Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Starting Your Child in Cycling
During my research I came across something I had never seen before - a run bike. A run bike (or balance bicycle) is a training bicycle that helps your child learn balance and steering. It is built without pedals, crankset and chain, and no training wheels. You can also use a normal bicycle by removing the pedals and related parts, but the frame typically doesn't come as small as a run bike.
With a run bike, the rider learns balance first, pedal last. Although opinions differ regarding which learning sequence is easier for most riders, it is generally agreed that a bicycle with pedals is too difficult for most very young children and that training wheels may encourage the rider to learn some behaviors which later must be unlearned.
A run bike must be small enough that the rider can put both feet flat on the ground and walk the bicycle while sitting comfortably on the saddle. Eventually, the rider feels comfortable enough to run and "scoot" while riding the bicycle, then to lift both feet off the ground and cruise while balancing on the two wheels. Children as young as 18 months can learn to cruise a balance bicycle within a few hours' practice.