I was drooling over a copy of Cyklernes By/Copenhagen City of Bikes the other day, it's a lovely book by Cecilia Vanman, with fantastic photographs by British Photographer Robin Maddock. It captures Copenhagen and its attachment to two-wheeled transport perfectly, and my bookshelf needs a copy before we leave!
Talking of two-wheeled transport, when she grows up, my 6 year old will now be able to tell her friends that she learned to ride a bike in one of the world's bike-riding capitals, thanks to her father's amazing teaching technique using a "balance implement" (a rolled up towel!), and lots of perseverance! It finally paid off, and she rode alone without stabilisers for the first time last weekend. Six is quite late to learn here, riding a bike is probably the next thing Danish children learn after walking, but we only have grass and gravel in our garden, so it's taken a while longer to get it sorted! She can now ride it quite confidently, and her little brother is champing at the bit to get started, just not on a pink bike!
Here are a few tips to get your child independently pedalling!: -
- Ideally the bike should be a little too small for them, this gives them more confidence as they are not too far from the ground;
- Get rid of the stabilisers as soon as possible. As soon as they have learned how to pedal and steer, the stabilisers have basically done their job;
- Use a rolled up towel and place it under both arms (as demonstrated!!), you can use this to guide your child and help give them confidence until they don't realise that you aren't holding them up with it any more;
- Book a chiropractor, you are going to need it;
- Stand back, and bathe in one of those special parenting milestones. Have tissues to hand!