Balancing on two wheels and pedaling without looking at your feet are two challenges that an apprentice cyclist must take up, whose bike evolves at the rate of his learning.
Step 1: Stay in balance
Several adults once learned to ride a bicycle using a tricycle that tames the movement of pedaling forward, but limits the learning of balance, argues Maxime Lachance, buyer of bikes for Sports Experts .
More popular today, the small bicycle without a pedal, called a balance bike, favors first reaching balance, by inviting the child to adopt the same position as on a traditional bicycle and to move using it. from his feet to the ground. Gaining confidence while taking control of his balance bike, the little one will gradually lift his feet off the ground to take advantage of his momentum, then maintaining his balance.
Step 2: Learn to pedal
When the young cyclist is skilled on two wheels, it is easier for him to learn to pedal, slow down and brake, using a small bike (wheels less than 18 inches) with stabilizing wheels to the rear, many of which are installed and removed today without the aid of tools. The child will be able to descend a small hill on a bicycle without falling, since he will have developed his sense of balance, and back on a platform, he will understand that pedaling will be necessary to keep moving forward and gaining speed. “This is when the parent has his role to play,” says Lachance, reminding his child not to look at his feet, but in front of him and by keeping the bike upright while he tames the forward pedaling movement. “Very quickly, the stabilizing wheels will become obsolete,” says Lachance, who has experienced it with his three children.
Step 3: Take advantage of your freedom
Riding his junior bike, often hybrid or all-terrain, the growing child will continue to develop his passion for cycling by riding on several types of roads and trails, helping him to define his interests. Having fun with his friends, going on an adventure with his parents, enjoying a new freedom, he will start dreaming about his next bike, the one that will allow him to face the “pumptracks”, hit the mountains or to cover many kilometers of road, for example.
▸ The right height
A learning child’s bicycle should allow them to sit well on the saddle with both feet flat on the floor. The next step will be to raise the saddle a little, so that it ends up on tiptoe, in order to be more efficient when pedaling, but less stable when stopping.
▸ Wear helmet
Because falling and getting up are part of the initiation, it is essential to wear a properly fitted helmet. The latter will have a maximum lifespan of five years, depending on the impact. “Buy a helmet suitable for your child’s head and make sure it is worn correctly. Obviously, by wearing a helmet yourself, you are setting a good example for it, ”says the SAAQ on its website.
▸ The price
The prices of children’s bikes can vary from $ 80 to $ 1000, to cater to a large clientele. A child who rides a more affordable bike will have no less fun indulging in this hobby, says Lachance. The more expensive bike will be of better quality and more efficient, will last longer, then can be passed to the next one.