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Bike racks and teaching kids

Discussion in 'Cycling' started by Pfitzy, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. Pfitzy Tim Horan (67)

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    Part The First:

    The Pfitzys are going a multi-bike family, so my Rhino rooftop bike rack isn't going to cut it any more. I'm looking at any of the following to fit to the towbar on the X-Trail:

    Disclaimer: DON'T SAY "ON THE TOP IS BEST" you bloody yuppies. I'm not paying over $100 per bike, and the roof racks on the X-Trail are only 720mm wide




    The tilt one (last of 3) looks handy because if I need the back of the car in a hurry, I'm not taking everything apart. On the other hand, tilting it with 4 bikes on it (i.e. in a hurry) might just fucking suck.

    The top two look to have better soft fixing for the bike frames, which is going to be handy as the top bar on every bike is slightly different (my Giant Alias is a few years old and has exposed cabling on the underside of a bent triangular top bar).


    Part The Second:

    So my boy is 11, and due to various failings on my part, never learned to ride a bike. Daughter is the 8, and much the same. Both of them are ruled by fear of injury, mainly, but also the boy wanted a BMX then found it was heavy and the geometry didn't lend itself to learning when he was 9 or so.

    But mostly, my complete lack of patience at their fart-arsing around is to blame. I frustrate easily. Bloody kids. Their mother also likes to get involved when I'm trying to explain something, interrupting me with bullshit.

    Not helping.

    But this time will be different. They're older, a bit more robust, and yet my tongue will have callouses on it by the time we're fucking finished no doubt. And the wife will still baby them along.

    The boy is getting a Malvern Star Hurricane 27-2 in silver (its a 27.5 - figure he can grow into it a bit) like this http://www.malvernstar.com.au/bikes/hurrican-27-2/

    21 speed - a risk given he's never ridden a geared bike, so I'm tempted to disconnect the cables and leave it in 2-5 for now. Burn that bridge when we get to it.

    The girl is getting a MS Livewire in 24" and a 3-gear rear hub. Want to keep it simple for her http://www.malvernstar.com.au/bikes/livewire-24i/

    In terms of teaching, the idea is to take them down to the local oval, where the ground is slightly hardened from council mismanagement to reduce rolling friction, but there is enough grass to prevent abrasions.

    Thing is, they're both too big for me to run alongside and hold the seat, when the weight of bike is taken into account. And the boy lacks core strength and muscle tone, which makes things a bit harder.

    Are there any things I can learn from more experienced people here? How to work into it step by step. Taking pedals off? Basic balance techniques etc. Guess it depends on the kid, but I'm all ears.

    I remember NOTHING about learning to ride on the gravel roads on the farm as a kid. At age 7, fat little Pfitzy had training wheels made from old mower castors and steel banding by his Dad, and the one day just didn't need them any more.
  2. Sully John Eales (66)

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    Re the bike racks. Be careful that the spacing allows you to get all the bikes on. Sometimes the spacing is pretty tight. You may also need to buy a adapter bar to hang the smaller bikes on. It fits between the seat and the gooseneck. The types with the wingnuts can take a little messing around to get everything in the right spot to clamp it down. I've never tried the other type.I'm assuming none of the bikes a carbon as they don't like being clamped or hung apparently.

    Re the kids. I reckon you'll still need to run along side them. I ended up tightening the steering column as my youngest was over compensating for any slight over balance she did. As soon as I did that she was away. Good Luck mate.
    Pfitzy likes this.
  3. Sandpit Fan Nev Cottrell (35)

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    That's a cunning move Sully. My daughter does that all the time, so I'll give that a whirl this weekend.
    Sully likes this.
  4. neilc Bob Loudon (25)

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    I got a basic rack from the place that installed my towbar last year- fits two bikes with an extendable part to take it up to 4. Works well - spanner tightening rather than clip. Different bikes might need the attachable bar to make them fit on a bike rack.

    In regard to teaching your kids to ride - I recommend getting them on grass in the local park/school oval and letting them go for it- hold the seat at first to let them get used to it and then let go. My son learnt to go without trainer wheels at 4, he's 8 now and I take him and his friends on 16km rides - the friends were not as confident as him at first but they lift their game when they have someone not mollycoddling them (i.e. me, not their parents). Just get tough with them and push it - keep the wife out of the way if she is too protective, and then when they are more confident go on some rides that aren't too far but aim at a destination (rather than saying we will ride for 5kms etc, say we will ride to x's house or to x park). Take lots of water with you too.
    Pfitzy likes this.
  5. Pfitzy Tim Horan (67)

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    All good points. Was talking to the boy this afternoon, and he's pretty determined.

    I ended up getting one of these:


    Stanfred "Twist" - $159 at Autobarn.

    There was an A-frame tilt version with the same carrier rack, but this one is slightly more compact and if I need to get into the back, I'll just reach in over the seat or take the bikes off.

    Also with the velcro/stretch fasteners, it'll fit different sized top bars more easily. The plate / wingnut version was always going to be a bit tricky with that.

