Frog Bikes have partnered with experts, the parent community, Cycling Coach Steve Miller and Bikability Instructor Adel, to help you get your little ones off to the best start for an active lifestyle and plenty of cycling fun!
1. Find the right fit
If you want your child’s ‘learning to ride’ journey to be easy and fun, the first step is to make sure they are comfortable on their bike. The biggest no-no is selecting a bike for your child to grow into. If the bike is too big, they will have to work harder and will struggle as a result. Frog Bikes have created the FrogFit, an innovative device used by all their stores that can help you find the perfect size for your child. Find your nearest store here.
2. Select the right setting
Avoid teaching your child on a softer surface, like grass. They may have a soft landing in case of a fall but it makes things more difficult as they need to use greater force when pedalling, especially on a smaller bike. Frog parent, Phil Neath recommends “…get to a point where they can balance with minimal assistance then find a very slight slope downhill, start them off and let go.” This is a great way to encourage young riders to learn to coast on their bikes, whilst gaining better balance and confidence along the way. As an added bonus, it is super fun
3. Encourage them to find their balance
Steve Miller, Cycling Officer at Newport Live and founder of the hugely popular tots cycling programme, highlights key three stages of learning to ride on a balance bike – sit, scoot and glide.
“we tell children to make sure they sit at all times, this encourages them to scoot and not walk with the bike. When a child gains speed we then encourage to lift legs to start the engagement of the balancing skill that’s required. Once a child can lift their legs and hold a straight line for many seconds we encourage to try pedals”
Breaking it down in these simple steps will help your child master one skill before moving onto the next.
4. Gain Control
Time to introduce the brakes!
Check they can reach the brakes with ease and comfort. This is exactly why Frog Bike
s have added brakes to their balance bikes, so they can get a hand for it early on! Bikability Instructor, Adel stresses “If a child knows how to brake, control the speed of the bike and come to a complete stop before putting their feet down you are 50% on the way to making that child a safe and competent rider.”
5. Keep it fun!
Just think about it, what put you off that new hobby you started last month? It’s easy to get bored right? In principle, the same applies for kids. If you want them to enjoy it, keep it fun and work at their pace.
Maybe cycle to their favourite parks or take shorter routes, with plenty of fun places to stop along the way. The last thing you want to do is make it feel like a chore.
6. Now just let go…
This is probably the most difficult part for you, the parent, but just give them some space to find their independence and confidence.
Once they are cycling independently cheer them on and let them know how proud you are of their achievement – for that instant dose of motivation! These six steps are just the start of your child’s cycling life. Once they are comfortable on their bike, there is so much you can do to keep the momentum, such as family bike rides, or signing up to a local cycling club, where they can master their skills alongside children of a similar age.
Curious to know more about Frog Bikes? Come along to the Frog Bikes Family Day on Sunday 26th May, where you can test the bikes out for yourself. If you can’t wait until then, you can view their full range of bikes here.