Teaching Your Child to Ride a Bicycle
Start With a Good Tricycle
- It's more stable than a bike with training wheels, which makes him feel more secure.
- It allows the child to start out scooting instead of pedaling, while he masters steering. Learning to pedal can come after.
Move Up To Training Wheels
- Switch to a bike with training wheels once your child has mastered pedaling, braking and steering.
- Get the right size: Have your child straddle the center bar with feet flat on the ground. There should be one-inch between the bar and his crotch.
- Adjust the training wheels so the bike leans a little to one side and both training wheels aren't touching the ground at the same time.
- Start slow and on level ground—the bike is less likely to tip over on turns.
Graduate to Two Wheels
- Gradually raise the training wheels so your child will get used to balancing without them.
- Alternatively, remove them entirely and find an open grassy area with a very slight incline so your child can coast downhill.
- Once he's comfortable with that, add in the pedaling and steering.(REI's Expert Advice suggests placing a cracker on the ground about ten feet in front of your child and having him run over it.)
WHN Tip: Don't tell your child you're holding on to the back of the bicycle seat if you aren't. If he falls, he'll never trust you again.
When your child is ready to hit the road, go to Bicycle Safety for Kids for more safety tips.
Thanks to our friends at DivineCaroline!