Not sure what's best for daughter getting cycling :(

Discussion in 'Family and Recreational Cycling' started by Black Sheep, 11 Nov 2017.

  1. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep Veteran

    Location:
    Rammy
    Apologies for two threads but two very separate questions to be asked...

    A few years ago we got Black Lamb a balance bike (paying an extra £10 for it to be a 'frozen' one) and she hardly used it, doing so more recently.

    "it's too hard" is a familiar phrase when she gets fed up of things not going how she expects them to, shuffling along (not scooting) and stopping to lift the front wheel to steer sometimes.

    She's 4 now, and while I'm happy to let her take her own pace at it, she's visibly squashed on it, her knees being slightly higher than her backside making it, I imagine, hard to scoot.

    So, been on eBay and got a Raleigh 'Molly' 12" wheeled bike which we spent today taking the front end apart and re-greasing the headset bearings (trying to promote ownership)

    Having sat her on it so she can easily get her feet down and there's no way she can pedal it, the pedals come up too high, putting the seat up to make it easier to pedal puts her close to being on tip-toes which I imagine is not ideal for swapping from one to the other.


    Wondering if it's worth trying to swap the saddle and seat post to the balance bike to give us some more adjustment.

    Also after advice on saddle height for children, I adjust mine heel of foot on pedal at lowest point, slightly bent knee, done.

    Thanks in advance :biggrin: really want to hit the ground running come spring and get her riding as I know she'll love it.
     
    holdmybeer likes this.
  2. alicat

    alicat Guru

    Location:
    Staffs
    Try an Islabike. Cnoc 14 large or Cnoc 16 depending on her size and whether she is nearer 3 or 5.

    They are proper bikes - expensive but they hold their value well and can be found secondhand on Ebay etc.
     
    RealLeeHimself likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    Black Sheep

    Black Sheep Veteran

    Location:
    Rammy
    I'd love to, but, far outside of our budget at the moment, once she's peddling herself then the argument for upgrading to an Islabike is much stronger.

    I know it took me some time to get the hang of riding a bike as, I found out when I was 21, I'm dyspraxic and should significantly struggle to balance a bike.
     
  4. atbman

    atbman Veteran

    First things first - is your daughter dyspraxic (slightly?). If so, from the viewpoint of someone who taught a severely dyspraxic 14 yr old (4 sessions over 4 weeks (at first, he couldn't even walk alongside the bike pushing it, without losing his balance), she will learn to do it anyway even if a bit more slowly..

    If not, as User said, take the pedals off. One small caveat, if the crank is a single piece bmx-type crankset, they may stick out a little, enough to catch little legs so take care. Only once were they bad enough for me to take them off completely.

    Then take the plentiful advice on this site about teaching her to ride balance-bike style. We teach kids to ride that way virtually every week, mostly in one 2-hr session, even a 3 yr old yesterday.
     
    RealLeeHimself and NickNick like this.
  5. keithmac

    keithmac Über Member

    Bit odd but both my two learnt to balance and steer on scooters, which they enjoyed.

    My 5 year old daughter still isn't really interested in her bike so I will just bide my time, you can't force them into doing something they don't want to do.

    When my son was ready an hour at the local field was all it took for him to be self sufficient on 2 wheels so no doubt my daughter will go the same way!.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Black Sheep

    Black Sheep Veteran

    Location:
    Rammy
    Yes, I had considered that she could dyspraxic, it is known to be hereditary.

    I've discussed with her the suggestion of removing the pedals and putting them safely in a box ready for when she's able to scoot along quickly so we may look at that option.
     
    summerdays likes this.
  7. CrinklyLion

    CrinklyLion Guest

    My mum always said, when my sisters and I were growing up, that I was the one that'd never ride a bike. It took me _forever_ to mistress (FCVthereO) it. In recent years it has been put to me that there may be some degree of undiagnosed dyspraxia going on.... Anyhoo, the point is even I got there in the end. More or less, anyway.

    If my youngest is anything to go by, it is well worth getting them out tandemming/tagging-along occasionally as a bit of an incentiviser because that way they get to see that once you can actually ride a bike you get to ride said bike to cafes and ice cream shops.
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2017
    RealLeeHimself likes this.
  8. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    Location:
    Bristol
    My middle child is going for a test for dyspraxia now as an adult, but looking back I can see lots of things that fit the potential diagnosis. Teaching her to cycle was testing... we tried for a long time, just a little each day (she always half circled rather than normal pedalling), but one day it clicked. Just later than the others.
     
