Skip to main content

Wisconsin Parent

Learn to Ride a Bicycle

Apr 22, 2013 03:24PM ● By Matthew Poster

Learn to Ride a Bicycle

Do you remember the first time you rode your bike? How about the first time you did it on your own? With spring in the air and the weather warming up, it's time I shared some secrets on how to learn to ride a bicycle and more importantly teaching your child to ride their bike. We want our children to thrive and this new-found skill will give them two wheeled freedom for the rest of their lives. This age old technique has been around since the first bicycles were invented and now it's making a comeback.

Safety First – Remember to always wear a helmet properly and be safe! Find an open basketball or tennis court to practice these maneuvers and keep your child away from traffic.

Here are the steps to successfully teaching your child to learn to ride a bicycle safely.

  • Bike Setup:
    • Remove those crutches also known as training wheels.
    • Remove the pedals. CAUTION: Righty tighty, lefty loosy does not apply to the LEFT pedal as the left pedal has a reverse thread!
      Learn to Ride a Bicycle Learn to Ride a Bicycle
    • Lower the seat so the child can sit on it comfortably with BOTH feet on the ground.
      Learn to Ride a Bicycle
    • Cover up the axle nuts with duct tape so your child doesn't get any cuts.
    • The first steps:
      • Get your child to sit on the bike and push it forward with their feet. This encourages balance and steering which are essential to riding.
      • You could set up a course with cones or chalk lines so they have start and end points to go for. In addition, get them to turn and do figure eights.
      • Feet up:
        • As your child gets more comfortable pushing, steering, and coasting, get them to pick up their feet for long stretches and coast.
        • Transitioning to pedals:
          • After you feel your child has mastered the feet up progression, it's time to put the pedals back on.
          • Before they begin to pedal, get them coasting and just resting their feet on the pedals.
          • They will naturally begin to push forward and keep the momentum going.
          The trick to learning to ride a bicycle is all about breaking it down into progressions as we outlined above. You really don't need to run beside them or behind them, let the child learn naturally and have some fun doing it. Your back will thank you and so will your child.

          Here is an additional link to the videos of my older son going through all the steps. Learning to ride a bicycle.