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  1. #1
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    8 year old can't ride a bike please help

    my 8 year old daughter who lives with her mom brought to my attention that she hasn't learned to ride a bike yet and dosn't even own one. My parrents have 2 older bicycles that were my younger sisters one is a 20 inch Huffy single speed coaster brake, you know the ones with the pads painted pink, yes its a Huffy but a made in the USA vintage and free. the other is a bigger bike not sure of the brand but nicer quality 18 speed with handbrakes. My thoughts are to teach her on the Huffy even though she is slightly too big for it then move her up to the 18 speed. If she lived with me I'd buy her a new nice bike but for every other weekend and the few blocks that will be ridden on it the 18 speed should be more then sufficient. OH and I will have it looked over by a LBS.

    What are your thoughts on this idea. What is the best way to teach and older child to ride esp one that is a little afraid of the bicycle. Any thoughts or ideas would be apreaciated.

    Thank You

  2. #2
    Senior Member limeylew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cldwingnut View Post
    my 8 year old daughter who lives with her mom brought to my attention that she hasn't learned to ride a bike yet and dosn't even own one. My parrents have 2 older bicycles that were my younger sisters one is a 20 inch Huffy single speed coaster brake, you know the ones with the pads painted pink, yes its a Huffy but a made in the USA vintage and free. the other is a bigger bike not sure of the brand but nicer quality 18 speed with handbrakes. My thoughts are to teach her on the Huffy even though she is slightly too big for it then move her up to the 18 speed. If she lived with me I'd buy her a new nice bike but for every other weekend and the few blocks that will be ridden on it the 18 speed should be more then sufficient. OH and I will have it looked over by a LBS.

    What are your thoughts on this idea. What is the best way to teach and older child to ride esp one that is a little afraid of the bicycle. Any thoughts or ideas would be apreaciated.

    Thank You
    Get her a scooter first, so she can learn the 'balancing' thing.

    Good luck.
    Lewis.
    A cyclist is a cyclist's worst enemy.
    ***************************

  3. #3
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Take the pedals off and let her scoot around on a bike.
    When she is ready for pedals she will tell you.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  4. #4
    Senior Member avmanansala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limeylew View Post
    Get her a scooter first, so she can learn the 'balancing' thing.

    Good luck.
    +2 My son had a hard time learning how to balance without training wheels. We got him a scooter (Razor) and he picked up his balance inside of two weeks. Had a neighbor do the same thing with the same result. Just about all the kids in the neighborhood ride now.
    "Study your math, kids. Key to the Universe." - Gabriel in The Prophecy

  5. #5
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    Search teaching a kid/child to ride on this section - umpteen threads on it.

    However...

    1. Remove pedals (LH pedal has LH thread, i.e. opposite to normal
    2. Make sure she can reach ground easily with feet but legs not very bent
    3a) find gentle slope, preferably leading to level ground, and get her to roll down it until she can keep her feet off the floor for a decent distance
    or
    3b) If no slope, get her to "walk" the bike along until the same thing happens
    4. When she can travel at sufficient speed to keep her feet of the ground and steer reasonably well, put the pedals back on and then your troubles start.
    5. Once she can ride, she may need a helping hand to get going until her muscles become strong/co-ordinated enough. If so, place your hand on her back, don't push the bike - it will then go where you're pushing it, which may not quite be where she's steering it.

    Good luck.

    By the way, there are some very good tips to be garnered from a BBC East Midlands programme which is on their website, where an adult reporter is taught to ride on line - I'll try and find it (in fact it's on this forum under the heading "Kylielearns to ride and then takes a trip". The teaching is a model of clarity and structure.

  6. #6
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    on that tiny huffy you might not even need to remove the pedals first

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Take the pedals off and let her scoot around on a bike.
    When she is ready for pedals she will tell you.
    This is what I did with both my kids, in addition to lowering the seat a little so they could put their feet flat on the ground easily. We live across the street from a school with a very slight slope to the ground, so with a little push, they could coast quite a distance. My daughter (best athlete in the family by far) picked it up in about 10 minutes at age 5. My son was a little older and did a lot of 8-foot rides before he finally made it all the way across, but as I recall (it was 20 years ago), it took a couple of half-hour sessions before he was zooming in circles. Then put the pedals back on as footrests, and soon they'll be riding.
    Incidentally, I was 10 or 11 before I learned to ride, and I've been doing it for more than 50 years now.

  8. #8
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    Removing the pedals is a big help since it avoids hurt ankles and shins from hitting the pedals - and with a reluctant learner you definitely want to avoid anything that hurts.

    As others have indicated, the main thing is to use a bike that's small enough so the child can comfortably sit on the lowered seat and have their feet flat on the ground even with a slight bend at the knees. That way they can stop any incipient fall by just stepping down on the ground. Removing the fear of falling provides the confidence to try coasting for longer and longer distances.

    Should take under an hour to get the balancing down well enough to coast for extended distances and steer the bike in the desired direction. Then adding the pedals (still with a much lower than normal seat) and learning to ride comes very quickly - especially if they've ever ridden a tricycle. Finally start raising the seat in small increments to get more efficient pedaling.

  9. #9
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    tube handle on seat

    use an old tube wrapped around the seat post as a handle to help their balance on the bike.

    it beats bending over trying to hold the seat on the smaller 12" wheeled bikes.

    this method worked quickly with our 4 year old. he was scared of losing the training wheels, but we made him lose them on his birthday.

  10. #10
    Randomhead
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    My son never really wanted to ride, and then finally he decided he had to learn at age 9. I thought about removing the pedals, but I don't know if he would have followed up on that at his advanced age. So I did the old "push the kid until he figures out how to balance" trick. Worked with my daughter, she learned in about 30 minutes. My son wouldn't balance, he forced me to do it for him. I think my neck never recovered from that... Still only took a few hours over 2 sessions.

  11. #11
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    I had a unique method for teaching my kids to learn to ride a bike. Neither of them had a lot of interest at first, but I did the old hold seat thing for each of them. The difference for me was, I was always on my roller blades when I was holding the bike. That way I could coast next to them and let them get up to speed a bit before I would attempt to let them go for awhile. I know this won't work for everyone, but it did wonders for the kids confidence and it made me feel good about being the one to teach them how to ride.
    Last edited by wilda.gardens; 06-30-09 at 05:32 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Already been some good techniques suggested here so I will only add

    Relax
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    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

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