PROFESSOR PEDALS INKS HANDBOOK TO TEACH SKILLS NATIONWIDE.
September 20, 2013 (Syosset, NY)
Long Island based Professor Pedals, owned by Steven Finkelstein has expanded
it's offering by creating a handbook to offer their unique bicycle riding skills.
"Our handbook was created to offer a simple and fun guide to develop bicycle riders independently. Our goal was to create a tool to offer our techniques and methods like we do in private sessions.
"It's a simple tool that, with practice can create safe, confident and effective riders," said Steve Finkelstein, Founder of Professor Pedals and Author.
"It's a very affordable way (under $5) for us to offer our unique service everywhere," added Finkelstein.
Click to order via Amazon.com
An open letter from Professor Pedals, Steve Finkelstein
As we start to wind down the bike riding season 2013, I want to take a moment
and thank ALL of the students, parents, groups, camps, businesses
that trusted us to help you.
We did a lot this season! We helped people overcome fears, achieve goals,
beat the odds, improve activity levels, tackle their bucket list, have fun, smile,
and for many of you achieve your very first BIG goal! Whatever it was, it is
truly an amazing achievement for you and for us! Keep up the great work!
Stay tuned as we make great plans for 2014! Until then, keep on pedaling!
Take on new goals and challenges with this in mind.
Thank you again. I had so much fun!
Like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and share this so others can achieve great things too!
PROFESSOR PEDALS CREATES TAGGY, AN EMERGENCY ID TAG FOR LIFE.
August 22, 2013
Professor Pedals (HomeStep LLC) is pleased to announce the launch of their product taggy under the independent website www.taggy.us.
Taggy is a small weather resistant tool that attaches to sneakers, headphone cords, bicycles, backpacks and so many other items to help provide emergency and life response information to responders. The product is great for just about any person!
Product can be ordered directly from www.taggy.us for only $4.
Fields are customized to meet the needs of the holder.
Order direct at www.taggy.us. Payment accepted via Paypal and instructions are emailed after payment to design your taggy.
PROFESSOR PEDALS PARTICIPATES WITH CAR FREE DAY LONG ISLAND
August 19, 2013
Car Free Day is an international event celebrated every September in which people are encouraged to
get around without cars and instead ride a train, bus, bicycle, carpool, subway or walk.
This year, Car Free Day will be coming to Long Island on Friday, September 20, 2013!
Car Free Day gives us the opportunity to consider the negative impact of single
occupancy vehicles. Using cars less by using alternative modes such as transit, carpooling, bicycles, walking and telecommuting helps reduce traffic, conserve energy, reduce harmful emissions, reduce
parking problems and save money!
"We are pleased to help support Car Free Day on Long Island. With these programs we can help
reduce dependency on fuel based transportation and encourage more efficient and healthy
lifestyles," said Steve Finkelstein, Founder, Professor Pedals.
Learn more click here
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PROFESSOR PEDALS TEACHES ALL AGES TO RIDE ON LONG ISLAND
by Liza N. Burby
April 29, 2013
Professor Pedals, a father of two on Long Island, focuses on safety and cycling in his approach to teaching children to ride.
They say you never forget how to ride a bike, but do you remember when you learned how to get on and off your first one? Now imagine teaching your child, whose main fear is that you’re going to let him fall. Trying to communicate all those basic skills you now take for granted isn’t easy. At least that’s how Joanne McDonald of Northport
felt last year when she tried to teach her children, Dylan
and Cayla (now 9 and 7, respectively), how to ride their bikes.
“We had the most frustrating time because they’d get upset and feel bad about themselves, and my husband and I were assuming that all of a sudden they would just get it,” McDonald says. “All that happened is the bikes wound up back in the shed because the kids didn’t want to learn anymore.”
Then a friend gave Dylan a private lesson with Professor Pedals, who for three years has been teaching kids how to ride bikes and use scooters.
“Within an hour Dylan was cycling unassisted,” McDonald says. “If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it. Cayla followed suit a week later, and now both kids want to bike ride every chance they get.”
A Business is Born
Professor Pedals, also known as Steve Finkelstein, is a father of two from Plainview who hasn’t always been the guru of cycling. In fact, Finkelstein says he grew up in retail management and worked in product planning after college.
Using his experience in training executives along with his degree in consumer studies, Finkelstein created a baby-proofing business in 1999 when he saw a need to promote better safety in and out of the home. He even demonstrated child safety on the Today Show and CNN. His interest in safety soon expanded to outdoor issues such as bike riding.
“It wasn’t just the concern of wearing a helmet, though that’s important,” says Finkelstein, the father of an 8-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter. “I felt there was a need for kids to know how to ride properly, to be sidewalk smart and safe.”