    Drago likes this.
  9. OP
    OP
    Black Sheep

    Black Sheep Veteran

    Location:
    Rammy
    part of the issue being space to get out, to get to the park we have to walk about 5 mins but our road has narrow pavements and there's also a busy road to cross.

    However, I think the school, slightly closer, doesn't close it's playground gates as it's also the church car park...
     
  10. YukonBoy

    YukonBoy Guru

    Location:
    Mars
    Get them down the park. That 5 min walk will be worth it. Also put in a complaint to the council at the pavements being narrow and unfit for purpose.
     
    slowmotion likes this.
  11. slowmotion

    slowmotion Quite dreadful

    Location:
    lost somewhere
    Yes, parks are good. There's loads of space and, if they fall off on grass, it'll be lot less unpleasant than gravel, paving or tarmac. Besides, there are usually ice creams nearby. Good luck.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Black Sheep

    Black Sheep Veteran

    Location:
    Rammy
    I appreciate the sentiment, unfortunately nothing can be done about the pavements, the ones that are nice and wide have cars parked half on them (leaving about a meter for people on foot, as you get onto the older bit of the road (we're talking 150 years old) towards the main road at the bottom the pavements are about half a meter wide and the road is narrower with parked cars next to the pavement, all of which is on a hill.

    Think I might go for the school playground first for the balance bike as the tarmac is smoother rolling while she gets scooting a little then move on to the park when we're getting somewhere.
     
  13. YukonBoy

    YukonBoy Guru

    Location:
    Mars
    Contact the council and get them to prosecute those who have parked on the pavement. As a minimum get the council to ask them to move their vehicles.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Black Sheep

    Black Sheep Veteran

    Location:
    Rammy
    That would include myself. It's the only way for vehicles to physically fit on a street built while Queen Victoria was still in nappies that has been widened once already.

    The parts of the road where cars park partially on the pavement are not the issue, the space between car and garden wall is at least 1 meter.

    the parts of the road where cars are NOT parked partially on the pavement, the pavement itself is only 50cm!

    the cars are not the issue, the physical pavement width on the oldest part of the road is the problem, along with the main road across the bottom.

    I think some balance bike trips to the newsagents might be in order though.
     
  15. KneesUp

    KneesUp Veteran

    It seemed to take a while for the kid to get the hang of cycling - longer than her peers at least. She has had a scooter since she was 4 and was dare-devil speed on that. Only had to take her to casualty once though so that's fine (it was only last summer too - 4 years of riding a scooter, not fallen off once since she got the hang of it 3 yrs 10 months ago, so responsible parent here though it was fine that he'd forgotten the helmet. Kid gets one wheel on the grass edge of the path and arcs through the air and lands on her head as repsonsible parent tries to run to catch up, carrying a football, a chold's coat, a school book bag, a water bottle and a lunch bag - she was fine fortunatelty. Just took 2 hours of sitting in A&E to establish. Never saw a nurse.)

    Cycling though was not something she took too - she wanted to understand how to do it before she would try it. "There are several theories as to how people balance on bicycles but ultimately no-one is quite sure how" didn't wash. Then she took to getting moving and in the excitement, stopping pedalling. That was frustrating for everyone. I used to run behind, holding on to the saddle saying "keep pedalling, keep pedalling, keep pedalling, keep pedalling,keep pedalling,keep pedalling,keep pedalling" but as soon as I let got and she got out of earshot she would stop pedalling.

    Lots of people said to get a balance bike, but she was too big by then really - she's always been tall for her age. We did swap her bike for a lighter one when she was seriously trying - the MX series from Ridgeback are quite light aluminium frames and are recommended as a 75% as good but 10% the cost (secondhand) of an Isla bike. I paid £30 for hers and it was spotless.

    In the end I got one of thos big handle things that fit on the bike because my back was knackered from holding her up, and she got there in the end. Don't force it, don't pressure her and make being able to ride a bike seem exciting - little things are a massive adventure for kids. Bizarely when we had the big handle thing she used to like to practice on the abandonded bit of A625 near Mam Tor, which is quite steep. Going downhill holding a handle with a 6 year old pedalling a bike is fun ... The day she got it we just took the bike and some sandwiches to the big park near the university (because it's flat and quiet-ish when Uni is out for summer) and had fun, The thing I remember her liking was me saying that everyone falls of a bike when they are learning how to ride one - and that on average people fall off 200 times (warning - not a real fact) so then when she fell off she'd countdown - "Only 197 more fallings off now!" and so on.
     
    RealLeeHimself likes this.
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