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Could a child learn to balance, sitting in front of a rider, holding the handlebars

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Could a child learn to balance, sitting in front of a rider, holding the handlebars

Old 05-22-21, 02:10 AM
  #1  
alo
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Could a child learn to balance, sitting in front of a rider, holding the handlebars

Here is an interesting idea, that may or may not help teach children to ride bicycles. If a child sat in front of the rider, holding the handlebars, would he or she pick up the skill of balancing a bicycle?
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Old 05-22-21, 05:04 AM
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IMHO doubtful. But maybe it would give the child a little confidence. From my experience the biggest hurdle teaching my kids and grandkids to ride a bike has been overcoming the fear of falling. even at that that fear was best assuaged by actually falling and finding it isn't as horrible as it seems.
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Old 05-22-21, 06:15 AM
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No.
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Old 05-22-21, 06:32 AM
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This is risky, but yeah it helps a child to improve his confidence.
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Old 05-22-21, 07:42 AM
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Try the experiment. For statistically significant results, you'll need to have at least 20 children, with your spouse's approval, of course.
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Old 05-22-21, 07:50 AM
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Another no for me. IME balance bikes are the best way of learning to ride a bike. Anything that does the balancing part for them is useless.
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Old 05-22-21, 08:04 AM
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i got both of my kids riding a bike in about 15 minutes. i did this by having them just sit and roll down the steep driveway into the street (a very quiet dead end street). the steepness of the driveway maintained speed which as we know is easier to balance. they first did this with their feet just above the ground then when they felt ready, just putting their feet on the pedals with no peddling. then they started to pedal and shortly they were just riding. my youngest just had trouble steering but after a head over the handlebars crash into a curb she quickly learned.
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Old 05-22-21, 08:15 AM
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When I was a kid, the way we learned was by being laughed at by the other kids on the block until we learned. The kids who didn't have a bike yet, learned on someone else's bike. Now we don't have neighborhoods full of kids, so balance bikes seem like the next best thing.
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Old 05-22-21, 08:45 AM
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So you are making the kid sit on the top tube while you sit on your $100+ anatomically perfect saddle?

John
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Old 05-22-21, 08:56 AM
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Most little kids (aged 2-3 AND SOME 50 year olds) ride tiny little bikes with no pedals which they move with their feet on the ground. Getting the kids to quickly raise their feet and coast for a second and keep increasing the time would seem to work better since they are not relying on someone else to balance for them and at are such a great height.
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Old 05-22-21, 01:30 PM
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No.
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Old 05-22-21, 02:42 PM
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No but in the event of a crash you have a fine cushion to protect yourself. I mean I personally wouldn't use my child as a cushion like that but plenty of people think it is just fine. From a population control standpoint it is good idea as well.
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Old 05-22-21, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
No but in the event of a crash you have a fine cushion to protect yourself. I mean I personally wouldn't use my child as a cushion like that but plenty of people think it is just fine. From a population control standpoint it is good idea as well.
I wonder about dog owners that drive with the dog in their lap. What happens to the pooch when hit by that airbag and squished into it's owner's chest?

But I suppose you just plan to have your accident at some other convenient time when the dog is elsewhere. I suppose the OP can do the same.
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Old 05-22-21, 03:31 PM
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Its not an interesting idea, but thanks for playing.
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Old 05-22-21, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I wonder about dog owners that drive with the dog in their lap. What happens to the pooch when hit by that airbag and squished into it's owner's chest?

But I suppose you just plan to have your accident at some other convenient time when the dog is elsewhere. I suppose the OP can do the same.
I plan all my accidents in advance, you folks don't? If you don't plan them they can be quite inconvenient. As it so happens I have one scheduled for 5:03pm tomorrow, I am going to slip on a wet floor...LOL
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Old 05-22-21, 05:24 PM
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I think best way is to have a bike which kids can straddle, put right foot on the pedal with the left one still on the ground and they can start riding it like a scooter, eventually they can put lift the left foot and even a bit later put it on the left pedal and from there they are set. For lefthanded kids, in reverse
Speaking of a scooter, maybe that's the best precursor to get into riding anything. It gives you all the automation for balancing a bike.

