Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Learning To Ride A Bike
If you know somebody, big or small, who doesn't know how to ride a bike, I have some advice for you. This is not original advice, but I like to think that's what makes it good advice. It's the sum of what I've learned in working with people, big and small, watching them wobble and doubt and become bike riders.
Step one: Forget the words "It's Easy." It's not. Not for the person who doesn't know. It's hard. Remember when you learned to walk? No, you don't (unless you've got a really, really good memory). You were a tiny kid and a lot of your brain had to get engaged in the work of learning to balance and move your legs and shift your weight and all of that. You learned by trial and error. That's not easy. It involves trials. It involves errors. But babies do learn to walk. That doesn't mean it's easy, that just means it can be done.
Step two: Kindle desire. While it is important not to minimize the effort involved in learning to ride a bike, it is at least as important to the joy to be found in two wheeled travel. The slim volume Franklin Rides a Bike does a great job of explaining to anyone, regardless of age, that while learning to ride bike is a challenge, riding a bike is great fun.
Step three: Don't use training wheels. The main action in Franklin Rides a Bike involves Franklin ditching his training wheels. Training wheels actually inhibit acquiring the key balancing skill required to ride a two-wheeler.
Step four and beyond: Stop reading this and check out my pal David Mozer's site at:
The techniques described there work well David has done an awesome job of explaining things.
Riding a bicycle is a wonderful thing and learning to ride is a once in lifetime milestone.
Keep 'em rolling,
Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA