club.org.uk/files/inform ... mhire.html
My son (also 10) doesn't like to ride his own bike, but he does like the back of our tandem.

I did resort to bribery with getting him to learn to ride his own bike.
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100%JR
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Re: Children learning to ride

Postby 100%JR » 23 Sep 2019, 9:02am

My daughter,now 18,learned to ride properly when she was 8.She then had an accident and never rode again.She's just started Uni and there were lots of bikes locked up at her halls of residence.I did mention a bike would be ideal but soon got shot down.
My son was also a late starter finally coming off stabilisers at 7 years old.By the time he was 8 he was riding a dropped barred bike with spds and racing both closed circuit and Cyclo-cross.He's almost 12 now and hardly races but prefers to ride with me.The trouble is he's getting stronger and faster and I'm going the other way :lol: On steep climbs or long drags he just leaves me for dead :roll: I suspect in two or three years he'll be far too quick to ride with me.
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Rob Archer
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Re: Children learning to ride

Postby Rob Archer » 23 Sep 2019, 4:15pm

Earlier this year I and a friend had the pleasure of teaching a couple of 60+ year-olds to ride! They'd both been given bikes as retirement gifts but dared not admit they'd never learnt to ride! I suspect this is not as unusual as we think. To cut a long story short we had them both riding confidently in about 2 hours. They're now often seen riding around the area and, last time I heard, were talking about getting a tandem!

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Re: Children learning to ride

Postby brynpoeth » 23 Sep 2019, 8:29pm

100% should get a tandem too to harness his lad :)
I suspect that surprisingly many people cannot cycle, I mean never learnt
Balancing on two wheels is a queer and unlikely thing :wink:
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100%JR
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Re: Children learning to ride

Postby 100%JR » 23 Sep 2019, 10:49pm

brynpoeth wrote:100% should get a tandem too to harness his lad :)

Never!
Last edited by 100%JR on 24 Sep 2019, 1:59pm, edited 1 time in total.
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