How to Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike

How to Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike
Riding a bike requires finesse to combine balancing, pedaling, braking and steering. Taken altogether and all at once, these skills can be hard to master. If your child learns them one at a time, however, he should be able to master bike riding much more quickly.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Undersized bike
  • Helmet
Step 1
Ensure your child's bike is small enough that, with the seat lowered, he can put both his feet flat on the ground and bend his knees slightly. This is going to be a temporary, learning bike, so don't invest in a really nice model; save your money for after the child learns to ride.
Step 2
Take your child to a field with a gradual downhill slope. Place the bike facing dowhill. Have her sit on the bike and place her feet on the ground while you hold it steady. Remove your hands and let her hold the bike in place with her own feet.
Step 3
Instruct the child to walk the bike downhill. Walk along beside him, but do not hold onto him. This will give him his first experience of balancing and controlling the bicycle.
Step 4
Go to the top of the hill again. Instruct the child to push the bike gently forward and try lifting her feet off the ground. Tell her to put her feet back down if she feels she is going to fall or wants to stop. Run beside her as she rides downhill. Practice this until your child can ride downhill comfortably without falling. Run along with her the first two or three times, then let her try by herself.
Step 5
Set up at the top of the hill again to teach your child how to brake. In most kids' bikes, pedaling backwards will activate the brakes. Tell him to try to keep his feet on the pedals this time, pedal backwards to slow down, and put his feet down when he wants to stop. Have him practice until he gets comfortable.
Step 6
Take your child to a flat sidewalk in an area wtihout heavy pedestrian or auto traffic. Instruct her to pedal the bike forward, starting with one foot on the ground and the other at 2 o'clock (from your view at the side of the bike), facing the handle bars. Have her practice pedaling to the end of the block and staying on the sidewalk.
Step 7
Take your child to an empty parking lot. Tell him to turn the bike by leaning into the turn. Have him practice until he can turn comfortably.

Tips & Warnings

Always have your child wear a helmet when riding. Ensure that his shoe laces are tied and that his pants are tucked into his socks so as not to get caught in the chain.

Article Written By Isaiah David

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

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