Recently our son learnt to ride a pedal bike and I have been asked for tips on how he did it, so here’s how…
When Cory was 1 we bought him a Wishbone Bike 3in1 Recycled Edition. It converts from trike to balance bike which helps children learn to walk, ride and balance. It was an initial investment (not the cheapest), but so far so good as we have only had to buy one to fulfil a few phases, it’s still in mint condition and now onto a second rider, my daughter Skyla. We chose the recycled plastic edition not just because I am a monochrome lover, but because it is durable in all wether conditions – totally ideal since it often gets left outside and we want it to last through all our kids.
Once Cory had a year on the tri set up we removed the 3rd wheel, transforming it into a balance bike at age 2. It takes a little patience, time and practise but they are such fast learners and one day he was suddenly confident and zooming around on just the 2 in no time.
When Cory was nailing the balance bike on the pump track and around the skate park, we decided it was time to up skill and invest in a pedal bike for his 3rd birthday.
WHAT WE GOT
We picked up a Trek 2017 Precaliber 16″ Bike from Torpedo 7. Why we picked this particular bike was because it came with trainer wheels easily removed, has a good quality set up from frame, pedals to breaks, as well as a hand hold on the rear of the kids seat for easy parental grip (you can see this in my YouTube video linked below).
Why we went for the 16″ wheel? The 14″ would be perfect for right now, but we want Cory to be able to use it for a while yet so picked something with a bit of growth room. You will see in my video how quickly and capable he picked up how to ride it and I am glad we went no smaller for him. Trek bikes fit kids great, right from the start and because Trek’s components adjust along with growth spurts, you can dial in the perfect fit for years to come.
Now THE question I get asked often, “How did your 3 year old learn to ride a pedal bike”?
- T R A I N E R W H E E L S – Since Cory was so good at the balance bike we didn’t want him to regress so had the trainer wheels on for a week or so and then once he could pedal BOOM off they came. If your child can pedal already, DON’T even put them on.
- L O C A T I O N – The best place we personally have found for kids to learn to ride a bike of any level is a big flat open hard surfaced space. We used the Tennis courts initially then later on the skate park and pump tracks to improve their skills and control by going over ramps, steep hills etc.
- T I M E – We had to set aside 30 mins of dedicated time, pushing through the I can’t and tears because he didn’t want to try and just praise the heck out of every mini achievement. All it takes is the first let go and ” wow your doing it by yourself” to install some self-confidence and your half way there.
- P A T I E N C E – be patient but also don’t let them give up too easy. I held onto and ran with Cory initially, first by the handle bars, then his back and eventually the seat handle – helps them get the feeling of pedaling and used to doing it by themselves. Lastly we did the “go to daddy/mummy” which meant we let him go ran beside and he was doing it all on his own.
- M O T I V A T O R – find one or 2 things that you can help motivate them eg a friend that has got it or Cory is obsessed with superheroes so we just said things like “look at you go you super hero biker boy”….he frothed on that haha.
- H E L M E T – a safety first must have. I prefer small skate helmets like these one’s from Kmart or Fischer Price.
- P R A C T I S E – makes perfect! Everybody knows that so take it easy on the details and work on 1 or 2 every time such as learning to pedal themselves from stationery, hand breaks, foot breaks, walking with the bike, turning tight corners etc – every time they get on it they learn a few more skills.
A Toddlers journey on wheels YouTube video
I put together a short YouTube video from real life footage I happened to take over the last 2 years. Sorry a few seconds are vertically raw as my phone was full at the time and all I had was instagram stories to capture the actual moment!!