How To Ride A Bike: A Teaching Guide For Parents

Teaching a child to ride a bike is an incredibly satisfying experience for any parent. Not only does it help foster independence, but it helps build the child’s confidence and fosters memorable moments. Knowing how to ride a bike helps kids develop the motor skills needed for other activities such as participating in sports or cycling with friends.

Though learning to ride may take patience from both parents and children, there are certain steps that can be taken to make this process easier. Taking the time to explain each step, providing stability while they navigate their balance on two wheels, encouraging every attempt and being patient ensures success in the long run.

Ultimately, patience and understanding makes mastering this new skill a pleasure.

Picking Their First Bike

Teaching your children how to ride a bike is an invaluable life skill and the first step in this process is choosing the right starting bike.

Mountain bikes and BMX bikes are best suited for older kids with a few years of riding experience under their belt. Training wheels can be a great help for children to learn how to ride a bike, but the 14 inch balance bike is a better option for those that are just starting out. These smaller wheel sizes encourage proper balancing techniques and allow small children the opportunity to build confidence as they get comfortable with riding an actual bicycle. Balance bikes also lack complex driveshafts and gear systems so little one can just focus on learning how to ride.

Choosing the right starting bike is essential in teaching your child how to ride, so make sure you do your research and take it for a test drive (or test ride, rather) before you buy —it will give them the best chance at success.

Ensure That the Bike Fits Them Properly

When teaching your child how to ride a bike, it’s important that you make sure the bicycle meets Australian standards, is the right size and adjusted properly. Many parents learn this firsthand when they attempt to teach their children only to discover that they can’t even pedal because the seat or handlebars are too high.

To avoid this scenario, take a few moments to adjust the bike at the outset by making sure the seat and handlebars are suitable for your size. This will enable you to model correct pedalling techniques, provide stability for your child when assisting them, and increase overall safety during instruction.

For beginners, minor adjustments such as slightly lowering the seat or rotating the grip slightly if the handlebars feel too far away can make a huge difference in comfort level — leading to an enjoyable experience and successful outcome.

Equip Your Child With Proper Safety Gear

It is important for parents to equip their children with the proper safety gear when learning to ride a bike. Without helmets, knee and elbow pads, and reflective clothing, riders are at risk of serious injuries should they fall – particularly if riding on a busy street.


    Want the best cycling experience?
    Sign up for the latest bikes, gear, and accessories reviews out there.

    By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy
    and European users agree to the data transfer policy

    By consistently wearing helmets and reflective clothing, cyclists will be more visible to passing drivers. Properly fitted helmets can help reduce the severity of head injuries and even save lives. Knee pads protect against scrapes and abrasions and elbow pads provide cushioning for elbows in case of accidental falls or slides.

    Parents should also ensure that their child’s bike fits properly – meaning that it is adjusted correctly to their size making sure they have secure control while cycling. Having the right safety gear helps parents provide adequate protection while encouraging a healthy activity with their child.

    Start With Teaching Your Child Basic Coordination

    Starting your child off by teaching them basic coordination while stationary will make learning easier and less intimidating. Have them stand astride their bike with feet on both pedals, and practice positioning their body in an upright posture so they can pedal with full efficiency when they start to move.

    This emphasis on posture and balance creates an understanding of the basics before even beginning to move. Once your child is comfortable with the concept of balance, you can then introduce further concepts such as starting to pedal and turning left/right. Teaching your child these key skills from the beginning will ensure a smooth transition onto actually riding a bike proficiently.

    Teach Riding in an Open Area Free of Obstacles

    Parenting an adventurous child often involves teaching them how to ride a bicycle as a way for them to explore the outdoors. It is important to remember, however, that safety should always be a priority when doing so. To help prevent injury and other accidents, parents should ensure they are teaching their child in an open area free of obstacles.

    This can include finding a flat stretch of road or other private part of land with minimal traffic or objects on which they may trip over or fall into. In addition, it is also essential to provide a helmet as well as full instructions and tips prior to your child getting on the seat. When taken care of these steps beforehand, you and your family can rest assured that your young rider is having fun while feeling safe at the same time.

    Practice Short Rides Over Flat Terrain

    When introducing youngsters to cycling, it’s advisable to start with short rides over flat terrain. This way young riders can get used to the feel of remaining balanced on two wheels, as well as feeling comfortable with using the brakes and pedalling.

    Plus, having fewer obstacles and hills will make it much easier to keep going without becoming discouraged. With plenty of practice in a safe setting, any child can eventually graduate from flat terrain and progress towards riding on more challenging surfaces.

    With the right techniques, getting a small one on two wheels isn’t as hard as it seems and it can foster independence, build confidence, and provide an amazing opportunity for quality family time.

    By breaking down the process into six simple steps, parents can make bike riding enjoyable for both them and their children. Taking breaks in-between each step is key to success—it’s important to check that neither of you feels overwhelmed or frustrated before moving onto the next stage.

    With patience, teaching a child to ride a bike can be incredibly satisfying and will create cherished memories for years to come.

    About the author
    How To Ride A Bike: A Teaching Guide For Parents — Bike Hacks