How To: Teach your kid to ride a bike

Teach your kid to ride a bike

Make sure the bike is properly fit to the child. She should just be able to stand over the top bar of the frame without touching.

Install training wheels on the bike.

Have the child wear a helmet. When first starting, knee and elbow pads, as well as gloves, are a good idea.

Be sure she wears clothing that is protective and not so loose that it will get caught up in the bike. Jeans and a sweatshirt are perfect.

Discuss safety with your child. Explain the importance of biking in safe locations and wearing protective gear. Also, review what to do if she should fall, and explain that falling is part of the learning process.

Establish a safe and local learning place. A field with hard-packed grass is ideal; an asphalt basketball court surrounded by grass or a quiet cul-de-sac are good options, too. There should be plenty of open space, flat ground and no traffic.

Get the child onto the bike and pedaling.

Walk alongside the child and ask her to think about balancing between the two training wheels - on the wheels of the bike alone. Explain that eventually you will take the training wheels off.

Let the child ride the bike as often as possible with the training wheels for a few days. This duration will depend on the age and readiness of your child. Be sure she learns how to stop effectively.

Remove the training wheels from the bike when the child is totally comfortable with riding the bike with them.

Hold the back of the seat of the bike and the back of the child's sweatshirt. An alternate grip is holding one handle-bar and the back of the sweatshirt.

Push and run along with the child, instructing her to keep pedaling and look straight forward.

Take your hand off the seat when you feel the child balancing on her own accord.

Give some words of encouragement as you take your hand from the child's sweatshirt, allowing her to ride entirely by herself.

Repeat the previous three steps until the child is able to start pedaling without you.

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