Children are one of the most vulnerable groups on the road. As such, teaching your child about proper road safety is one of the most important lessons a parent can give. In the spirit of building awareness around cycling safety, I have produced an infographic that offers practical tips to parents on how to teach their children about cycling and road safety.
Riding A Bike
Riding a bicycling is an activity that everyone can enjoy. Riding at even a leisurely pace helps with overall balance and coordination and is great for cardiovascular health.
Adult bikes may have been easy for some and for others it will have taken a little longer to comprehend. Once you learn to bike it is something you will find very hard to forget.
The most simple, and at times, the toughest part of that learning process includes some basic mechanical processes such as moving your bicycle forward, staying on the bicycle (balance), braking, and steering.
How To Ride A Bike
Make sure you choose the right bike frame to fit your frame. An ill-fitting or poorly-sized bicycle is not only hard on your body, but it also takes the fun out of the ride.
To check the height of the bike, straddle the crossbar (the frame bar between the seat and the handlebars) with both feet on the ground. There should be 1 to 3 inches of space between the bike and your body.
When riding a bike, adjust the handlebars so that your elbows are slightly bent. Raise or lower the seat (also called the saddle) so the bike is easy to pedal and does not place unnecessary stress on your knees.
When you sit on the seat, your extended leg should not be quite straight. Many bicycles offer wider saddles with extra padding or gel inserts that lessen the impact of the riding surface on your body.
What To Wear When Riding A Bike?
Always wear a properly fitted helmet. The right helmet should rest low on your head, just above the eyebrows, to protect your forehead in case of a fall.
No matter where you ride, it’s important to know what is coming up behind you.
Some riders also choose to wear fingerless riding gloves to cushion their hands. Gloves also help protect your hands in case of a fall.
Wear athletic shoes in good condition. Broken or too-long laces can interfere with the bike chain or get tangled on the pedals; damaged soles can hinder your ability to make a safe, quick stop in case of emergency.
It is also a good idea to attach a holder to the bike frame for a bottle of freshwater, especially if you plan to ride longer.
Learning To Ride The Bike As An Adult
Learning how to ride a bicycle for adults must differ from how kids learn. You cannot go up the hill and push someone and hope he will learn how to ride a bicycle after a few tries without injuring themselves.
This process will not work for adults, especially with heavier people. Adults are inflexible compared to kids. This is because of psychological and physical reasons.
So instead of going with this process, consider the following guidelines.
Movement & Balance
Remove your pedals and adjust your saddle low enough to allow your feet to easily and quickly touch the ground so when you start to wobble and fall, you can stabilize your bicycle with your foot.
When you start to wobble, pedal a bit faster and control your bicycle by maneuvering your handlebar.
Look for a softly inclined grassy hill and practice to ride a bicycle down the hill. It is advisable that you shift your gear to the second or third to provide you with better control of riding a bike.
Have your pedal at about three o’clock position and continue pushing down.
You can put your foot on and off the ground to keep your balance. However, do not do this while you are riding fast, otherwise, you might injure yourself.
Just remember to keep moving at a faster speed because it is easier to maintain balance and control.
Learning how to brake depends on what type of bicycle you have. However, a lot of people will most likely learn on a bicycle equipped with hand brakes.
Disabling the brakes on the front is important to prevent you from being thrown over your handlebar.
You need to know how to utilize your brake and how to make use of your body to effectively brake. You need to brace your arms and be prepared to lean on the opposite side and put your foot on the ground.
But, only do so right after stopping, not a split second before making a stop.
If your bicycle has coaster brakes, see to it that you practice braking with each of your feet, rather than either the right or left. Do not use your feet to brake, especially when you are riding fast.
How To Teach A Kid To Ride A Bike
While there are safety concerns for parents that are extremely reasonable, if done safely, learning kids how to ride a bike can be a pleasant and enjoyable experience for all parties involved.
By using a balance bike you can improve not only the fitness of your child, but also the parent. It will also let you avoid a lot of diseases and health problems.Imagine running alongside your child as they glide effortlessly in a park.
The unique design of a balance bike ensures that your child will constantly have to use their legs to push themselves forward.
Kid Riding Bike Advantages
Balance: A balance bike can help to teach your child how to balance themselves effectively and quickly.
Fitness: One of the biggest concerns for parents is the increasing weight issues of children in the U.S. Children are eating more and exercising less. Encouraging their children to love exercise, such as by learning how to ride a bike from a young age will tend to enjoy biking and other exercises as they get older.
Confidence: Children catch on new things very quickly. If you are constantly praising them and they realize the potential within themselves, their self-confidence will grow.
Coordination: So many children struggle to ride a bicycle simply because they can’t focus on where they’re going, keeping their balance, and looking at their feet the entire time. As soon as they learn to pedal, balance will come easy though slowly as they keep up.
These advantages are the reasons why children should use a balance bike.
Bike For 5 Year Old: Teach Them How
Between the ages of 5 and 8, most children have developed sufficient balance and strength to be able to ride a small bike with stabilizers. An important aspect when buying this type of bicycle is how to adjust the training wheels.
Some make the mistake of adjusting them so that both stabilizers touch the ground at the same time. That can cause loss of traction or loss of brake efficiency on uneven ground.
You can do this without even telling him so that the bike will become more and more tippy and he will learn to balance it with practice. If the child has been using the training wheels for more than 2 years, it is time for some changes.
They should try learning to ride a small bicycle without stabilizers. It is crucial to determine the correct kids’ bike size when making a purchase.
Bike Games For Kids
1. Hide and Seek Cycle Style
The seeker has to count to thirty and then find the hiders as quickly as possible. Make sure that you have adults who can help to keep control of where the children are going. Make sure they understand where they are not allowed to hide.
2. Biking Competition
Children love it when they have something to aim for. Ask your children what they would like to win in a competition. The first person who passes the finish line wins. If you can afford it, make that the prize.
3. Litter Campaign
Parents should start educating their children about the importance of litter and the environment. Kids love to know they are doing something special for the planet. With a little bit of creativity and imagination, you can make your own fun kids bike games that your children can enjoy.
Training Bike For Toddler
Spending time outdoors is not only a family bonding idea but also an opportunity to improve health and involve your kids in certain activities. Today, the greatest risk to children’s health is not bike riding injury, but lack of exercise. Getting a bike for your child online will have you choose from a wide selection of children bikes and you may be a little overwhelmed.
But that really shouldn’t discourage you. With a little reading about kids’ bike sizes, you can select the best bicycle for your loved one. The age and coordination of your child will dictate whether or not the bike needs stabilizers or maybe a tricycle.
Before children turn 5 years old, in general, they have difficulties in using a handlebar-mounted brake.
At this point, a trike may be the best option so that the little one can get used to pedaling and the handlebar steering. Some kids can learn these basic concepts even before they can walk and they are very useful in developing their muscle strength and coordination.