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Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike!

By Lori Garcia |

For my husband, cycling is like a religion so it came as no surprise when he wanted to teach BooBoo how to ride a bike without training wheels.

I was surprised to learn that some children can achieve bike riding success from as early as 3 years old! Wow, who knew?

You know what else I didn’t know? The best time to teach a child to ride a bike is between 3 – 6 years old based on the following readiness cues: 

Your child is well-practiced in steering, pedaling and basic depth-perception on a bike with training wheels.

Your child is interested and confident enough on a bike to attempt independent bike riding (this is a biggie).

Once your child is ready to learn, try these simple tips for bike riding success:

Get a bike that fits. If you’re anything like me, you think small child = small bike. There’s actually more to it than that. Fortunately, there are bike frame size calculators online to help your child achieve a proper fit.

Don’t remove the training wheels just yet. Training wheels are bike stabilizers and balance is key when learning independent bike riding. Begin by raising the training wheels off the ground. Doing so will introduce your child to the sensation of balancing a bike while still offering the security training wheels provide. Getting your child accustomed to maintaining balance and control is the first and most important step in achieving bike riding success.

Hold on. Once the training wheels are removed, you can offer stability by holding onto your child’s bike seat (which is totally hard) or using a Balance Buddy (which is totally easier). Your child will feel much more secure knowing you’re there every pedal of the way.

Let go. Finally, once your child has the confidence and know-how to ride off into the sunset (with proper safety gear of course), be sure to let them know when you plan to let go of the bike. My dad didn’t believe in this philosophy and I still have the road rash to prove it. Discuss how and when you plan to let go and if your child seems riddled with doubt, save the experience for another time. Follow your child’s cues; they’ll let you know when the time is right. Remember, biking should be fun!

Check out these great how-to videos on teaching your child how to ride a bike safely; happy riding!



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About Lori Garcia


Lori Garcia

Lori Garcia is a writer and mother of two living and loving in Southern California. When she's not fussing with her bangs, you can find her shaking her groove thing on her personal blog, Mommyfriend where she almost never combines true tales of motherhood and mayhem with her degree in child development. Read bio and latest posts → Read Lori's latest posts →

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4 thoughts on “Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike!

  1. SC says:

    Or you could use a bike with no pedals. My son received a strider bike ( for his birthday that has no pedals and allows them to gain balance and speed at their own pace … its been great so far and I am confident he will learn to ride without training wheels by next summer.

  2. Mommyfriend says:

    Yes! Strider bikes are a great idea indeed. My husband was contemplating purchasing one for our son. Glad to know you like it!

  3. Hopes@Staying Afloat! says:

    So fun! Our 5 year old is just about ready to try without training wheels! It’s such an exciting time!

  4. Katie says:

    A tip for anyone out there who wants to try this, my dad taught me how to ride a bike without training wheels being used at any point in the process (I broke my wrist on a tricycle when I was 4, so I didn’t learn until I was about 8, much too old for training wheels in my and my parents opinion). What he did was he used this piece of cloth and looped it around me, holding each ends so that I could go on my own as long as I could, but if I became unsteady he could steady me, or if I fell he could simply lift me right off my bike. It seems like an easier option than the balance buddy or holding on the back of the seat, you can just use some leggings (feet at one side, waist at the other).

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