Thursday, February 25, 2010

Learn to Cycle on 2-wheel within a DAY

I remembered when I was young, learning to bike was not easy and it took a long time. I started with a 4-wheel bicycle. Then, my dad helped me to leave up one of the small wheels so that it looked like I was still on 4-wheels but in actual fact, I was riding on 3! After several weeks, my dad would remove one of the wheels. And few more weeks later, I was on 2-wheel! It sounded so lengthy and in actual fact the process was indeed lenthy!

My girl has just turned 8 and she was still on 4-wheel bicycle! Somemore it was still the little bicycle she used to cycle when she was 4.

It was very early morning of the forth day of Chinese New Year when all the CNY activities mellowed down a little bit. Out of the blues she told me she wanted to learn to bike. I brought her to the park opposite our house. It took her probably 2 hours and she was on the 2-wheel bicycle already!

It took me 36 years to realise that the old school of thought (4-wheel minus 1 wheel minus 1 wheel concept) was totally irelevant and uncessary. 

This was how it worked!

First, she started by seating on the bike and used both legs to walk - imagine how "Flintstone" drive the car?
Initially a bit off balance and not able to even walk straight. After few rounds, you should see some improvements. When your child is able to walk properly seating on the bike cushion, he / she is ready to try Stage 2.

Stage 2 - Seated on the bike cushion while using both legs to glide - imagine playing skateboard, one leg on the board while the other leg glides. It is the same concept. Use both legs to glide in order to move the bike forward. Again, do this for few rounds until you think your child has gained sufficient balance. You can move on the Stage 3.

Stage 3 - Place the right foot on the pedal and left foot touching the ground. Now, press the right pedal down as if you want to start cycling. As soon as you press the right pedal, the bicycle will move forward. Leave up the left foot a little bit and let the bicycle glide on its own. Try to glide as far as possible without the left foot touching the ground. Initially, there will be literally no lifting of left foot. But after a few trial, you should see the left foot is able to leave up a little bit. The bicycle can glide a little bit. The gliding can go a bit further without the left foot touching the ground. After few practice, your child should be able to hold on balance with right foot on pedal while the left foot lifted up for a longer period of time. Now, your child is ready to go for the Graduating Stage.

Graduating Stage - Right foot on the pedal, press down to move forward. Instead of having the left foot lifted up from ground, have them leave up more to reach for the left pedal. After a few trial, your child will be able to catch the balance automatically.

  • encouragement is important. this builds confidence.

  • when your child encounters difficulties in any of the stage, go back the the previous stage and practice more.

  • always look at the front as they learn to cycle (especially starting Stage 3). Feel the pedals. Eyes on the steering wheel.  

Good luck to learn cycling in a DAY!

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