Justin Millar

Balance bikes make move to pedals easy

As he pedaled down the street I thought to myself, “Oh…that was easy!” In twenty minutes my son had transitioned from a balance bike to a pedal bike. After a little more practice with stopping, starting and using the brakes, we hit the neighborhood for our first ride together!

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First ride with pedals

I didn’t learn on a balance bike

I learned to ride by attempting to balance myself on a bike as I rolled down a bumpy grass hill—crashing over and over until that got old and balance emerged. The bike was awfully heavy and had solid plastic tires—a real gem. I learned this way not because my parents didn’t like bicycling (or me), but because we didn’t have flat smooth surfaces around my house and the balance bike method of teaching was not yet common.

Learning on a balance bike

Things have changed

Balance bikes (or taking the pedals off a regular bike) now teach balance far better than my small bumpy grass hill did. And once balancing on a bicycle becomes second nature, the transition to a pedal bike is a small, easy step rather than a leap.

My son easily transitioned from a balance bike to a pedal bike because he rode a balance bike for a while and, at his own pace, became confident balancing, steering and stopping. Thousands of kids in Colorado have been taught how to ride by our education team here at Bicycle Colorado using these methods.

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Coasting on a balance bike
Coasting on a balance bike

If you’ve tried this method, let us know how it went in the comments. And if you’re interested in trying it for yourself, here’s a link to a our education team’s guide to riding without training wheels.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Justin Millar

About the Author: Justin Millar

Justin handles all our bookkeeping including accounts payable and receivable, helps manage the online store and provides event support. His diverse background provides expertise any number of ways in the office. Justin enjoys riding around Boulder with his young son in tow.

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  • Thanks to everyone who came out wanting to do their part to make our streets safer at last night’s Bicycle-Friendly Driver course in Lakewood! We did hear feedback that our cookies were too small—we heard you, we’ll try and do better 😂.
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