Bike Riding 101: Tips For Teaching Your Kids To Ride

Boy learning to ride a bicycle with his father in park. Father teaching his son cycling at park.

Teaching kids to ride a bike is an important milestone in their lives and it can be a fun and rewarding experience for both parents and children. While it can be intimidating to teach your child how to ride a bike, Two Wheeling Tots proposes using a simple and stress-free method that does not require training wheels or running behind them while holding onto the bike’s saddle. The “take the pedals off” method involves using a pedal bike as a balance bike, allowing your child to focus on learning to balance on two wheels, which is the most important skill in learning to ride. Keep reading for a complete guide.

Create a Balance Bike

If your child is new to a bike, simply take the pedals off their bike and use it as a balance bike. Your little one can learn to pedal later, balance comes first. This method works best for 16″ bikes and larger, but can also be used on smaller bikes. Your child should be able to touch the ground with their feet flat while sitting on the saddle, and the bike should be lightweight to make learning easier.  This method can take less than 10 minutes for a confident, athletic child, while it could take timid child weeks or even months.

Sit and Walk

The process of teaching a child how to ride a bike can be broken down into several steps, and one of the most crucial ones is getting the child comfortable on the bike. This is where it all starts! To begin, you should have your child sit on the seat with all of their weight, while keeping their feet on the ground. This will help them get a feel for the bike’s balance and stability while remaining safe.

Next, encourage your child to use their feet to walk the bike forward, without actually pedaling. This will help them understand how the bike moves and give them a sense of control over the bike’s movements. It is important to remember that throughout the entire process of teaching your child how to ride a bike, they should always be wearing a properly fitting bike helmet to protect their head in case of any falls or accidents. By following these steps and taking safety precautions, you can help your child gain confidence and become a successful bike rider.

Run and Glide

After your child has gotten comfortable with walking the bike forward while sitting on the seat, the next step is to have them practice gliding and balancing. Start by encouraging them to run while pushing the bike forward, and eventually, they’ll be able to lift their feet off the ground and balance on the two wheels. If they’re struggling with this, you can give them a little push to help build momentum. Rolling down driveways or grassy hills is a great way to help them easily pick up speed and learn the feel of gliding and balancing, just make sure the incline isn’t too steep.

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Balance and Steering

Once they’ve mastered going in a straight line, it’s time to work on balancing and steering. Encourage your child to practice turning while gliding by rolling down the hill and doing slight turns to either side. This will help them get a feel for how the handlebars react and how to steer the bike when turning during a glide, which is an essential skill for riding a bike. Once they’ve mastered this last step, it’s time to put the pedals back on.

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