Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Easy Way to Teach Your Child to Ride a Bicycle

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

Have you ever taught a child how to ride a bicycle? Well, if you have, then you can attest to the fact that it is a very rewarding experience and is also a time for growth and a memories to last a lifetime with that child...

Well, heck, it should be with all that exercise you get running along side of the bike pushing and holding it up, pulling your hair out, huffing and puffing and hoping you don't have a heart attack!

Teaching a child to ride a bike can also be an exercise in total frustration, grinding one's teeth, counting to ten, and great practice for patience therapy besides wanting to scream out loud things like, "STOP PUTTING ON THE BRAKES WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO PEDAL!!!"

But, hopefully, we catch ourselves before we lose our tempers and calm down....

No, folks, teaching a child to ride a bike shouldn't be that big of a deal. It should be easy for both of you. Today I'm going to show you how to do it easily and simply with the minimum amount of effort for both you and that child.....

Thank God, I finally taught my six-year-old to ride a bike... In spite of the way they teach kids to ride bikes in Japan...

In Japan, they recommend training wheels. They also put the seats so low that, if you are not careful, the kid could scratch up their knees on the road. Since I live in Japan with my Japanese wife (and she's the boss) then we did things the Japanese way and my son had been riding around on his bike with training wheels for over a year. I wanted to remove the training wheels and do it my way... But, no!!!! The wife wouldn't let me.

This meant that, after the training wheels came off, he still had no sense of balance and I spent several hours holding the bike's seat and running along the bike trying to teach my kid something about it. After doing that several times in the heat of summer, I "let" my wife try that once... She got the point and relented; not only did the training wheels come off, the pedals came off too!

Then I took him to a small sloping parking lot and let him coast down the hill dozens of times while trying to keep his balance. Now that's the way to teach a child balance! No more of this running along besides the bike holding it up and hoping that you don't get a heart attack.

Trust me folks, I have 4 children; I think one of the worst and most inefficient ways to teach your child to ride a bike is by use of training wheels.

Two days of practice without pedals (30 min. each)... 
Today, pedals and off he goes!

My son has been messing around with training wheels for a year and hadn't learned any balance. Hence, of course, he cannot ride a bike.

Well, he couldn't until yesterday and today. Today, I got my way! And today he rides a bike, no problem!

Let old Mike tell you young parents how to teach your children to ride a bike:

First: remove the pedals and training wheels.

Second: find a nice low slope where the child can practice "gliding" down the slope.

Third: keep repeating this over and over for an hour or so for two or three days (maybe less)

Four: when the child can "glide" return the pedals and then help your child by holding the back of the bike while they pedal.

Five: You should be done. The child can ride the bike.

Six: Give the kid a hug and have yourself a drink.

Trust me folks. This works every time.

Ah, sweet efficiency and a lack of frustration!  

What does this have to do with marketing? Everything! Because frustration and exhaustion are not conducive to creative thinking... So, if you have a child who you need to teach how to ride a bike, then take my advice: Take off the training wheels and let the child practice "gliding" down a low slope in order to gain balance. Once the child does, put the pedals back on and, after a few pushes and support runs with dad, you're there!

It's so much easier and less frustrating... Then you can open a bottle of wine and celebrate... And come up with some good ideas!


Keywords: bike, bicycle


Mark said...

Yup I trained my little one this way, but I still get a kick out of watching parents running along side their child with hunched over backs yelling "pedal, pedal".

mikeintokyorogers said...

Thanks Mark... Parenting is hard enough as it is... Why do people want to make it harder?

Brian G. Heyer said...

We also used this method for our last kid. Oh, to have known about it before. We learned in just a few practice sessions a local school parking lot.

John Arley Burns said...

In Germany the kids start out at like 2 years old with small pedal-less bicycles (like the old kind from the 1800s) and then when they're bigger upgrade to pedal bicycles which they then have no trouble with.

Anonymous said...

This is by far the best and ONLY way to teach children to ride. We've done it with 8, yes, eight children!