In the old days, when parents wouldn't buy any bike but kids would find an adult size bike in barn, maybe left behind by their grand parents, they would ride it with their back under the top tube (given their short legs would not reach pedals if seated on the top tube, never mind the saddle. And in time they would grow and be able to ride the bike sitting on the top tube, really standing over it, and after growing up some more, they could finally ride the bike seated. Today's kids are spoiled brats.

When I was growing up, that old bike was woman's style one with drop down top tube, so we could ride it standing on the pedals without having to squeeze under the top tube. Also, parents never taught children these things, we learned with/from our peers.
I learned to swim by standing around in waist deep water in a pool and watching people how they do it, then trying it myself...

Last edited by vane171; 05-22-21 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 05-23-21, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Try the experiment. For statistically significant results, you'll need to have at least 20 children, with your spouse's approval, of course.
You mean, of course, 20 of his own children, to minimize genetic variation in the results.
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Old 05-23-21, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuck M View Post
IMHO doubtful. But maybe it would give the child a little confidence. From my experience the biggest hurdle teaching my kids and grandkids to ride a bike has been overcoming the fear of falling. even at that that fear was best assuaged by actually falling and finding it isn't as horrible as it seems.
this is solved with a balance bike. they can put their feet on the ground and push themselves around. my 3 year old granddaughter has learned this easily once she saw other kids doing it.
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Old 05-23-21, 10:47 AM
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They make a top tube seat, but I think it is only for toddlers,and probably a little young for teaching to ride a bike.

My nephew was tough to teach to ride a bike. I'm not quite sure why, but I think he was a bit too intellectual, so he had the concept down, but not the riding in practice.

I bought an afterburner trailer bike which at least got him pedaling. It took a couple of days, but once we got it, he took to riding like a fish in water.

I tried a tandem with him, but once he figured out he biking on his own, he hated the concept of a "trailer bike".
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Old 05-23-21, 10:52 AM
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One could make a dual steering tandem bike.

The risk, of course, would be if the kid did something to drive the thing into the ground, or into a car.

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Old 05-23-21, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I wonder about dog owners that drive with the dog in their lap. What happens to the pooch when hit by that airbag and squished into it's owner's chest?

But I suppose you just plan to have your accident at some other convenient time when the dog is elsewhere. I suppose the OP can do the same.
Yeah, but at least the dog is learning to drive.
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Old 05-23-21, 01:59 PM
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That picture of the tandem messed me up for a bit the way the chains looked until I realized it was actually hanging.
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Old 05-23-21, 02:14 PM
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Balance bikes are the way to go. My mother ran a nursery school before balance bikes were invented. She had some bikes with the pedals taken off that worked pretty well as a balance bike. If you really wanted to go all-out, you could take off the chain and cranks, but it's not strictly necessary
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Old 05-23-21, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Balance bikes are the way to go. My mother ran a nursery school before balance bikes were invented. She had some bikes with the pedals taken off that worked pretty well as a balance bike. If you really wanted to go all-out, you could take off the chain and cranks, but it's not strictly necessary
IMO, No, to answer the OP's question

My wife and I are involved with bike safety for our school district. We work mostly with 5th graders, an hour a day for 2 weeks. There are always a few kids that have never leaned to ride a bike in the classes.

We use the same method as unterhausen's mom did: take off the pedals , and lower the seat so the kid's feet can touch the ground. Most of the playgrounds have a little slope which helps. At the end of the first week the pedals are back on the bike. By the end of the two weeks the kids could ride well enough to go on the "around town" graduation ride including: busy streets, intersections traffic signals, and some gentle hills.

I'm the one who usually works with the "non-riders", and it is a great feeling to see the look on their faces when they finally get it.


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Old 05-23-21, 05:25 PM
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My dad took off the training wheels and ran with me for a little bit in the alley. And I was using clipless pedals. The rest is history. Kids these days are coddled.
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