Teaching a 10-year old how to ride

In a sneak peak at what teaching my son how to drive might be like in 6 year’s time, I spent last Sunday afternoon coaching him on how to ride with clip-in pedals. And it was all rather stressful. For both of us.

Already a more than capable rider, he’d been on the trainer several times with clip-ins, and had a reasonable mastery of this. However, unsurprisingly the open road proved a rather different story.


As suggested by several folks who’ve been there and done that with their own kids, we found a big, flat, grassy park not too far from home. I prepared him as best I could for what he was likely to experience during the next hour or so (aka falling over a lot). But, of course, in the heat of the moment all hell still broke loose, with much shouting and gesticulating providing tremendous entertainment for those nearby walking their dogs and kicking footballs.

Clipping out was easy enough. After a few wobbles, he got the hang of that and was able to stop reasonably confidently and accurately. That was good. Getting started again, however, was a very different story – especially on grass. He had real trouble getting his toe in the right spot (we’re on Shimano pedals) without me physically ramming it in and holding him upright. Clearly, this is not a viable long-term technique for either party.

Yes, stacks were plentiful. But the good news was no blood was shed – his or mine – and we’re still talking to each other.

To be continued…

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