The inspiration to teach kids bicycling, Finkelstein says, stemmed from his childhood love of bike riding. But the idea to start a business came when he taught his own children to ride.
“My son learned to ride a two-wheeler in literally five minutes when he was 3, and my daughter, at age 6, took about 20 minutes,” he says. “Neighbors and friends took notice. Maybe it was partly my skill. Maybe it’s in the genes. But it sure helped my reputation. People were waiting to learn with me.”
Facing Fears When Learning to Ride a Bike
On a recent Saturday morning, Finkelstein worked with a nervous 9-year-old who was afraid that she would fall if he let go. But Finkelstein spent the hour helping her understand the concept of balance, and showing her that if she “brakes, stops, and puts her feet down wide,” she’s always in control of the bike. At the end of the lesson, she was confidently scooting along, eager to try again.
“Fear of falling is the No. 1 issue for kids, and sometimes parents have a hard time helping them with that,” Finkelstein says. “Kids are good at pulling out the emotional card with their parents. If kids just understand that the bike does want to fall, but if you know what to do you can be safe, it makes them feel much more in control.”
Finkelstein also works with children who have special needs. He says one of the most moving experiences for him was teaching a 12-year-old girl on the autism spectrum.
“Her family was taking a trip and her sisters were going to be riding bikes, so her dad wanted her to learn too. She did it, and her dad sent me a photo of her riding with them. It was an unbelievable achievement for her, and it was so rewarding for me.”
He was also inspired by an 18-year-old student with visual impairment who had failed his road test but needed transportation at college to get to classes. “He had never done anything active, but he needed a way to get around, so he decided to learn to ride a bike—and he was riding in his first lesson,” Finkelstein says.
His oldest student is a woman in her 60s who put learning to ride a bike on her bucket list. She plans “a big reveal to her kids and grandkids soon.”
Biking is a big part of family life for Finkelstein, who commutes via bike. “For me, a day in the bike shop is like a day in the candy store,” he says. “I help students break barriers and build skills right by their side. It’s good to do what you love, and I am passionate about teaching kids to ride bikes.”
For more information on Professor Pedals, visit professorpedals.com.
Yay or Nay?
Parents often assume that learning to ride a bicycle with training wheels is a safe approach, but Finkelstein disagrees. “The problem is that, while kids may feel secure, it actually can cause them to fall because it’s a different process than riding a bike,” he says. “It makes turns more challenging because they lean more and their balance skills aren’t mastered. And the wheels can get caught on curbs and brick.” It’s better, he says, to use a progressive approach so the child works up to riding a two-wheeler. That means learning to balance by keeping your feet on the ground and scooting.
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Bicycle Riding Tips for Kids from a Local Expert
Submitted by Maria A. on April 29, 2013 – 11:07 pm
Learning to ride a 2-wheeled bicycle is a very exciting goal for kids.
The skill lasts a lifetime and has great purpose and fun. Our local
expert provides bicycle riding tips for kids to ensure a smooth ride.
“Everyone remembers where and when they learned to ride a bicycle. They are hopefully positive memories that do not resemble a roller coaster ride,” said Steve Finkelstein, Founder of Professor Pedals, a service that offers private bicycle riding lessons on Long Island.
It is critical to approach the learning process positively and properly. Follow these simple tips to achieve great riding skills.
Think safety. “A child is dangerous if they can ride a bicycle. They need to have total control of the bicycle, not just how to move and balance it. They must know how to stop and manage the bicycle without injury,” said Finkelstein. Wear safety gear including a helmet and padding. Make sure shoe laces are tied as they can get caught in the bicycle.
Be patient. Developing the skills to ride a bicycle takes time. Keep lesson duration at a manageable level. Know the limits of the student and avoid exhausting their patience and ability. Exhaustion can lower performance and reduce control of the bicycle.
Avoid distractions & obstacles. Train on a quiet, flat, smooth, authorized location. Avoid distractions and maybe even the student’s friends. Students could be embarrassed if they are seen by their friends learning to ride a bicycle.
Soften the tires. Keep the tire pressure on the bicycle at a less than firm level. This reduces the speed and improves stability for the rider.
Lower the seat. Allow the student to place both feet flat on the ground when seated.
Be a shadow. Assist in the learning process by helping navigate at the handlebars and stabilize at the seat. Assist them with smooth and simple corrections.
Prepare to jog. Don’t run. Running with a student indicates that they are traveling too fast and may lose control of the bicycle. A comfortable learning pace for a bicycle is the trainer at a light jog. Plus, you won’t tire out as a teacher too fast!
Have fun. Keep the process positive and exciting. These are memorable moments that will last a lifetime. Bicycle riding is usually one of the first major goals a child achieves.
Visit ProfessorPedals.com for more helpful tips. As a bonus, any student of Professor Pedals can receive 10% off any new bicycle purchase at Brands Cycle & Fitness in Wantagh.
