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learning to ride a bicycle
Old 05-24-2010, 11:50 AM   #1
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learning to ride a bicycle

I rode my bicycle to the dentist today. I like to use my bicycle for short errands -- green living, keep fit and the weather was warm.

Well, as I was riding back home, stopped at a stoplight, I saw, I assume a father trying to teach his kids (son about 5 years old, daughter about 4) to ride. The kids each had a small bike with training wheels. The boy was ahead, riding lead, the daughter was following, and father in back walking along. The daughter gets afraid, gets a pedal blocked by a lamp post and says "I can't do it, I can't" (as she is afraid of fallin'). The father tries to be paitent at first, encourages her on, then gets flustered and I hear him screaming, "Ride, you have to ride..you have to do it..." Things settle down a bit as the daughter bike pedal gets 'uncaught".

This episode brought back memories when I was a child and had my brothers trying to teach me to ride a bicycle. I remember them trying to be a big brother. But training wheels, I think aren't the best learnig method. I learned from two methods, one, a brother pretended to be a training wheels who would spot me from behind. But mostly, after failed attempts at the training wheel method, said the heck with it..and learned on my own, without training wheels. Of course, fell down a few times but eventually learned.
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:49 PM   #2
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Interesting... I was teaching my 6 YO to ride a week ago... she wanted to be able to ride without training wheels...

Her big problem was turning.... she wanted to slow down so much and turn so fast she fell over... it took me awhile to convince her to make wider turns and PEDDLE..

One time she started to cry and I asked why (she had not fallen or anything)... she said she did not know... I was pretty insistent that she try... now she loves to show everybody she can do it 'herself'...
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:56 PM   #3
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Not very efficient. AIR, my Dad taught me both bike riding and swimming by pushing me on my bike into the deep end of the pool.



Kidding. still can't swim more than a lungful length.
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:10 PM   #4
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I still remember learning to ride a bike. At first it had training wheels which to me were embarrassing and much like riding a tricycle. I begged and begged to have a "real bike" but was stuck with the training wheels.

Then came the wondrous day when the training wheels were finally removed. My big brother pushed and ran alongside pushing while I pedaled, and I thought he was still there until I heard him way behind me yelling, "You're doing it! You're riding a bike all by yourself!" What a RUSH. I loved it and rode like the wind. Or, at least I thought I did. I fell a few times and skinned my knee, but so what, I didn't mind because I could do it all by myself.

My ex taught my daughter to ride her bike. I don't think she had much of a problem with it either. I was too scared to watch.
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:46 PM   #5
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Here's the new, smart way to teach a kid to ride a bike:

1.Put the seat down low so the kid can easily touch the ground while seated.
2. Remove the pedals.
3. Let the kid coast around, maybe down a gentle slope on the grass.
4. After he/she can balance, add the pedals.

This way, the kid gets used to balancing without worrying about pedaling.
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:50 PM   #6
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I still remember how I learned, at a younger age than 6. The training wheels were slowly raised, and I gradually knew how to balance on the two tires. When the training wheels bothered me when I leaned to turn, that was when I asked for them to be removed.
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Old 05-24-2010, 04:25 PM   #7
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This way, the kid gets used to balancing without worrying about pedaling.
I did the same thing with my own son some 35 years ago.

I purchased a smaller frame bike - one that he could put both feet down without worrying about falling. We lived in town with a gently sloped alley (not used much) right aside our home at the time.

It took him very little time to learn to balance (since he did not have to pedal to keep going). BTW, I kept the pedals on, but I understand it could be better in that manner by removing them for awhile....
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:25 PM   #8
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I learned at about 6 or 7; my parents both worked and my grandmother took care of me during the day. One of my uncle's old bikes was in a shed so I pumped up the tires and found a small hill. By the end of the day I was a little scraped up and had a bloody nose but I could ride the darned thing.
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:13 PM   #9
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I still remember how I learned, at a younger age than 6. The training wheels were slowly raised, and I gradually knew how to balance on the two tires. When the training wheels bothered me when I leaned to turn, that was when I asked for them to be removed.
Same here! Bicycles were always 'hand me downs' in our family, so I learned on the same one as my older siblings...with the same training wheels each set about 1" off the ground. As soon as my Dad saw that I was balancing the bike with both training wheels off the ground, he took 'em off and sent me peddling away...whimpering that "I need those!". I only took a few days to get the knack of it, and mostly only fell and got skinned & scraped while attempting stupid feats of idiocy....."Hey, watch this!"

