Thursday, May 20, 2010

Learn To Ride a Bike...Without Pedals!

Today I had the opportunity to teach 3rd and 4th graders how to ride a bike. Some of them had never been on a bike before, some of them had tried to ride in the past, but had no success.

An instructor from Bike New York came to The Brooklyn New School to teach the Learn to Ride program for kids.

After a group of us teachers learned the Learn to Ride curriculum, I had a chance to try it out and it really does work.

What you do is this:
1. Remove the pedals from the child's bike
2. Have the child walk the bike around without pedals - (I called the pedal-less bike the learning bike)
3. Once the child is comfortable walking the bike around, tell them to gain some speed and walk the bike around quickly
4. When they are going pretty fast tell them to lift their feet straight up in the air in front of them and glide forward on the bike. This teaches the child to balance on the bike. It also makes the kid feel awesome.
5. When the child feels steady and can balance on the bike without pedals, it's time to re-attach the pedals.
6. Now they are ready to start pedaling on the "real" bike.

The Learn to Ride technique really works! I am so excited to try it out on Ari when he is older.
For more information on Learn to Ride, click here.

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  1. Yay for riding bikes! We're not quiiiiite ready but one day ;)

  2. cool! you know, they actually sell really over-priced bikes called the skuut, without pedals. they're all the rage here with "hipster" portland parents. buying an el-cheapo regular bike and taking the pedals off sounds so much more economical.

  3. That's interesting. Are pedals hard to remove?

  4. Harriet- It is the coolest way to teach a kid to ride a bike, when Theo is ready of course...

    Amanda- I saw a kid riding one of those in the playground! It looked pretty cool, actually. It's the same principle I suppose. But you're right, it makes more sense and saves money to remove the pedals from a regular bike.

    Kyndale- It's not hard, you just need a pedal wrench, which is used specifically for removing bike pedals.

  5. what a great idea. I haven't yet gotten my kid a bike b/c in L.A. to ride one, is a death wish. Seriously, I would have to drive her 45 minutes to the beach area to ride b/c that is the only place I'd feel safe. Oh and a parking lot.

  6. Sounds like such a great idea with much less chance of crashing and fallling off the bike. I remember letting go of your bike as you zoomed off into the distance while I was left behind praying. Ah progress.

  7. that is excellent. we've been threatening to take the training wheels off, but taking them AND the pedals off sounds like a great idea.


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