learning to ride

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by alecstilleyedye, 10 Feb 2008.

  1. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    having a nightmare trying to get five year old son to learn to ride his bike. stabilizers came off last year (he was getting too reliant on them), and i hoped he'd do what his older sister did, which was to scoot down the slope of our driveway, then putting feet to pedals. she 'got' it really quickly.

    anyway, the lad seems overly worried about falling off (despite presence of helmet, knee pads etc). he seems unconcerned about whether he learns or not. do i bite the bullet and admit that he's just not ready yet, or is there something else i could be doing that would be better. have just spent two hours in the park doing the 'holding the seat' approach but to no avail.

    someone here must know what to do ;) :angry:
  2. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    Don't accept no apathy from the lad. It sounds to me like a lack of effort on his part is the problem, like he can't really be bothered to learn. Once you get it into his head that this is something he IS going to do, he'll be more inclined to try. You need to take a carrot AND stick approach. Tell him the benefits and that how much he'll enjoy it when he can, and don't let him have any sweets till he does.
    It's as much a psychological thing as much as anything, once you drill it into him that while you're holding the seat he CAN'T fall off, or that if he starts to wobble you'll catch him before he hits the ground, then he might be more inclined to try. But then when he tries to ride a bit while you're holding the seat, then tell him after that you in fact weren't holding the seat, which will build his confidence up. Don't worry about him not trusting you to hold the seat next time, as he'll have forgotten by then.
  3. Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    Probably wont help but, when i first rode my bike with no stabilizes, i rode it along a wall. I rushed inside to tell my mum and dad and they came and watched me. I got it straight away.
    Maybe it will be goodif he falls off and realises he is proctected and that it is safe.
    Relax with him, when i had a slight mishap when i was canoeing, my parents put pressure on, and it didnt work. When they relaxed and let me go at my own pace, i soon got over it.
    Give him an incentive, tell him you will take him to some place to ride when he rides with no stabilizes.
  4. OP

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    thanks chaps, but no encouragement (you'll be a big boy who can go on rides with dad and big sis etc) or bribery (a ds game if you can learn to ride your bike) seems to make a blind bit of difference.

    i don't want to be yelling at him to try (looking like the park peanut), just could do with finding the right way for him. maybe he's just not ready for it.
  5. Cheddar George

    Cheddar George oober member

    Location: Location
    I had the same problem a few years ago. Fortunately my daughter who was also petrified of falling off and had little interest in riding her bike has naturally good balance and picked it up quickly. My son on the other hand struggled for months to ride without stabilisers but wasn't afraid of falling off and would willingly go out with me and try to learn - it was very frustrating for both of us. I removed the pedals so he could scoot along and also did the running along holding the saddle technique. All you can do is persevere and try to practice little and often so it doesn't become to much of chore for him. I know this sounds like crap advice but i think the frustration that i felt came from knowing that i wasn't teaching him to read or play a musical instrument which is a gradual process, but just waiting for that "epiphany" moment when he just cycled 20 yards down the road under his own steam. When he did at last "get it" it was very satisfying, especially as he still gets a lot of pleasure riding his bike - unlike his sister who couldn't care less!
  6. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    He'll do it when ready - my son was 6 when he started riding without stabilisers - he decided he wanted them off..... then a few trips up and down the road, and that was it - Don't push them too hard..
  7. byegad

    byegad Legendary Member

    NE England
    Tell him he musn't ever ride his bike. As soon a your back is turned he'll be off.
  8. Plax

    Plax Veteran

    Can you onlt put one stabaliser on at all? i can't even remember the time I had stabalisers to be honest, so don't know if it is do-able only having one!
  9. Kirst

    Kirst Well-Known Member

    If he's not interested, why should he have to learn? If he gets interested later, he can learn then. Cycling's not like swimming - he's not going to drown from not being able to ride a bike. Forcing him to do something optional that he doesn't want to do isn't going to make either of you happy, it's just going to make you both resentful. He might change his mind and want to learn later. If not, that should be up to him.
  10. simonali

    simonali Guru

    Saw a little fella the other day who was 2! Apparently he just wanted to copy his older brother and ride without stabilisers. :biggrin:
  11. Gary D

    Gary D Well-Known Member

    Just a thought, but what about getting someone else to try and teach him?

    Find a local club that participates in the Go-Ride scheme. They will run sessions for youngsters of all abilities.

    My 4 year old daughter learnt that way. She was actually quite keen, but lacks concentration and attention span. Therefore, if I had tried to teach her then I would probably have lost patience quickly. However, children will sometimes listen better to a stranger - particularly if that person is used to teaching kids.

    She is now just 6 (yesterday :biggrin:) and is a very capable rider often equalling kids much older than her.

  12. Kirst

    Kirst Well-Known Member

    A friend of my dad's has a little girl who's just 6, and her ambition is to get her mountain bike as muddy as my dad's is!
  13. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    I recall my Dad with much happiness taking off the stabilisers (must of looked stupid) he took em off and with the directness of a father it was your gonna and can do it...ok it was shaky but its a bit like when you swim in the baths compared to DEEP WATER...theres more scope for advancement in the latter.

    I found by going faster it was easier.

    After that I was a speed demon !!! :biggrin::evil::biggrin:
  14. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Totally agree. My son was not interested in learning to ride until he was about 7 or 8, and then started riding perfectly after about 10 minutes practice.
  15. longers

    longers Veteran

    I saw quite a few people today teaching their kids to ride. Made me smile.

    I have no kids and have never taught anyone to ride so my opinion may be worthless but it does sound like he's not ready or not interested (yet). If bribes and encouragement aren't working then it might be best to give it a rest for a bit. As much as you want him to ride - if he doesn't then you might turn him against it even further by pressing the issue.

    byegad's suggestion might be worth a go though.
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