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World Bicycle Day: How to ride a bike in 3 steps

The founder of Isipho Triathlon Club advises parents to teach their children to ride bikes.

FULTON School for the Deaf house father and triathlon coach, Zakes Mkhize, believes that bike riding is a skill that’s never forgotten once learned.

Mkhize (67), who is teaching deaf learners to ride bikes at a school based in Hillcrest, observes World Bicycle Day today, June 3, by sharing steps that may be used by parents to teach their children bike-riding skills. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), safe infrastructure for walking and cycling is also a pathway for achieving greater health equity. For people in the poorest urban sector, who often cannot afford private vehicles, walking and cycling can provide a form of transport while reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, diabetes and even death.

Mkhize has a passion for the sport which he has been teaching for many years. His hard work won him an award for ‘volunteer of the year’ in the SA Sports Awards in 2014 because of the work he does at Fulton, teaching learners with challenges the skills of triathlon.

Also read: Tips for riding safely with your children on a bicycle

The founder of Isipho Triathlon Club says it is imperative for parents to teach their children to ride bikes because learning how to ride is worth a lifetime of memories. “Bikes are pretty intuitive by design, and once you get rolling, it is hard to stop. The benefits that come along with learning how to ride a bicycle as an adult or a child are truly limitless, but the steps to do so are so simple,” Mkhize says.

Founder of Isipho Triathlon Club Zakes Mkhize.

The coach highlighted that biking has been proven to improve the mental and physical health of young and old. Mkhize explains, “Whether you prefer slow and scenic rolls or fast-paced pedalling, any style of bike riding can help with weight loss and muscle gain while easing pressure on your joints. Biking can generate self-esteem among those known to be abusing substances which may not be possible through educational achievements or other forms of social support.”

Here are the 3 steps that may be used by parents to teach their children to ride a bike as shared by coach Mkhize:

  • Safety first: Put on a helmet and make sure it is nice and snug on your head.
  • Bike fitting: Hold the bike in a stopped position and swing one leg over the seat. Adjust the seat height to fit your height, then sit on the bike with both toes touching the ground.
  • Begin with brake and balance: Balancing might feel unusual at first, but once you get used to it, the rest will follow naturally. Check out kids’ balance bikes and kids’ bikes with training wheels.

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