When it comes to exciting milestones to share with your children, the first day those stabilisers come off their bike is definitely up there with the most memorable. The utter exhilaration on their little faces is matched only by the pride on yours.
For most children, losing their training wheels is their first taste of independence – and for some, it might even be the start of a new-founded passion for cycling. So if your little one has dreams of being the never Mark Cavendish or Laura Trott, here are a few tips for parents to help them on their way to cycling superstardom.
Get the gear
As with any children’s hobby, there is always a cost involved. Cycling-wear, knee pads and trainers can all be sourced relatively cheaply, but we wouldn’t recommend scrimping when it comes to your child’s bike or helmet.
Of course, with children growing every day they will certainly grow out of the correctly sized bike within a year or two – so it’s easy to see why many parents might opt for a cheaper model. However, if you’ve ever ran in flip flops you’ll know the value of trainers – and bikes are no different. Good quality bikes ride much more smoothly, helping your child to concentrate on their own technical skills – and don’t forget to sell it on once your child has grown out of it – not only to earn some of your money back, but to help other parents in your situation!
Ride with them
If your child is cycling-mad, you’re more-than-likely going to struggle to coax them away from their bike – so often the best thing that you can do is ‘steer into the skid’ and get out riding with them.
If you don’t have your own set of wheels already, surf the internet for road bikes for sale to find a good deal – and who knows, it might also increase your own fitness levels in time for Summer! Organise to go to local cycling hotspots of a weekend or on sunny evening, and if you’re pushed for time try to ditch the car where possible and take the bikes to and from school, to the shops, to after-school events etc. Not only will your child get some practice, but it’ll also help you to spend more time together as a family.
Find like minded people
Ask around at the school gates to see if any other parents’ children are cycling mad – you may find there are opportunities for bike-based play dates. Finally, if you think this is something your child will want to carry on with long-term, it might be worth investing in sending them to an after-school cycling club. As well as the social aspect of helping your child to meet like-minded friends, good coaching will help with their skills, stamina and focus.
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