Coasting

Coasting is an important skill to help your rider control their speed and manage their effort, it also helps you as a parent reduce some stress around how fast your rider is moving.

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Progression:

  • Step 1: Introduce coasting by having them pedal around an open area, then pause their feet for a second before they pedal again.

  • Step 2: Challenge them to try to coast as long as they can before they have to pedal again to prevent them from stopping or tipping over.

  • Step 3: Set up a coast zone in an obstacle course.

PROFICIENCY Test:

  • Your rider should be able to demonstrate controlled stopping when given a random command to do so.

Coasting – Show and Tell: The first step in teaching your rider to coast is to show them how coasting works. Tell them that the bike can keep moving without them needing to pedal and show them by lifting the back wheel and having them turn the pedals, then when you say “coast” have them stop the pedals and watch how the back wheel still moves.

Coasting: Next, challenge them to practice coasting while they are pedaling around. Once moving, have them try pausing their pedals for a second or two, then starting to pedal again. Some riders respond better to a command like “slow then go” or “pause,” feel free to use whichever they prefer. The key is to get them to practice coasting.

  • Have your rider practice coasting for 1-2 seconds then pedal again.

  • Challenge your rider to see how long they can coast before they have to start pedaling again to prevent themselves from falling over.

  • Set up an obstacle course with a “coast zone” and have them coast within this area. Distinguish that it is different than the “slow zone” where they will be using their brakes to slow them down.