I am going through a similar experience with Zachary, who just turned 5.  My main hang-up is the fact that we can’t go do this someplace proper, since Alex (20 months) requires half an eyeball at all times.  But Zachary is getting close to learning to balance on his own. We just keep riding back and forth in the driveway, with me holding the seat and handlebars—that seems to give me the ability to control the balance better, and show Zachary the ‘sweet spot.’  I find he spends more time nearly balanced when I lightly support the handlebar and not just the seat.  Left to his own devices, he oversteers by turning the handlebars, instead of controlling direction with a slight lean.

 

I’ve also heard folks promote the advantages of the ‘ride along’ bikes—the 3rd wheel kind of bikes that attach to the back of an adult bike. Proponents of this theory say the kid gets a better feel of how to balance on a bike. I’m somewhat skeptical myself.

 

But what we need to do is go to a riding path to just go for a long stretch. The bears in the woods around our house should be awake by now; I’ll just leave Alex to play with the new bear cubs, and take Zachary out for some riding time. 

 

Kidding about the ‘bear-care’ option…really.

 

James

 

From: Brown University Bicycle Commuting List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Thorp, Timothy
Sent: Thursday, April 16, 2009 8:26 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [BIKE-TO-BROWN] training wheels

 

So, I tried taking off the training wheels on Malcolm’s bike last night. He just turned 4 and although he is very eager and daring, it didn’t work out so well. His feet kept falling off the pedals and despite an hour of running while holding the seat, he just didn’t seem ready yet. I tried lowering the seat so that he could easily touch the ground, but that made the crank too high and difficult to coordinate.

 

Something that did work out well was making palm protectors out of hockey tape plus some napkins to protect the skin.

 

So, we ended up putting the training wheels back on, but it’s tough to see him go up on 2 wheels so often. Any tips on when to remove the training wheels and how to do it?

 

Tim Thorp | Web Developer

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Brown University Office of Continuing Education

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Bike to Brown discussion list: http://listserv.brown.edu/archives/bike-to-brown.html

Bike to Brown website: http://biketobrown.brown.edu/