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Old 01-18-09, 07:56 PM   #1
cycledawg26
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Ditching the Training Wheels

An amazing thing happened once we got our trail-gator hooked up and our 4 yr old boy started riding with us...he got up enough confidence in his balance to try his 12" bike without training wheels. And he can do it! Now our problem is just getting him started. I have to hold his bike and give him a little push...I've tried to teach him how to get his pedals just right and push off by himself, or start on a hill and coast then put his feet on the pedals, but either I'm not teaching it right or he's not understanding my method. Likewise, if his foot slips off the pedal he won't just put it back on and keep going...instead he drags that foot on the ground and stops the bike. Any suggestions for teaching the little ones how to get going on their own??

Thanks!

Here he is riding in the school parking lot:
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Old 01-20-09, 02:26 PM   #2
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Don't hold the bike because the bike then goes where you're pushing it - which might not be quite where he's steering it.

Put your hand on his back to assist him in getting started. Don't forget that, at 4, they are still integrating their neuromuscular systems and will be for some time yet. Just keep on encouraging him and he'll soon get the hang of it. I speak from the experience of having taught about 250 kids to ride at our club over the last 10 years, including brothers aged 4 and 6, last Sat.

Once he does, you'll really have something to worry about

Nice pic by the way
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Old 01-20-09, 06:02 PM   #3
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Thanks.

I figure that one of these days he'll just go out there and get on it and take off on his own without thinking about it...that's what I'm hoping for anyway!
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Old 02-04-09, 04:25 PM   #4
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Use an innertube

I've taught a number of my nieces and nephews to ride. I loop an innertube around the seatpost. This allows me to keep them from falling while still allowing them to feel where the balance point is. Only one child took more than an hour.

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Old 02-06-09, 09:46 PM   #5
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I have had great success removing the pedals and putting the seat down as low as it goes. The kids scoot along and pick up their feet and balance all by themselves. Later when they can go no footed, the pedals go on and it becomes natural. Honest.
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Old 02-10-09, 09:38 AM   #6
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As my #2 son was learning to ride the training wheel brackets slowly got bent up until they reached the point that they were only useful to him as an aide to mounting and starting. Of course these were a set of training wheels that were designed for a 20 inch bike and we were using them on a 16 incher so they stuck out further from the bike then normal especially once they got bent up.
Justin
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Old 02-10-09, 07:36 PM   #7
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He's finally started coasting down the hill a little and then putting his feet on the pedals so I think he's getting it! He's on a 12 inch bike now but getting a 16 inch in April for his b-day so hopefully between now and then he'll have it mastered.
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Old 02-19-09, 07:37 PM   #8
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We did our first tour with a set of five year old twins on training wheels. 83 km in four days of cycling. Training wheels are such a pain in the you know where. I don't know how many times those two wiped out on the transition between the pavement and the gravel shoulder. Banked curves were also an issue because they just weren't moving fast enough for the tilt of the pavement. We decided to avoid the whole issue with my daughter. When she was five we were in a place with a really big common back yard. Gave the bike without training wheels and told her to figure it out as fast as she could. Only took her a couple days. Within a couple months she rode 48.5 km in one day with the family on a day trip. In a two week period she covered 200 km plus carrying her own clothes, eating utensils and bedding. All before her sixth birthday. Now I have a four year old to train. Hoping he can actually ride on short trip this summer. He turns five in June.
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