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Many parents view sidewalks as a safe place for kids to ride bicycles.
This could not be further from the truth.
Sidewalks connect with driveways and force interaction between bicyclists and active vehicles that enter and exit. In many cases, vehicle drivers are not expecting bicyclists, or pedestrians, to be passing as they enter or exit the driveway or garage. Drivers may not be able to see younger and smaller bicyclists because they may not be visible in their mirrors. Drivers also may be on their cell phones, engaging in conversation, listening to the radio and other distractions to add further risk to the situation.
"A bicyclist is bound to become injured if they physically meet up with a vehicle," said Steve Finkelstein, Founder of Professor Pedals. "Bicyclists need to be prepared and ready to respond to situations and react with good safety responses and riding skills."
Bicyclists must be prepared and ready to meet the potential traffic that may cross the sidewalks into their riding path. Through the use of their senses and other active training skills bicyclists can remain safe at all times. The Professor Pedals program teaches riders to be predictable, proactive and prepared for obstructions, unexpected events and other potential safety hazards.
"If a rider just knows how to balance and move a bicycle, they are at a disadvantage. Their false sense of security can cause serious injury on sidewalks and roads," added Finkelstein.
Professor Pedals focuses on safety at all levels of training. Safety from lesson 1 serves as a catalyst to reduce rider stress, improve performance and add value to the riding experience. Click here to learn more.
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Bicycle Buyers Guide
As seen in (Click file link below)
How to Choose the Right Bicycle for Your Child
Submitted by Maria A. on April 4, 2013 – 12:00 am
Buying a bicycle is super exciting, yet it can be a difficult and stressful task too. From
determining a budget, fit, style, model or color, the process can be overwhelming. Read
these tips on how to choose the right bicycle for your child to simplify things and keep it
Know your intentions.
To gain more value from the purchase, think ahead to siblings
who may use the bicycle at a later time. Try to make a gender neutral bicycle purchase and color it with gender specific accessories (bell, basket, etc.). This will give you more
value and use down the road.
Preview the bicycle assortment before you bring the kids.
Kids are drawn to bicycles that may look “cool” or “fun” but are not necessarily the bicycle that’s best for them. Pre-pick models and have them held in an area for your arrival with kids. It makes
the process less complicated for everyone and directs them to the choices you want for them.
Know your geometry.
If a bicycle does not fit properly it will potentially be unsafe,
uncomfortable and unridden. Try to select a few different geometry styles within the correct size bicycle (there are charts based on the rider’s height and inseam). A
particular geometry may work better for your rider.
Make fit a priority.
If children are learning to ride 2-wheelers, their feet should be flat on
the ground when sitting on the seat. Adjust the seat position to achieve this or pick a
different geometry or size bicycle. For a trained rider, the balls/tip-toes of their feet
should touch the ground when sitting on the seat. Make sure the bicycle can grow with
the child. Expect to get 2-3 years from a properly fitted bicycle.
Work within your budget.
Make a sensible choice when it comes to price. Generally,
higher end bicycles come with lighter weight materials or more efficient components.
Your child will have fun and ride just fine on whatever you buy, but think ahead to the
hand-me-down option. Generally, higher end bicycles will last longer, not rust or break
down as easily. It may be worthwhile to consider investing up front in a better bicycle.
“Local bike shops tend to have higher end bicycles with higher price points. But don’t let
that fool you about value. Local bike shops tend to be assets in providing more
personalized service, proper fitting, professional assembly, tune-ups and maintenance
included in the price,” said Steve Finkelstein, founder of Professor Pedals
, a service that offers private bicycle riding lessons on Long Island.
“Use the internet to shop and do research. There are many helpful websites,” added
Finkelstein. Visit ProfessorPedals.com for information about bicycle riding and safety.
As a bonus, any student of Professor Pedals can receive 10% off any new bicycle purchase at
Brands Cycle & Fitness in Wantagh.
By Steve Finkelstein of Professor Pedals in Syosset, NY
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9 Lifelong Benefits of Cycling
There's an obvious benefit of bicycle riding lessons - to learn to ride safely and properly. But there are so many other lifelong valuable tools provided.
Here are just 9 of them - (1) Goal setting, (2) Endurance, (3) Fitness, (4) Patience,
(5) Balance, (6) Control, (7) Ownership, (8) Efficiency, (9) Independence and much more! These benefits are applicable and transferrable to so many aspects of our life. So learn today!
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8 Important Tips to Riding Smart
(1) Be cautious on sidewalks when approaching driveways. Vehicles may not see bicyclists or expect them to be present when they enter or exit a driveway.
(2) Use your sense of hearing when riding a bicycle.
Sounds of traffic, pedestrians and other obstructions can help you avoid accidents.
(3) When in doubt stop riding and move to a safe location.
