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Wendy got in touch with Cycle Sprog via our Facebook page, having read our blog on riding with a front bike seat. Wendy is mummy to Jake (2 years 4 months) and said "I would love to dig my bike out of the back of the garage and take Jake cycling with me, but I am too nervous on the road on my own, let alone with my most precious possession". She's also concerned that Jake won't like cycling as he hasn't taken to his trike.
Young children tend to copy the behaviours of the adults around them, so the first thing Wendy needs to do is become a confident cyclist herself. One of the best ways to do this is to sign up for a cycle training course. Many local authorities offer these for free or reduced prices, so she should check her local council website. To find a training provider nearby all she then needs to do is go to the Bikeability website. It's worth her discussing with any prospective trainer that the end goal is to ride with a bike seat, as they may be able to tailor the training to include this.
Once Wendy has started to build up her confidence through lessons, then getting time in the saddle without Jake is important. Wendy will need a reasonable level of fitness to cycle with a toddler on board, so a few rides along local cycle paths will help develop her cycling muscles.
Only when Wendy is confident herself should she then fit the bike seat. Again, practicing is important, and we recommend trying with a sack of potatoes on board before riding with Jake.
Finally, Wendy will be ready to ride with Jake on board. The first ride should be short and easy, with a follow up ride soon after so they both get used to riding together. If possible she should ask a cycling friend to join them, or she could try the cyclebuddy website to find another parent in the local area.
For advice on good places to cycle with Jake, Wendy should check out the Cycle Sprog routes section.
We've also got more articles that may be of help under our bike seats section, including tips on what to look for when buying a childs bike seat and advice for your first ride out.
Wendy's concern that Jake isn't keen on his trike may well resolve itself when he starts to see mummy riding a bike. He's got a lifetime ahead of him to learn to ride and enjoy the freedom of two wheels, so our advice would be to let him develop at his own rate. He's approaching the age a balance bike may help him gain confidence and get used to being in control of a bike. The Kiddimoto range has some balance bikes that particularly appeal to little boys!
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