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Industry_Hack said:
If you don't have time to teach your kid to ride a bike, you've got your priorities all wrong.
Agree totally ! Thise types should outsource the whole parenting job to people that care. What a sad commentary on society that this service would even be a viable business model. :(
 

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Two skinny J's
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Isn't that or maybe wasn't that one of the first great rites of passage??
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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I'm all for such 'outsourcing' if it gets more kids out on bikes, especially with competent instruction on the rules of the road and practice following them. It's easy for bike geeks to look at a story like this and freak - of COURSE you would want to teach your kids to ride bikes yourself. What if, hypothetically speaking, you are a <gasp> non-cycling parent? I'd rather your kid still get the chance to learn to ride, and maybe become a lifetime fan.

If the parents aren't cyclists, I say better for the kid to learn the rules of the road and proper cycling technique from the start. When I was a kid, my parents taught me to ride a bike, but lacked the knowledge to instruct me properly: I got very little traffic instruction (watch for cars, stay out of their way), and had to teach myself important skills like skidding, jumping and wheelie-riding. The impression I was left with was that bikes were fun, but not really meant for the street. As you may have guessed, my parents were not cyclists.

When it came to swimming, on the other hand, they farmed out my instruction to a hardcore swimmer at the local university. Best move ever. Though they both knew how to swim, they understood that it takes a swimmer to teach the skill. If you aren't a cycling person, why not hire someone who is to teach your kids (and hopefully YOU) how to do it right? my parents could have taught me to dog paddle and avoid immediate drowning, but it took a swimmer to teach me: the strokes, breathing and turning techniques, safe shallow-water diving and so forth.

Though I appreciate having learned to balance my bike from my parents, I'd really have been better off learning to cycle from someone who was into it and could have taught me proper technique from the start. The way I learned to swim.
 

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PureFix Fun
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Discussion Starter #6
I'm all for such 'outsourcing' if it gets more kids out on bikes, especially with competent instruction on the rules of the road and practice following them. It's easy for bike geeks to look at a story like this and freak - of COURSE you would want to teach your kids to ride bikes yourself. What if, hypothetically speaking, you are a <gasp> non-cycling parent? I'd rather your kid still get the chance to learn to ride, and maybe become a lifetime fan.

If the parents aren't cyclists, I say better for the kid to learn the rules of the road and proper cycling technique from the start. When I was a kid, my parents taught me to ride a bike, but lacked the knowledge to instruct me properly: I got very little traffic instruction (watch for cars, stay out of their way), and had to teach myself important skills like skidding, jumping and wheelie-riding. The impression I was left with was that bikes were fun, but not really meant for the street. As you may have guessed, my parents were not cyclists.

When it came to swimming, on the other hand, they farmed out my instruction to a hardcore swimmer at the local university. Best move ever. Though they both knew how to swim, they understood that it takes a swimmer to teach the skill. If you aren't a cycling person, why not hire someone who is to teach your kids (and hopefully YOU) how to do it right? my parents could have taught me to dog paddle and avoid immediate drowning, but it took a swimmer to teach me: the strokes, breathing and turning techniques, safe shallow-water diving and so forth.

Though I appreciate having learned to balance my bike from my parents, I'd really have been better off learning to cycle from someone who was into it and could have taught me proper technique from the start. The way I learned to swim.
I def see your point, but to get the most out of just riding a bicycle is also getting that parent/child bonding. If later down the road the parent sees that this has become more of a competitive sport, then hell yeah then go with the pro. My mom and g-pa taught me a whole lot about keeping the rubber on the road. Lots of good times and quality road rash!
 

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And this is why parents think they know their children when in fact they really don't. Too damn busy doing their own thing instead of spending quality time with their kids. I don't buy the "both of us work" excuse. My wife and I both worked and found plenty of time to spend with the kids, even if it meant not doing some of the things we wanted to do.

My dad never had the money to buy us a bike. One day he came home with one that was given to him by his boss. He gave it to my brother and I to share and that was the end of that; we were on our own. Lots of falls, bruises and band-aids but we learned to ride. It wasn't until years later when he was making a little more money that we each got our own used bikes.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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5,136 Posts
I def see your point, but to get the most out of just riding a bicycle is also getting that parent/child bonding. If later down the road the parent sees that this has become more of a competitive sport, then hell yeah then go with the pro. My mom and g-pa taught me a whole lot about keeping the rubber on the road. Lots of good times and quality road rash!
You're totally right...assuming the parental types are cyclists. I had a lot of quality bonding time with the parents as a kid, and learned a lot about a range of things. The only family member I've ever cycled with was my younger brother - who I desperately wanted to get rid of. My family was/is many things, but I'm the only cyclist.

<edit>
Yikes! The 'only family member' comment above applies only to growing up. I am lucky enough to get to cycle with my wife from time to time these days.
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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I taught my sister to properly ride a mountain bike, and she went on to become a racer. My brother and I used to ride together as well. My son is in his 4th year at college, and doesn't own a car yet, but gets around on a 20" folder. His girlfriend has a vehicle, but they ride bikes together. Next step is to pass my 24" BMX on to my youngest, as she wants to race.
 

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Eocyclist
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742 Posts
I think "I don't have the time." is a very sad reason for a parent to outsource initial bike riding instruction. But there can be any number of good reasons that a parent might want to get a coach to teach a child to ride.


I work with a Learn To Ride at Any Age program. While the vast majority of the people seeking help are adults, there are a few requests each year to teach children. Some cases I've seen include
  • parents who never learned to ride a bike themselves;
  • parents with some physical problem that makes it difficult for them to teach bicycling;
  • parents of children with special needs, such as autism, learning disabilities, or neurological disorders who want someone with experience coaching physical activity for special needs children;
  • parents who tried to teach the child, and, for whatever reason, the child failed to learn.
  • situations where, because of some traumatic event or past experience, there is fear on the part of either the parent or child which gets in the way of the teaching or learning.
 
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