(4) Bicycle bells are a fun accessory but serve as a very important tool to alert traffic and alert pedestrians of your approach. Use them wisely!
(5) Inspect your bicycle before each ride. Focus particular attention on brake effectiveness and tire pressure. Tighten loose bolts to maintain effective operation.
(6) Avoid bicycling on slippery surfaces such as gravel, sand, dirt or wet surfaces.
(7) Keep all reflectors on your bicycle. Front and rear, wheels and pedals.
Wear reflective clothing and use flashing lights for night riding.
(8) Always wear proper safety gear including a properly fitting helmet.
* Professor Pedals takes safety very seriously. We incorporate basic and advanced safety instruction into our lesson plans.
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Quotes From Students
"Thank you Steve for teaching Julia to ride a bike. We are all so thrilled with the job
you did with her and happy that this can now be a family activity.
We will highly recommend you to our friends."
- Lori P
(via text) "Hi I'm so sorry it's taken this long to respond. ...moving next wk & all has been crazy.
To update u on Mia' s riding. ...yesterday was first time back in the saddle since u!!
The heat wave & family stuff kept us from rides. However, once she got passed
initial balance fears, she was back in the game. :) We refreshed ourselves on all
ur points & Mia actually corrected me a few times on how it's done. I guess the ol'
saying goes, once u learn how to ride, u never forget. Many, many tx! "
- Suzanne E.
"She is awesome!!! Thank you! She is sooooo excited and proud of herself!"
- Traci P
"Thank you so much for helping me learn to ride a bike! You taught me in one hour
what I couldn't get a hold of for years! I really appreciate it and wish you luck for the future!"
"You are an amazing teacher!" - Debbie G.
"Chloe really loved you....she asked me if you could teach her anything else." - DF
"My husband and I could NOT teach him. Your system works and you have a magic touch!" Thanks! - SN
"We took him on a ride together with lots of stopping and hills....he was doing laps! Thanks for all of your help!" - KS
"Professor Pedals was amazing! I never thought my daughter would EVER ride a bike, and in no time she was zipping around like she had been riding for years! Steve has a great attitude and I highly recommend him." - Stewart P.
"A thorough, unique and extremely positive experience." - LW
"So exciting that I can ride. Thanks again for your help!" - MH
"Score! She is showing off for her friends. One of them complimented her on the new bike. So sweet!" -AN
"Thank you! He really had a good time!" -SW
"Thanks so much! He was so proud of himself!!! He is wearing his [bicycle] necklace to school and told everyone he can ride!! Thanks again you made his week! I'll let you know if he needs a second lesson. I also put your info on facebook as a recommendation. Have a great week." -NL
"Thank you for helping me in achieving his goal of riding a bike. He was so happy yesterday! We saw his name on the Student Spotlight page. It looks great thank you!!! Have a great summer and yes he will be riding. We plan to get his bike on Monday and I will definitely send you a picture. Thanks for everything again!"
- Angela G
Dear Professor Pedals,
I just want you to know that Jonathan thinks you're the GREATEST. We were talking about what he accomplished & all he could talk about was you. That you were so patient, funny & kind. You gave him confidence. He can't wait to go buy a bike. Thank you so much for teaching him and making it fun! You gave me the best gift -- the smile on my son's face when he realized he could do it. Thanks again! Happy Summer! :) :) :)
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I have wanted to ride a bike for years but could not find the courage to learn. I am beyond grateful that I found Professor Pedals whose combination of skill, support and trustworthiness enabled me to learn without so much as scraping my leg! His approach kept me calm throughout my lesson and by the time I began pedaling on my own I already felt fairly confident that I could manage the obstacles that arose in my path. I am so grateful for the thoughtful instruction I received. The weekend following my lesson, I rented a Citibike and rode around Central Park in the rain, maintaining control of my bike the whole time and having a blast with my friends. I can’t wait to purchase my own bike today. I no longer have to opt our of biking activities with my friends. Professor Pedals has changed my life!
- Ayala D.
I would like to express my extreme gratitude at the fantastic job you did at teaching BOTH my children how to ride their bikes! I was at my wits end, having had the kids bikes for over a year, and no success at teaching them myself, due to crying and tantrums and "I can't do it!". You were recommended to me by my friend, who told me you were wonderful and you taught her son to ride his bike.
I booked a lesson for my son, and within 45 minutes he was riding on his own!! My son had one more lesson and my daughter had 2 lessons, and now they are both riding proficiently! In fact they are out riding their bikes whenever they can!
You were brilliant with both the children, breaking everything down and making it fun. The children were relaxed and you made everything really easy for them. You are truly an expert at what you do, and I cannot thank you enough!
I will recommend you to anyone who needs to make teaching their children how to ride a bike a stress-free and enjoyable experience!