    Put it on the X-Trail and stuck my bike out on the furthest point. Seems fairly solid, but once it gets rolling, we'll see.

    Once the kids are sorted, I'll get the wife back on a bike and we can do the family thing.
    Scoey likes this.
  6. neilc Bob Loudon (25)

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    Good work. I have found the racks work quite well - a bit tricky to get used to at first and I always worry when I am driving with bikes on but it has worked well so far. My wife has managed to get interested in riding now as well, and you will find that if you start inviting your kids friends to come riding as well you will get more enthusiasm from everyone - some of their friends parents will want to join in - makes for a lot of fun and gets the kids active, plus you see things that you don't notice and go different places to when you're not on a bike.
  7. RugbyReg George Smith (75)

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    as a technique for learning, find a slight grassy hill and get them to start from the top. Obviously not too steep, but it means they don't have to worry about pedalling and can just concentrate on steering. Also means you don't have to be pushing them all the way. Once they build confidence they will just start pedalling at the end and away the go.

    At least that works with 5 year olds.
  8. Pfitzy Tim Horan (67)

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    The boy was keen yesterday, so I started him on the grass, then on the street. No major accidents, but his balance is terrible.

    Overweight, low core strength, low muscle tone in general. He made incremental process, but is too busy sitting on his arse to learn 4-point balance.
  9. neilc Bob Loudon (25)

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    Stick with him - the balance is an issue for kids at first but they do get there. Keep encouraging him and before you know it he will be riding just fine, it's then just a matter of regularly getting them out on the bikes and enjoying it.
  10. neilc Bob Loudon (25)

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    Regarding bike riding and how your brain learns how to do it have a look at this really interesting YT video on the backwards brain bike
    p.Tah, yourmatesam and cyclopath like this.
  11. Pfitzy Tim Horan (67)

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    Another session last night and he had a couple of moments of independence.

    Nothing to get you fit and focussed like trying to keep a 55kg kid upright on a bike
    moyletra likes this.
  12. Wazza2013 Fred Wood (13)

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    I taught both my girls to ride down at Seven Mile beach Gerroa (Near Gerringong).The sand on the beach is quite firm at low tide. There are lots of people riding and jogging along the beach at low tide.

    My youngest did come off. She just brushed off the sand and got back on. No injuries or tears.

    A great way to learn, with a dip in the ocean afterwards.

    There is a caravan park across the road so you could make a weekend of it.

    An even bigger bonus , it's only 15 minutes from Kiama if you were to do it in a couple of weeks ,the kids get a weekend away and learn how to ride, then dad could take them to the Kiama Sevens.

    I can already hear the nominations for Father of the year....
  13. Pfitzy Tim Horan (67)

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    I'd certainly like a getaway :D

    Minimal progress yeterday due to 40C heat. Will get them back on the bike this evening.
  14. Sully John Eales (66)

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    How's third going pfitzy?

    Sent from my D5833 using Tapatalk
  15. Pfitzy Tim Horan (67)

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    Been over a week since they were on the bike due to other commitments and hot days.

    Had a few sessions overall, mostly in our cul-de-sac, and there have been moments of balance and achievment.

    But both of them are stuck sitting down, and with the seats low enough for them to mount with both feet touching the ground, I fear its hindering progress to a degree.

    I'm now secretly playing them off against each other e.g. "You don't want your little sister to beat you, right? Think about how that will feel!" versus "Imagine if you beat your big brother to riding a bike! Think about how that will feel!"
    Dismal Pillock likes this.
  16. Dismal Pillock Mark Loane (55)

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    Pfitzy's Cycling Training Web Blog

    Day 1:


    Day 2:


    Day 700:


    Day 701:

    Patience: LOST.
    Pfitzy explodes.
    Goodbye, Wollongong.

    .. but next Sunday morning..
    Hallelujah, all the pfitzy's survived the blast.

    Day 707

    "Don't worry kids, I'm ok. It's called the, um, the triathlon."

    Unrelated picture of "Cyclopath", seen
    here finishing a cycling race in a very
    credible 2nd place.

    Pfitzy's children, 10 years from now:

    So cool and confident on the bikes that they
    actually turned black.
  17. Quick Hands David Wilson (68)

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    I think G&GR needs to start paying you DP.;)
    Scoey likes this.
  18. cyclopath Stirling Mortlock (74)

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    Gagger is worried that sending money to the Pitcairns might look suss to the ATO.
    Oh, and we don't have any...........left. :D
  19. waiopehu oldboy David Wilson (68)

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    Um, sorry to go off-topic here but I'm more than a little concerned by the fact that @Dismal's mugshot I mean avatar no longer bears the "DEPORTED" stamp. He could, therefore, even as we speak (OK, pedants, type) be walking the streets of downtown Onehunga in the general direction of the broken town clock. Possibly with @zer0 as his wingman... The horror! The horror!
  20. cyclopath Stirling Mortlock (74)

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    We could declare Onehuga annexed to the Pitcairns under Byron Kelleher's stewardship. Problem solved.
    PS - not sure if that will bother anyone in either place, though?

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