It’s a rite of passage for kids – learning to ride a bike. But for some parents, getting their child on two wheels can be a daunting task. Fear not. We’re here to help with ten easy steps to have your child pedalling like a pro in no time.
1. Choose the right bike.
The first step in teaching your child to ride a bike is ensuring you have the right bike. Finding a bike for your kids can be tricky. You want something the right size but don’t want to spend a fortune on a bike they’ll quickly outgrow. The best bike for a child learning to ride is a 12-inch or 14-inch wheel size with training wheels. Once your child has mastered riding with training wheels, you can move up to a 16-inch or 20-inch bike.
2. Adjust the seat and handlebars.
Once you have the right bike, you must ensure it’s properly adjusted for your child. For example, the seat should be at a level where your child can comfortably reach the pedals while sitting on the seat. The handlebars should also be at a comfortable height for your child.
3. Put on the helmet.
Your child must always wear a helmet when riding a bike, so make sure to put one on before you start teaching them how to ride. Beginning with a helmet will help instil the importance of always wearing one whenever they ride.
4. Show them how to pedal.
The next step is to show your child how to pedal the bike. You can do this by sitting on the bike yourself and pedalling while your child watches. Alternatively, you can hold onto the back of the seat and walk alongside your child as they pedal.
5. Teach them how to brake.
Once your child knows how to pedal, you must teach them how to brake. Show them how to use the handbrakes and the footbrake, and explain how each works. It is an important safety step that you should not skip.
6. Start slow and practice in an open area.
Once your child has mastered pedalling and braking, it’s time to start practising in an open area like a park or driveway. Again, start slowly and let them get used to riding the bike before going too fast.
7. Have them practice turning.
Turning is another critical skill for biking, so ensure your child practices turning before taking them out on the road. You can do this by having them ride around cones or other objects in an open area.
8. Teach them about road safety rules.
Before taking your child out on the road, you must teach them about road safety rules. For example, explain that they must always ride on the right side of the road and stop at all stop signs and traffic lights.
9. Find a safe place to practice.
Once your child knows the road safety rules, it’s time to find a safe place to practice riding their bike. A quiet neighbourhood street with little traffic is a good place to start.
10. Take them on a bike ride!
The final step is to take your child on a real bike ride. It can be around the neighbourhood, to the park, or even just around the block. The important thing is that they’re doing it under their own power and having fun.
Tips For Finding the Right Bike
As now you’ve decided to teach your child to ride a bike, it’s time to choose the right bike. Here are some factors you’ll want to consider:
- Size: The bike must be the right size for your child. They should be able to sit on the seat and put their feet flat on the ground. If they can’t, the bike is too big.
- Wheels: Look for bikes with 12-inch or 16-inch wheels. These are the ideal size for young riders.
- Brakes: Coaster brakes (which are engaged by pedalling backward) are great for beginners. If the bike has handbrakes, ensure they’re easy for your child to use.
- Gears: Avoid bikes with gears for now. They can be confusing and difficult for beginners to use.
- Style: Your child’s bike should be age-appropriate and stylish. Choose a design they’ll love so they’ll be excited to ride it.
Choosing the right bike is essential in teaching your child to ride. The factors you’ll want to consider include size, wheels, brakes, gears and style. Once you’ve chosen a bike perfect for your child, follow our tips for teaching them how to ride. They’ll be up and riding like a pro in no time!