Good Old-Fashioned Playtime
How To: Ride a BikeRequired: A bicycle (duh) and a helmet
- Instead of buying a bike your child can grow into, it’s better to have her learn on one that’s just the right size or even a little small, according to John Kennedy, head of the U.S. Bicycle Polo Association. On a smaller bike, a child’s center of gravity is lower and pushed forward. It’s also easier for her to put her feet down when she needs to. A bicycle-store professional should be able to determine an appropriate-size bike frame using your child’s inseam as a guide.
- The slower your child rides, the less stable she is. (Think of a top: The slower it spins, the more it wobbles―until it finally falls over.) To help your child get the power she needs to pick up speed, make sure she has the balls of her feet, not the arches, on the pedals. “She’ll get better drive and have better balance,” says Kennedy. Keep in mind, it’s important that your child wears a bicycle helmet rather than a skateboard helmet. They’re engineered to absorb shock in different places.
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