The worst mishap from a "Hey watch this" moment, came as I was flying down the hill near our house and hit a patch of lose gravel along the edge of the street. The tires skidded left, I flew over the handlebars to the right, and had road-rash on both arms from my palms to my elbows, both knees, and my chin! I was a bloody, graveled mess! Needless to say I never attempted that one again.......for a couple of weeks!!!
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:58 PM   #10
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We taught DD in a large, empty parking lot with several lampposts in it. We realized too late that the lampposts were magnetic to small kids.
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:01 PM   #11
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... I only took a few days to get the knack of it, and mostly only fell and got skinned & scraped while attempting stupid feats of idiocy....."Hey, watch this!" ...
I don't remember any significant incidence on a bike, but still recall the following on a tricycle. So, it was probably when I was 4 or 5.

I was riding a trike around the courtyard when I had this excellent idea that I should ride up this pile of rubbish that was left there from a spring cleaning. As you can immediately picture, I did an unintended wheelie on the trike, fell backward and hit the back of my head on the cement floor.

I did not get a really bad concussion, but I can still remember laying there in a few seconds after that fall, feeling the brain going "Boing..." inside the skull.

When I finally got up, and knew that I was going to live - there was no witness - hated that trike so much and thought I was never going to ride again. But then, I found at the top of the garbage can a large grapefruit peel, which was not unlike the picture of an orange peel below.

So, I made it into a helmet, and feeling safe now, resumed riding the trike - but of course learned not go up that incline again.



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Old 05-24-2010, 10:52 PM   #12
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My poor father tried to teach me to ride a bike. I remember lots of falling and crying. Later I went out on my own and figured it out -- I think Dad was just telling me more than I could keep track of.

Neither of us learned our lesson and we went through pretty much the same thing when he taught me to snow ski.

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Old 05-24-2010, 11:03 PM   #13
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I remember learning to ride what we called back then an English Racer. I could already ride a bike, but this was new. Nobody explained about handbrakes. I was flying down a hill, pedalling backwards as fast as I could. Luckily, there were trees on the side of the road or I might still be going.
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:21 AM   #14
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One of earliest memories is my grandfather pushing me and my bike down a hill - right into a tree.
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:25 AM   #15
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I remember lots of falling and crying.
Yeah - I remember my honeymoon also ...
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:50 AM   #16
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I don't remember having training wheels. And I can't remember if my Dad taught me or my older brother. Hell, I can't remember if I had a bowel movement yesterday.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:27 AM   #17
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When I was 5, neighbor kid had a 16" bike and I learned to balance by pushing along the curb in front of our house. A year later, went to Dad and said I'd saved a bunch of money and wanted a bike. We counted my money ($4), so Dad chipped in $36 and we went to Western Auto and got a 24" bike. Went home and jumped on it and away I went. Went all the way up this long block---unfortunately I hadn't learned how to turn and wrecked, putting a small dent in the fender. Side Story---when I was a smart aleck teenager, I rode 5 guys and myself on my 26" Schwinn-----which I thought was a world record!
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:12 PM   #18
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I remember my oldest son (now 33) and how he learned to ride with no instruction. We bought him a bike with training wheels that were high enough off the ground so as not to touch the pavement if one were riding in a straight line. He was pedaling around the driveway and having a good time on his own, using the training wheels for balance, so I figured I'd leave him to himself for a bit and went in the house. Looking out the window about 30 minutes later and it was obvious that when he was riding in a straight line, the training wheels were doing nothing, so off they came. He was 3-1/2 years old at the time. Unfortunately for his younger brother, things didn't happen so easily, but I guess that's just kids for you!!
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:53 PM   #19
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We had a well in the back yard, with a thick, concrete cap on it. I would sit on the bike, with one foot on the well cap, and push off, using the momentum to get me started. Never used training wheels. Most training wheels I've seen were either installed or designed incorrectly, since the bike is not upright, but leaning to one side or the other.
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:56 PM   #20
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