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Old 07-10-11, 02:36 PM   #1
Mysterious Lady
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Would riding on a tandem help an older teen learn to ride a bike?

If an older teen never learned to ride a bike, would riding on a tandem help her learn? How hard would that be on the front adult rider? Thinking it might help the teen learn the feel, rhythm, balance, etc... but not entirely sure if it will help her.

Thanks for any input!
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Old 07-10-11, 04:08 PM   #2
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It's possible, but I'd recommend the good olld tried and trusted method of taking the pedals off, making sure the saddle is low enough to get her feet on the floor and using the balance bike method of teaching her. I've used this way with adults as well as children and not had any failures yet.

If you can find a small slope which runs out onto a level patch of ground, it helps the learner to get up a little speed. Once she's shown that she can balance for a few yards with her feet off the ground and steer round a small stone or some other obstacle with her feet up, you can put the pedals back on and she should master the basics of bike handling pretty quickly.

She may find this a bit embarrassing, so a reasonably private area would be a good starting point.

Ps. This method worked with a mid-teen boy with severe dyspraxia, so your girl should be ok.
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Old 07-11-11, 09:39 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by atbman View Post
It's possible, but I'd recommend the good olld tried and trusted method of taking the pedals off, making sure the saddle is low enough to get her feet on the floor and using the balance bike method of teaching her. I've used this way with adults as well as children and not had any failures yet.

If you can find a small slope which runs out onto a level patch of ground, it helps the learner to get up a little speed. Once she's shown that she can balance for a few yards with her feet off the ground and steer round a small stone or some other obstacle with her feet up, you can put the pedals back on and she should master the basics of bike handling pretty quickly.

She may find this a bit embarrassing, so a reasonably private area would be a good starting point.

Ps. This method worked with a mid-teen boy with severe dyspraxia, so your girl should be ok.

^^^This. Alternate with tandem rides...and no, it is not at all difficult for the front adult rider. Ever take a passenger on your bike when you were a kid? It feels like that.
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Old 07-11-11, 10:51 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies! We tried the balancing-while-rolling-down-a-small-hill option when she was maybe 13, but never really got past that point. I guess there's no "quick" way to do this -- she just has to put in the time. Thank you for the ideas and encouragement!
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Old 07-11-11, 10:57 AM   #5
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Has she ever ridden a scooter? (the stand-on Razor-type) My kids both picked up biking really quickly once they got the hang of balancing on the scooter.
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Old 07-11-11, 11:10 AM   #6
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Hmm... that's very interesting! No, none of my kids have ever been on one. I've seen younger kids on those. Is that the kind of thing that is "sized"? If not, maybe we can find a friend who has one.... Great idea!
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Old 07-11-11, 11:22 AM   #7
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Razors have an adjustable handle. I have no problem riding on my kids' scooters. Surely someone you know has one or two in the garage.
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Old 07-11-11, 01:12 PM   #8
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Great! I am looking into this option ASAP!
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