Parents, just like their children, get nervous when the day arrives to lose the training wheels. Parents usually feel pretty secure, as long as the training wheels are in place. However, the time will come when they have to go. This article will give the parent some helpful insight into that day.
Knowing when is not easy. As a parent, you want to make sure that your child is ready. While they use training wheels, they should be able to master steering, making good decisions in navigation, using the brake properly, observing traffic around them and getting on and off the bike safely. Once they have these mastered, you can start making some minor adjustments.
Raise the training wheels about one inch on each side. The bike can still operate safely if it leans to the right or left. Watch as the child gains speed. You should be able to hear the training wheels less as they get more proficient. You will also notice, that the training wheels hardly hit the pavement. Leave it this way for a short period.
Raise the training wheels one more time. This time about one and half inches. This will be the final time that you do so. They are there only if your child uses their balance on take off and stops.
Eventually, the big day to go solo arrives. Remove the training wheels. Make sure that the child can get on and off their bike easily. They should be able to support the bike with one leg while at rest (standing).
Pick an area that has no traffic. An empty parking lot is ideal for going solo. Once the child begins, let them continue without stopping. The longer they can go the better. Be sure a helmet and knee pads are on properly.
You might have to give them a push to get started at first. This should be gentle. If you have someone that can run a little alongside, this could help. It really helps, if a person can ride a bike besides them to sort of encourage and watch for traffic.
When a child starts to go solo for the first time, their main concentration is on balance and steering. They pay very little attention to what is going on around them. They are so focused on not falling that they don't notice the little things. Try to avoid yelling at them - this only adds to distractions and minor crashes.
Taking off and stopping are very important, too. This is usually when most accidents happen when going solo. You can help avoid this by using a girl's bike or by lowering the seat. It makes it easier to get on or exit the bike.
Finally, once the child is able to go solo, the parents need to set up parameters about biking areas. They also need to review traffic rules. Remember, just because they can solo, doesn't mean they are ready for the open road. this will come with maturity and responsibility as it develops in the child.
This is a very exciting time for the parent as much as it is for the child. Take some video or pictures for keepsakes.