Learning to ride a bike is a complex task involving balance, motor skills and visual skills. There are lots of community resources that can help you teach your child how to ride their bike. It can be helpful to start with a balance bike.
If your child continues to find this challenging check our strategies for learning to ride a bike. This technique takes time, but the idea is that your child gets a sense of achievement from mastering each step one at a time.
You will need:
1. Lower the seat so the child can sit comfortably with both feet flat on the ground.
2. Remove both pedals.
3. Using a flat surface in a safe area e.g. a playground or quiet car park, get your child to propel themselves forward using a walking movement with their feet.
4. Tell them to keep their arms fairly rigid and to look where they are going.
5. When your child has mastered steps 3 and 4, get them to propel themselves forward using both feet at the same time (whooshing along like a skier!)
6. When the child is competent, practice on a safe hill or a slope in a park. As they achieve, gradually increase the distance the child goes down the slope. Encourage them to rest their feet on the frame of the bike.
7. Get your child to practice stopping the bike by braking and putting their feet down at the same time.
8. When the child is freewheeling down the slope and stopping in a controlled manner, put the pedals back on.
9. Repeat steps 6 and 7, with the child resting their feet on the pedals this time.
10. Introduce the pedalling action. If the child has difficulty with moving one foot then the other (reciprocal movement), try taking the pedals off and repeat step 5, but moving one foot then the other rather than both together.
It is also helpful to note groups run in your local community which can support you to achieve independent bike riding with your child:
Bike for Good refurbish, repair and teach communities how to maintain bicycles; once you have the skills a bike is for good. They use the bike to do good actions, improve the environment, teach skills and improve mental and physical health.
Bike for Good Glasgow West
65 Haugh Road
Tel: 0141 248 5409
Bike for Good Glasgow South
539 Victoria Road / Langside Lane
Tel: 0141 261 1609
Free Wheel North is a cycling development charity working towards creating a fairer, healthier society by enabling people of all ages and abilities to cycle as part of their everyday life.
Drumchapel Cycle Hub are a volunteer-led community project supported by the Drumchapel Sports Hub and a community cycling club affiliated with Cycling UK.
Drumchapel Sports Centre
195b Drumry Road East
Play Together on Pedals encourages pre-school children and their families to become active, enjoying the fun and freedom of cycling together.
Development Officer Marianne Emordy works for Cycling UK
Email [email protected]