Bicycles are becoming more and more popular. Getting from A to B without needing a driving license, in particular for kids and teenagers, can be a lifesaver. It is also a great way to bond through a family bike ride. However, it is important to keep your children educated about maintaining their bike in good condition, after all, you wouldn’t want them to get stranded on the side of the road, or even have an accident because of a poorly maintained bike. So, read on to find out how you can teach your kid’s bike maintenance, and have fun with it!
As with everything, safety must come first. Much like you would teach your child safe riding techniques, wearing a helmet and not going at silly speeds, for example, you’d also want to teach them how to maintain their bike safely. First, eye protection is necessary, a pair of safety glasses will do. Donning the safety glasses, you could begin by showing your child all the danger zones on a bike – anything that moves, such as a spinning wheel or the chains and cogs, can be dangerous to their fragile fingers.
You should teach your child that, while the bike is in motion, they should keep their fingers away from these areas. On a similar note, it is also important to teach them to wear snug-fitting clothing to prevent it from getting caught up in the bike’s mechanisms. Click here to find out about some fun safety tips for your child.
The Tools of the Trade
A bike only requires a few tools for DIY-maintenance. Hex and box wrenches, for example, are a few of the tools you need to teach your child how to use. Teach them the foundational principles, show them the best leverage points, and the parts of the tools that actually interact with the bike. Afterwards, you can begin the actual maintenance process with confidence, as you know that they have already mastered the basic principles of the tools themselves.
Have a Go!
Now that they have been inducted on the safety of bike maintenance, they must be dying to get their hands on the bike and begin work themselves, so let them have a go! Their work on the bike will be a safe and engaging behaviour, considering their prior safety training, and they will look at the bike as something that they can learn from, not something that is intimidating and dangerous. Mistakes are some of the best learning opportunities, so let them develop their positive growth mindset and have a go with the various mechanisms of the bicycle, experimentation is key to a good and long-lasting learning. While your child learns first-hand the various components of the bike, it’s good to supplement that knowledge with some theory, for example, knowledge about the basic anatomy of the bicycle.
Repairing a Flat
A puncture is perhaps one of the most common failings in a bike and can happen at any moment no matter the general condition of the bike (although a weakened tire does not do much to help). Nevertheless, it is important to teach your child how to fix a punctured tire, or a complete flat, to prevent them from getting stranded and having to walk their bike all the way back home. Some punctures, thankfully, are easily fixed with some specialised tape. Full-on flats, however, require a step by step guide to solve them, make sure that you show your child how to do this!
In conclusion, riding a bike can be a very fun and healthy activity for your child. However, they need to be aware of some basic maintenance tips to ensure maximum enjoyment, including how to stay safe and how to handle basic maintenance such as fixing up a puncture or a flat, afterwards, they can ride in confidence!