|Image from cliparts.co|
As Tweety turned 2.5 we started searching for a way to make her learn bike. The smallest available bike is just about right for her size. However i did not want to go through training wheels as these are easy to use but very hard to get rid off. Training wheels give you a false sense of assurance that you will never fall and thus the child hardly is able to learn balancing. Once the training wheels are removed you are almost starting afresh with learning and go through a few falls. Having seen a few parents in our friend circle struggle with Training wheels, we wanted to start with something different.
Then one day, we saw a little kid sailing past us on a busy crossing on a bike with no pedals (With his parent walking besides off-course! :)). The kid was no older than 3 or 3.5. He was just moving the bike with his feet touching the ground at regular intervals but mostly he was gliding with both feet up. It was a wonderful way to start learning. So we searched about these pedal-less bikes for kids and were amazed to find it is actually a great alternative to training wheels.
We found out that these feet bikes help a kid get the hang of using a handle, a brake and balancing on two wheels all the while having the safety of feet touching the ground. There is still a chance the child may fall but its is far less likely as compared to a pedal bike without training wheels.
We have had the bike for less than a few weeks and we already see Tweety happily taking her feet up in the air for a few seconds in-between.
We have the bike from FirstBike for Tweety and it is quite a safe model for kids. It is a light weight bike with a frame designed specially to prevent injury to child in case of a fall. The handle bar has limited turning capability to ensure that child does not topple because the handle turned all the way.
However this is an expensive option with new bikes starting at over 100 Euros (Rs 7000/-). Also in case you are unable to find a pedal less bike, You may get pedals removed from a normal bike as well. Please try to ensure that the handle movement can be restricted to at least half of full movement.
Brilrider Balance Bike Available on Amazon.in
These bikes are also called Balance Bikes and are available in India for around 3000/- to 4000/- online (Amazon). You may check in local cycle markets and it may be available for a lot cheaper.
Having read a lot of positive review from all over the world about the benefit of starting with a pedal-less bike, I am sure Tweety will be able to manage well when the time comes for pedalling.
Try it and let us know if this was helpful.