Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How We Ride: Pushbikes

Photo courtesy of Like-A-Bike
Although Baby A is still too young and small for any kind of training bike, I’ve already been doing my research on the best way to teach him how to ride. If you’re like me, you remember graduating from a tricycle to a bike with training wheels to (finally!) an independent two-wheeler; but some parents are now finding that their children can begin at a younger age and transition more smoothly to two-wheeled bikes by using small pedal-less bikes known variously as pushbikes, scooter bikes, or balance bikes. A few parents on the invaluable Brookland parents’ listserv have offered their suggestions on introductory bikes for children. Read more after the jump!

Amy from biblioMOMia wrote, “My friends are all CRAZY about LikeABikes. It's so funny to watch their toddlers zooming around on them!” 

Rebbie from the Mount Pleasant Farmer’s Market said, “My son rode his Skuut for about a year, probably age 2.5 - 3.5, and then when he decided to try a pedal bike this Feb, it took him about 15 minutes to learn to ride without training wheels.... His 6 year old sister STILL can't ride a bike, and she didn't have the Skuut.”

Mikael Colville-Andersen, proprietor of the Copenhagen Cycle Chic and Copenhagenize blogs, has offered up his own experience here and here--be sure to check out the second link for further helpful comments and a lethally cute video of Colville-Anderson’s daughter learning to ride her pushbike.

Finally, for the ultimate in thrifty DIY action, you can take a very small bike (bikes with 12” wheels are recommended) and remove the pedals to create your own balance bike. Then you can just re-mount them when your little dude or dudette is ready to start pedaling.

1 comment:

  1. my kids did the old school training wheels method... but my boys were rocking and rolling without training wheels before 5!

    I have noticed that the push bike kids do not understand breaking... they are accustom to stopping with their feet

    this is also an issue with the training wheel kids... but seems to be more of an issue with the push bike kids

    which has me thinking...
    the push bike is cool... but I think it serves up a different set of problems