Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A New Way to Learn to Ride a Bike

(Excerpted from the Wall Street Journal) A new breed of bicycles that claims to help improve balance and allay jitters is changing how kids reach this childhood milestone. The bikes promote a simple strategy: ride without the pedals first.


Wishbone Design Studio founders Rich Latham and Jennifer McIver created a bike that can be configured three ways, as shown by their children, left to right: Willa, Noah and Lulu.  Balance bikes—also called like-a-bikes and run bikes—are already widespread in Europe and are gaining popularity in the U.S. Bike makers say that children develop balance most effectively by sitting on the bike and walking with their feet flat on the ground and learning to pedal later. The bikes are generally meant for children ages two to five although some parents choose to buy them earlier.

Models cost from $50 to upwards of $200, or more than a regular kid's bike with pedals. And 4- and 5-year-olds may outgrow them pretty quickly, moving on to a real two-wheeler in less than a year.

Anybody have any experience with these bikes?  Looks like fun.


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