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This is related to - but I think it's sufficiently different from - the question about how to teach a child to ride. My 8-year-old daughter can ride her own bike, but she's a bit wobbly, especially when she's pushing hard on the pedals, so she's currently limited to fairly flat, uncrowded routes.

I'd like to know what's the best thing to focus on teaching her next. e.g. should she practice riding uphill and back down? or should I try to get her comfortable pedaling standing up?

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Just encourage her to ride around and have fun. –  Daniel R Hicks Jun 22 '12 at 20:51
    
Since control of the bike, and its limitations, are very dependent on the children's age (due to neuromotor maturity), it is important to know: what's her age? –  heltonbiker Jun 22 '12 at 20:53
    
@heltonbiker added the age –  Ward Jun 22 '12 at 20:56
    
Great! At that age, kids start to ACTUALLY ride their bikes ;o) It's unfortunate, though, that the vast majority of bikes are so heavy for them... Don't forget to check if the brakes levers are smooth and the tires are not underinflated, that may be a source of difficulty for young bikers. –  heltonbiker Jun 22 '12 at 21:05
    
Personally I'd rather ski down a hill, than stand shivering at the top in a group being taught a lesson by someone lecturing us. Ditto when I had my first bike, I wanted to use it to ride it around the neighbourhood, and then see things and go places that would have been too far for me to go on foot. –  ChrisW Jun 24 '12 at 12:16
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

I think that, besides having fun - which is of utmost importance with kids otherwise they give up and choose to do something that is more fun and less distressful -, after they learn to keep balance and speed up, I'd say the next things must learn are to brake properly and to control their trajectory.

That said, one of the most exciting things to do, in my humble opinion, is to play tag (chasing game), or "follow the leader", in a park, taking turns on who is the leader.

When you are the leader (of course, not going too fast), she has to chase you and so she learns to do quick turns, brake, and change directions on demand (reactive).

When she is the leader, she develops her ability to read her surroundings and form trajectory-planning strategies in her mind (proactive).

Motor control resides in the cerebellum, and it must be automated by exhausitve repetition until it becomes automatic. There's no better way do do it than by playing and having fun, specially if it involves bicycle riding skills. It literally "grows in you". (I think that's why people say that no one ever forgets how to ride a bike).

Hope this helps

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This is a great way to teach her to look further ahead. I suspect she looks 12" in front of her and wobbles because of it. So by using the games and ideas here, i think you will train her to look further a head. –  Matt Adams Jun 25 '12 at 14:04
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