Every week there’s at least one Proud Dad Moment, but it’s been a while since one was posted. Previous one was last year. With the current COVID-19 lockdown, it’s been quite routine with home schooling and daily walks. After walking through an empty shopping outlet car park the other week, there was a light bulb moment and it was a good opportunity to try something new.
When Cara was younger, she tried learning to ride a balance bike at the Velopark in Stratford. She was able to build some momentum after a few tried, but as usual, life got in the way and Cara got a little bored so we didn’t pursue it. Now, with not much else to do for exercise, it’s the perfect time to learn how to ride a bike safely.
There’s a myriad of sites out there reviewing suitable bikes for kids. I found Cycle Sprog to be very helpful. After some analysis, choices were narrowed down to the Islabike Cnoc 16 or the Woom 3. Woom 3 won and big thanks to The Little Bike Company (LBC) for the swift delivery in these lockdown time. The bike was delivered within a week and arrived mostly built and pre-checked. However, they left Cara and me the fun bits to Allen-key in. The handlebar, mud guards and the seat to be fitted. As Cara was still getting used to balancing, we left the pedals off for now till she got comfortable with the new bike. After about 20 minutes of building, it was good to go!
Picture of the Woom 3 courtesy of The Little Bike Company
We took the bike for a spin around the block and at the empty car park. She loved it. It’s a lot lighter than the previous bike and her confidence grew once she could balance and coast for a short distance. Hopefully after a few more practice sessions during the week, we can add on the pedals. The aim is to be confidently riding by the summer! Once lockdown is lifted, it’s off to the park for some new adventures.
Some tips I read about teaching kids how to ride a bike:
- If they need support, hold them from under their seat, rather than the handles so they get used to it. Just be careful as it can hurt your back with the constant bending!
- Ensure the seat height is high enough so their feet are not flat on the ground. They need to be on their tiptoes.
- Remind them to look where they want to travel to, rather than down at their feet. Their feet aren’t going to move anywhere except up and down.
- Continue with the encouragement. If there’s a slip up or fall, remind them that it’s similar to learning how to walk as a baby.
- Make it fun. Depending on where they’re learning to ride and resources, you can chalk up a path to follow, play their favourite song in the background.
For a brief video of Cara trying to balance on the Woom, head over to Instagram.
Note: This is NOT a paid advert for either the Woom 3 or The Little Bike Company. We purchased it at full price, and it isn’t cheap! But thought we’d share our experience with you as it’s a special moment seeing them learn to ride a bike. Hopefully this reduces some of the stress.
Do you have any other tips to help kids learn to ride a bike? Any crazy bike stories to share? Post in the comments below.