During last year’s summer biking post, the little boy couldn’t bike by himself yet. He joined us by riding in the bicycle trailer attached to dad’s bike. He enjoyed coming with us just seeing things from the trailer, but he was surely wanting to bike on his own. We did practice with his bike that has training wheels back then too.
We’ve been out a lot these past days so he could learn how to bike, and all those paid off as he can finally ride now. While he did stumble some, there weren’t major wounds gained. 😉 We’ve been extra careful and made sure that he is properly geared to avoid any injuries should there be untoward incidences.
While we’re no experts, here are some things you can consider before helping or allowing your kid to learn how to bike, according to our experience.
Because kids develop differently, some might learn early while others later. On average, kids aged 3 are ready to learn how to bike. Until 7, they would already have the balancing skills needed to ride a bike. It would be nice if riding a bike is also taught in schools, but if you do not have the time to teach your child how to bike, there are cycling school for kids you can enroll them in.
Before you get off to let your kids learn how to ride a bike, make sure that they are properly geared. Not only to protect them from scratches, it’s also to teach them bike rules and laws. Where we are (Austria), wearing a helmet is required by law. Children under the age of 12 are required to wear a suitable bicycle helmet, even if they are being accommodated by an adult on the bike or a bike trailer. Adults though, do not have to wear a helmet.
Also include knee guards, elbow pads, gloves, wrist guards, and long socks (if they can do with it on a hot weather).
Also pack a first kid so when untoward incidents happen, you can easily clean up wounds and place band aids.
Also check tires, chain, pedals, and most importantly the break before you send the kids out to learn.
Now, depending on the weather, dress your kid comfortably when he or she is learning how to bike.
Cycling shorts are usually made of lycra, stretchable, and is very breathable. They also come with a built-in padded crotch lining that provides cushion and eliminates friction.
Drifit shirts and bike jerseys made with polyester material has sweat-wicking capabilities and will keep your kid comfortable and not feeling icky with sweat. Go with jerseys that have front zips so it could be easily opened when it’s warm, and also a turn-up collar that can protect your nape from too much sun.
When the weather is cooler, make sure you have pants and cover ups ready. Waterproof bike jackets on a cool, breezy day is wise to wear or even pack. While we wouldn’t recommend biking during winter, softshell ones are best to wear as it’s insulating and weather-proof.
As with the jersey, socks should easily wick moisture to keep the little ones’ feet dry, and keep the sock from slipping. There’s always the topic on wearing longer socks to protect the shin, but protecting the ankle with good a fitting pair matters more.
You don’t need to buy your little one new biking shoes when learning how to bike. Just avoid open-toed shoes to avoid hurting their little toes and feet. A sturdy, good-fitting pair of shoes would do.
Choose a Safe Area
When learning how to bike, it is important that the area where the kids would learn is far from busy streets. If you have a backyard with a smooth path, that would do. Otherwise, parks with areas that allow for smaller kids to bike are a good spot.
Pack water bottles and snacks along with a little first-aid kit. For girls, bikes with front baskets isn’t only cute, it can hold water and other things too. You can also give them a fanny pack with such essentials, biking can get tiring, so it’s important to keep hydrated as they learn.