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40 | CAA MAGAZINE FAMILY CYCLING Learning the Basics It's a rite of parenthood—teaching your kids how to ride a bike. Chances are, your child will take a tumble or two while learning to master a two-wheeler. You can help minimize the spills (and the anxiety), though, with these six steps from cycling instructor Caroline Cox, who works with CAN-BIKE, which offers cycling skills programs across Canada. ➊ Before seing out, make sure your child has a goal in mind, like biking with a friend. It will help them weather any hiccups during the learning process, Cox says. ➋ Once you establish the motivation, find some paved level ground, free of potholes and with few people or vehicles around. ➌ Next comes what Cox calls the most important part: teaching your child how to balance on two wheels. Use a balance bike, or remove the pedals and lower the seat on a standard bike. Have them straddle the bike and walk with it between their legs. When they're comfortable, encourage them to li their feet off the ground and glide on the bike. Once they can coast for five seconds, they've prey much mastered balance, Cox says. ➍ Controlled deceleration is key to learning how to stop. To do so, have your child gently apply pressure to the brake levers or pedal backwards. ➎ Up next: pedalling. Put the pedals back on and place one at the one o'clock position. Have your child push down on that pedal, and once they get going, keep them in rhythm by saying "pedal, pedal, pedal." Many kids will forget to keep spinning their legs, which could lead to a spill, Cox says. ➏ Once they have grasped how to pedal, kids have learned how to ride a bike. Expand their horizons by having them ride on different surfaces, like grass, as well as on gentle inclines and declines.

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