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My First Bike

It’s a scene you’ve probably witnessed at least once, in real life, on a TV show or in a movie—Mom or Dad holding on to the back of a two-wheeler, running beside the bike to steady the kid atop the seat, streamers flying, shiny bell perched on the handlebars. The worried rider will finally get brave enough to say, “Okay, let go!” before proudly soaring down the sidewalk. Mom and Dad stand back and marvel at the milestone. Idyllic, isn’t it? Absolutely. But how do you help your child get to that moment?

First things first: Before you settle your kiddo onto a bike seat for the first time, there are a few expert tips you should consider.

1. Wait until they’re ready.

If you present your child with the idea of a bike and he or she shows zero interest, don’t force it. Bring it up again from time to time to gauge curiosity, and feel free to have conversations about why you enjoy biking to encourage your wee protégé, but don’t insist they try until they feel comfortable.

2. Think safety first.

helmetMake sure your child has all the appropriate safety gear. Helmets are necessary no matter the kind of bike you choose—tricycle, bicycle, with training wheels, without training wheels—and elbow and knee pads are a good idea for newbie cyclists.

3. Know how to stop.

Because really, stopping is more important than riding. Before you work on anything else, show your child where the brakes are and demonstrate how to use them.

Once your youngster has decided it’s time to hit the road, you have options for that first set of wheels. (There are no wrong answers; it’s all about personal preference.)

Tricycle: Probably the easiest of the rookie bikes, this three-wheeled selectionTricycle requires kids to pedal—a skill they will need as they grow into a standard bicycle. They will also learn to maneuver the handlebars to steer in their desired direction. Some models also come with a handle so parents can push little ones who are just learning.

Balance or stride bike: This pedal-less alternative sees small children propelling their bikes with their feet, rather than pedals. They intrinsically learn to balance on these lightweight pieces of equipment, and many parents swear that, after using a balance bike for a couple of years, their kids learn to ride a two-wheeler within minutes.

Standard bicycle with training wheels: The economic optiopTRUCA1-22863746dtn, parents buy a traditional bicycle with a set of removable training wheels so they don’t have to buy a new bike once their kids master cycling skills.

When you finally have your bike of choice on the street, it’s all about being patient and positive. The nuances of learning to ride a bike are subtle—shifting the handlebars just slightly, achieving the right centre of balance—and it can take time. But don’t worry, with practise, you’ll be staring at the back of the bicycle (tearfully, probably) as she pedals into the sunset in no time. And just think, when you have an avid little cyclist on your hands, you can forgo the stroller or wagon on every family outing and say hello to a little more freedom for you both.

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