Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bicycle riding tips to give your toddlers more fun

The milestone of riding a bike is a big one for kids and their parents. With new equipment, toddlers can reach that two-wheeled milestone earlier than ever and enjoy many sidewalks and bike paths together.
According to experts, children 12-to-18 months are not bicycle-ready, as they lack pedaling skills and their neck muscle strength is insufficient to allow them to support the weight of a helmet and to endure riding on rougher terrain. Instead, children in this age group can build their strength and balance by using items such as rocking horses.

Trailers are a sound alternative for bringing the baby along. They are lightweight, sturdy and roomy enough for additional items. Parents are advised to make sure the trailer is equipped with a tall flag alerting traffic to its presence. If the trailer's bulky size is daunting, you can opt for a mounted seat instead.

Once a child reaches 18 months, mounted bike seats are sleek, easy to install, and give parents another way to ride a bike with a baby. However, when dismounting, keeping the bike upright can be difficult, experts say. Though front-mounted seats offer better balance, they can interfere with the rider's ability to pedal and steer, so it is recommended to test out both seats before choosing.

Once a toddler wants his own set of wheels, ride-ons and tricycles will help him or her get used to bike riding and will help improve coordination and learn balance. If your child exhibits signs of pedaling and steering abilities, it may be time to graduate to a two-wheeled bike -- and without the need for training wheels.
Nowadays, kids transition straight to balance bikes, two-wheeled bikes without pedals. This concept has parents very pleased by how quickly their little kids learn to ride a real bike. Erin Ruddy, the editor-in-chief of What's UP! magazine, put her three-year-old son on a balance bike and said she was amazed to see him riding with the rest of the family almost immediately.

"It is incredible," says Ruddy. "We now go on bike rides as a family. He picked it up right away."
One example is the PlasmaBike. Free from cables, chains and pedals, it has a sleek design and helps build bike riding confidence at an early stage. PlaSmart tells us no matter which model parents choose, they will be able to enjoy watching their child master the art of gliding, while gaining confidence every 'stride' of the way. 

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