Old 08-12-15, 01:33 PM
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Location: Munising, Michigan, USA
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Don't sweat the details. And kids tend to be concrete thinkers. Telling a kid that he's risking a pedal strike doesn't mean much until the pedal strike happens. Kids don't reason forward very well about what they've not yet experienced.

Maybe suggest holding his feet level when cornering. That's what I suggest to new mountain-bikers (who are usually somewhat older than four).

Skids are fun and easy with coaster brakes. I wouldn't even worry about those. Let the kid skid.

On placing the pedal on a coaster brake bike, yes, I see that problem all the time. One young neighbor always seems to stop with the pedals vertical, and we live on a slight hill. He sometimes gives up and just walks back up.

Honestly, I don't sweat the details too awfully much. It's all good if the kid is riding and smiling. The rest comes with time and experience.

Enjoy those happy miles!

Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
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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