Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike

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When you first learned how to ride your bike, how many times did you fall? Did you scrape your elbow?  Did you wish it would just end?  Or you and your parents just gave up?  Well, if your experience was anything like most, it was not good.  Since my kids love to bike, Bubba and I wanted to teach them how to ride a bike and enjoy the experience.  So, we found the perfect method and we were thrilled.  We were so excited that we had to try it the following day with our five-year-old boy.  Guess what, within one hour, he was able to ride his bicycle without any training wheels or any assistance from us.  Matter of fact, the only assistance that we gave him were our words; we taught and encouraged him.  This whole new technique worked so well that we showed our friends and they were able to teach their 7-year-old daughter how to ride her bike.  She picked it up in less than 15 minutes.  No pain, no crying, no blood, just great memories.

Teaching your child to ride a bike:

1. Find a safe place that is not on grass or any soft surface. We went to our neighborhood school parking lot on the weekends so it was empty. This parking lot is a great place because it’s paved and it’s slightly sloped.  The slope will help in step four.

2. Remove the training wheels and the pedals.

3. Lower the bike seat so that your child would be flat footed when he is seated.



4. Starting at the higher end of the sloped parking lot, tell your child to scoot along to get a good feel of the bike.

5. Once the child is comfortable scooting along, tell the child to pick up his feet and coast.  If the child feels like he’s going to fall, tell him to put his feet back down to the ground to regain his balance.  Continue to do steps 4 and 5 until the child can coast comfortably without losing balance. Remind your child to look straight ahead and not down at the ground. The goal in steps 4 and 5 is to learn how to balance.  We did this with our 5-year-old boy for about 40 minutes.  The 7-year-old girl that we taught this to picked it up in 10 minutes.  Once the child learns how to balance on the bike, then the hard part is over!

6. If you feel that your child got the balancing act down, and seemed like he’s having fun, put his pedals back on and repeat steps 4 and 5 again.


7. Now show your child how to start his bike. Have your child start coasting down the hill and when he feels comfortable, lift both feet on the pedals and start pedaling. (An alternative is to have him put one foot on the ground, the other push on the high pedal that you’d have adjusted so that one pedal is higher than the other to create momentum.) If your child can start his bike, he’s on his way to be a biker!


Here’s how Chico got his feet on the pedals!

He’s biking!

 I’d love to hear how you taught your kiddos to ride a bike. If you used this same method, please share your experience with us in the comments.


REI Teaching Your Child to Ride a Bike Video


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