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  • Spring brings petals... and pedals! - Spilling the Beans - Magic Beans

Spring brings petals… and pedals!

gyrowheel_kidOn a hazy Sunday morning, you step out of your house to get the paper, bleary-eyed, coffee in hand, and instead of being battered and chafed by winter winds, you feel… warm. The air smells a little damp and you can sniff the plants growing. The birds are chirping. Little green tendrils are peeking out of the earth. Spring! It’s spring! It’s time to get the family outside. And perhaps it’s time your child learned how to ride a bike.

Kids are ready to ride two-wheeler bikes when they’re between four and eight years of age. It depends heavily on how coordinated your child is, of course: riding a bike requires maintaining your balance while steering, pedaling, and braking as needed. If you know how to ride a bike, this all seems like second nature to you: your muscle memory ensures that even if you haven’t been on a bike for years, you’ll pick it up again quickly. However, for your child, the bike seems too skinny to stay upright, and the distance from the ground seems vast. It’s a bit intimidating.

There are a few tried-and-true teaching methods: for instance, the one your parents probably used, the good old “run and push,” in which you run next to the child keeping them upright until they get the hang of it. gyrowheelThis has a few major disadvantages: 1) you’re going to have to bend down a bit to push, which hurts your back, 2) if you’re not much of a runner, you’re going to be winded, and 3) it’s not terrifically stable, so the kid might still fall, and while they’re unlikely to get hurt badly, even a small fall is terrifying to a small child. Training wheels are easier to get the hang of – they basically transform a two-wheeler into a tricycle – but they don’t actually teach a child how to balance. A more recent training method is the lower-the-seat-and-coast method, but this still requires the extra step afterwards of raising the seat and actually pedaling to the mix.

Gyrowheel, the latest advance in helping kids learn how to ride a bike, skips right over all of these hurdles with… science! A disk inside the Gyrowheel spins independently to create “gyroscopic precession,” which makes the bike very, very difficult to tip over. When the rider wobbles, the Gyrowheel re-centers the bike under his weight. So when a child who’s new to biking gets on a bike with a Gyrowheel, it’s easy for him to start riding his bike naturally, with a sense of confidence and safety. Balancing? Check. Pedaling? Check. Braking? Check. Your back? Feels fine. And your kid is riding a big-kid bike all by himself – no bumps, no bruises, no tears, no training wheels.

You can slowly turn down the stability settings so that kids learn to balance on their own – but once they’ve been using the Gyrowheel for a while, they won’t even notice. It can take an hour or less for kids to master the balancing trick of riding a bike – a trick that will last a lifetime.

Gyrowheel is available in 12″ and 16″ sizes, in white and black, only on!

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