Learning to ride a bike is a difficult task for any child, usually resulting in a lot of frustration, cuts and bruises. Once the bike is stripped of it’s training wheels, trying to balance on rotating wheels for the first time is not as easy as it first looked. However, figuring out how to teach a child with special needs to ride a bike can be a tad bit more challenging because they may struggle with the motor and balance skills required to perform this task. Glide Bikes a company that provides a wide assortment of bikes also has bikes that cater to children and adults with special needs.
Ed Mondello, the inventor of Glide Bikes, originally got the idea for creating this unique bike after several failed attempts of trying to teach his daughter. Each outing resulted in his four year old daughter having scrapped knees and elbows, and it was then that he decided there had to be an easier way to help her learn. After several designs Mondello was able to create the perfect balance bike.
Finding a special needs bike that looks like a real bike is nearly impossible. Most special needs bikes offer basic tricycle models which prevent the child from learning how to balance and cycle properly. Glide Bikes however, has developed a solution to this problem. So what makes Glide Bikes so unique? The bikes are built low to the ground, designed with low speed geometry, and the omission of chains, pedals, and gears which allows children to become more confident and achieve more in less time.
Falls are also easily preventable, as the child only has to place both feet on the ground “Flintstones” style to regain control. Since the bike is lower to the ground stopping is a lot easier. Another added benefit is the light weight frame which allows easy lifting in the event of a fall. Parents don’t have to worry about their child being pinned under the bike in the case of a fall.
Karen Shaffer, describes her eleven year old sons first experience with learning how to ride a bike a Glide Bike.
“Dylan is having a great time gliding! Brings tears to our eyes to see how awesome he is doing with this & so quickly! The whole concept and design of the Super Glider is amazing, it is truly a beautiful bike like no other! He has struggled with so many things including not being able to balance a bike and ride along with the other kids. Over the years we have purchased an adult sized trike, a Mobo, and several scooters so he would at least have something to “ride” with the others, but just wasn’t “the same” as the other kids so the interest fell quickly” Shaffer said.
The company also offers a bike called the Super Glider for youths and adults with special needs. This model offers all of the same features as the bike described above.
These bikes are also great for children who are trying to transition to larger bikes. Riders as young as 18 months can use the pedal-less bike and do not have to be special needs children. For additional information on the Balance bike or the Super Glider check out http://www.glidebikes.com.