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How Long Does it Take to Learn?

A lot of parents ask me how long it takes to learn to ride a balance bike and even a regular bike?  Hard question to answer and one that I look to the parents for insights on their child.  This question arises a lot when I am talking about balance bikes with parents.  This question would almost be similar to asking a complete stranger of when you think your child will learn to walk, talk or even sleep through the night.  You get the picture of where I am headed on this one. It's hard to say when your child will be comfortable on a balance bike or even ready to use a pedal bike.  I can however, give you some insight that will help you determine these milestones and the approx amount of time it takes on average. Being from Wisconsin; we have cold winters that usually keep us from biking and enjoying outdoor activities from November to late March every year.  So, when I refer to one season, it generally means April til September.

The first few questions I ask parents are how old the child is; are they coordinated and when did they learn to walk?  Another factor that helps me offer input is whether they have older siblings or kids they play with a lot.  The age question sort of goes along with the coordination question.  Age allows me to better understand the child's weight, size and strength.  Older children generally will pick up the skills of balance easier because their brain is developed more and they are naturally stronger and have more coordination.  This is not to say an 18 month old can't pick up the skills of a balance bike as fast as a 3 year old though as each child's personality, confidence and coordination trump physical characteristics.