Learning to ride a bike builds a child's confidence, encourages healthy habits, provides a way for the family to spend time together and offers older kids the freedom of transportation. Teach your children how to stay safe when they ride to ensure they have the best possible experience on a bicycle.
Provide a properly sized and tuned bike for your child. Your child cannot mount and dismount her bike safely if it is too big. Have her bike tuned to avoid crashes caused by mechanical failure, such as a loose chain or faulty brakes.
Teach your child to put on her helmet before she rides. Most cities mandate that children wear helmets when they ride. A helmet provides protection for novice and daredevil riders.
Find a safe environment for your child to learn to ride and build her confidence. Choose a paved and traffic-free area, so she can balance easier and practice with fewer hazards.
Show your child how to ride around cars and pedestrians. For older kids who handle a bike confidently, the street is a safer place to ride compared to the sidewalk. Teach your child how to obey all traffic laws.
Teach your child how to safely share trails with other cyclists, hikers, horses and other animals. Show her how other trail users always have the right of way.
Choose routes to ride that are appropriate for your child's skill level. For kids starting to ride without a parent, make sure they are familiar with a route before leaving home and set rules to stay on specific streets or trails.
Article Written By Kathrine Cole
Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.