Old 08-12-15, 11:50 AM
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Bikes: 2016 Hong Fu FM-079-F, 1984 Trek 660, 2005 Iron Horse Warrior Expert, 2009 Pedal Force CX1, 2016 Islabikes Beinn 20 (son's)

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For those who have taught young children (<5 years old)...

My son (a few months shy of 4 years old) just started riding his bike with the pedals on this past week. A very exciting development after almost 2 years of no pedals (balance bike then real bike without the pedals). Being a cyclist myself, I sometimes cringe at some of things he does and often feel like I want to give him some advice which likely will fall on deaf ears, as he's as stubborn as me if not worse!

So, in your experience, have you had any success teaching a young child to:

1. keep their inside pedal up when turning? He loves tight turns and with his new-found speed he is really leaning the bike over. Already had a few pedal strikes but no falls, yet.
2. brake gently? He can use his front hand brake OK thanks to practice with it pre-pedals but tends to lock up his rear wheel whenever he tries the coaster brake.
3. get moving by pushing off on a pedal rather than lots of feet kicking? His time on a balance bike has certainly gotten him used to the latter method of gaining momentum so this may be a tough habit to break, and many adults don't even get moving on a bike the right way. The coaster brake isn't helping here either as he can't place the pedal easily. I'd rather not rebuild his rear wheel with a freewheel and rear hand brake but I would go to that length if others have had success.
4. (add your own)

Looking forward to lots of happy miles in the coming years whether he learns this stuff from me or on his own.
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