Learning how to ride a bike is a rite of passage. It ushers in a new sense of independence, for one, and it also gives kids a lesson in responsibility. The moment the training wheels come off is a pretty big milestone.
But when it comes to how to teach a child to ride a bike, what are the best methods? Teaching swiftly isn’t as important as giving lessons safely. Here are five steps for teaching a young rider to cycle without the security of their training wheels:Remove the Pedals
This might seem counter-intuitive. When you set out to help a child ride a bike, the first thing to cover is how to pedal, right? Not so fast. Most kids’ bikes have removable pedals, and you should take them off before the lesson begins.Get Comfortable with Balance
Now that the pedals are out of the way, you can begin your bike riding lesson with instructions in balance. Have your child sit on the bike with their legs outstretched (wearing a helmet, of course) while you stand beside the bike and slowly move it forward. Pedals would likely hit either your or the rider’s legs if they were still attached, so now is about the time you’ll be happy you followed step 1.
After a few minutes, your child is ready to scoot. Have them push the bike forward with their own feet and then lift their legs. They’ll propel themselves forward for just a few seconds, giving them short bursts of balance at a slow speed.Move on to Coasting
Once they are more comfortable keeping the bike upright without pedals, do some longer coasting. Get behind the bike and have your child put their legs out as counterbalances. Push the bike forward so the child can coast for 10-15 seconds at a time.Try Some Turns
A big part of learning how to ride a bike is handling turns and bumps. You won’t be doing your rider any favors, in the long run, to focus only on straightaways. Now that your rider is OK with coasting, give them a push and have them ride in a circle. They can scoot and coast to keep themselves going.Graduate to Pedaling
Once balancing and turning are under their belt, your cyclist is ready to pedal. Reattach the pedals and show your child how to begin with one foot on the pedal and one on the ground. Allow them to practice pedaling slowly, reminding them to look forward 10-20 feet instead of down at their own feet or right in front of the bike. Looking forward encourages better posture and can keep them more stable on the bike. Before long, they’ll be ready to take off down the street on their own!
At sixthreezero, our kids’ bikes are great for easy cruising. With trusty tires and lightweight frames, they are easy to learn on and fun to ride. Pick out a kids’ bike today and let the lessons begin!
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