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Old 10-27-09, 02:02 PM   #1
Ka_Jun
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Riding without training wheels

Whoo! Today our eldest who will turn 4 in Dec, rode without training wheels! Sorry, I'm excited. It was cool to watch him handle the bike around the basketball court.
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Old 10-29-09, 09:44 AM   #2
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And a lifelong love affair begins. Until, that is, he gets his drivers license. Wait until you see him drive away for the first time, alone.
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Old 10-29-09, 06:01 PM   #3
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My 3 y/o daughter just got rolling without training wheels a couple months ago. Little kids wobbling around on bikes has to be one of the most adorable sights.
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Old 10-29-09, 07:34 PM   #4
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any tips on helping my daughter learn how to ride with/ without training wheels.
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Old 10-30-09, 06:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
any tips on helping my daughter learn how to ride with/ without training wheels.
Buy a bike smaller than she needs, or one with a very short seat tube, for starters.

Get her started with training wheels, mainly work on brakes, steering isn't learned on training wheels well at all.

As soon as she has learned to stop and pedal effectively (takes a day?,) take the training wheels, and pedals off.
Drop the seat down so she can stand and walk flat footed. Let her coast on a very slight down grade, she should start with walking, then slowly move too a sort of jog/scooter kick. At some point she'll be able to coast down hills and turn a bit without putting her feet down. Let her do that for awhile, my daughter did it for two or three days.
Slap the pedals on, find a flat area, and get her started with a gentle push on her lower back, and she should get started easily enough.

The main thing that I found helps is applauding everything, especially crashes. I never helped my daughter up, instead congratulated her, told her what a good crash she had, assured her she's not hurt, and always made sure she picked the bike up and tried again. I also offered the pretty streamers as a reward in the beginning.

Letting them ride with training wheels for more then a short period seems to cause more damage, IMO. They're scared to ride without them, does nothing for balance, ability to turn, and the first crash w/o them makes it seem like they're needed to be safe.


The biggest reward from not reacting to her little crashes is that now she wipes out, gets right up, and keeps going. If she does bang a knee she checks it, sees there's no blood, and keeps going. Blood is still a big deal though, don't see that changing for a few years yet, but a hug gets her rolling again.

Last edited by MilitantPotato; 10-30-09 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 10-31-09, 06:24 AM   #6
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The big step is learning to balance, of course, and this is not a gradual process. Its all about discovering how to countersteer, and that seems to happen rather suddenly. Its not really something you can teach them either...they just eventually discover it. My son learned somewhere around the 3-4 transition. I remember him being so frustrated by his inability to balance, then a few minutes later he just got it and was riding in circles without help. Training wheels just delay this discovery. Now he's fine and will easily do up to 20 miles on his miniBMX at average speeds close to 10mph.

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Old 10-31-09, 07:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ka_Jun View Post
Whoo! Today our eldest who will turn 4 in Dec, rode without training wheels! Sorry, I'm excited. It was cool to watch him handle the bike around the basketball court.
You should be sorry. Don't you realise you've just started the creation of yet another future RLJing, sidewalk-riding, wrong-way pedalling, lycra/spandex-clad scofflaw?

No wonder we're so unpopular! If all you parents stopped this evil process, pretty soon there would be no-one for drivers to complain about.

Ps. We've just taught our 53rd kid to ride this year.

Mea culpa, Oh Lord.
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