Thursday, 28 July 2011
I want to ride my bicycle...
I'm sure lots of children up and down he country this summer will be giving the 2 wheels a try, maybe for the first time, maybe to try and finish what was started before.
Whats the right age to take the stabilizers off? well I guess thats a personal choice, some children will take to 2 wheels straight away and be zooming up and down in no time even when they are quite young, I know 3 year olds who have mastered 2 wheels amazingly quickly and 7 year olds who still struggle.
I've helped several children try and master the 2 wheels, I love bikes I don't drive myself so bike is my mode of transport, I remember many happy childhood days pedaling off on my bike, it gave me a sense of freedom and I still love it today so when my eldest two cracked the two wheels I was thrilled Jake was about 6 when he mastered it, and Chloe was 5 because I taught them together. The key I think is plenty of praise and persistence, it is no good getting snappy because they fall off a few time sand your getting tired of running behind them, keep at it they will eventually get there!
I've spent many days running up and down along the stretch of side road and eventually they were off, Chloe was more adamant to master it herself and didn't really like me helping her along or pushing her, She just wanted to be left to sort it out herself and she did really well. And once they had mastered it we were off we spent the next year or so cycling lots we rode to school and back every day for a couple of years in all weather ( we at the time lived about a mile and half away from the school) I prided myself in their confidence and ability. then I helped teach my neighbours twins to ride their bikes although they weren't as confidence it boiled down to the amount of practise they 'could' do it but just needed lots of reinforcement and lots and lots of practise.
So this summer although Mikey is a fair bit younger he wants to ditch those stabilizers and keep up with his brother and sister.
I don't have a 12" wheeled bike, only a 16" one, which is a bit on the big side, but he could mange it fine with stabilizers so I thought we'd give it ago, if he can't master its size I'll have to get hold of a smaller one for him, my eldest two being that bit older when they got their first bikes only ever had 16" wheels. when it comes to which to buy its a hard choice, to go to a shop is definitely worth it and let your children sit on them, ideally to learn they do need to be able to put their feet on the floor so buying a bike that is too big will be too hard for them to maneuver and may put them off, but equally too small can make it harder.
So yesterday we took Mikey and his two wheeled bike to the park, and we ran up and down, up and down, he did really well although hes not confident enough yet to ride far and hes still wobbles everywhere but we'll keep going and keep practising and hopefully he'll be racing along with his brother and sister really soon!