Learning to Ride a Bike

Let me first just say… Bella can now ride a bike! Yes, I’m a proud parent of a bike rider. And it took only a couple years for her to get it, but she can now ride a 2 wheel bike without training wheels. Well, let me correct that, it really only took two 30 minute sessions over the course of two days for her to learn to ride, but she’s had the bike for over a couple years. Like most ‘learning how to ride a bike’ stories starts off, the dad (me in this case) is reminded of those fun summer days when biking to the neighborhood store for some strawberry ICEE, feels the need to give his daughter the same feeling of freedom and fun. In my case, it was the sight of a group of neighborhood kids racing through the park with ice cream in hand. That’s when I decided to get Bella a bike.

We got it second hand from a weekend flee market, she hopped on the bike and was instantly sold. We brought it home, cleaned it, pumped it’s tires and put on a pair of training wheels. She rode it around for a couple weeks straight. But no matter what I said, she never wanted to take the training wheels off. It had become her safety net. I was resigned to the fact that at 5, she would need a while to get used to the idea of riding with no training wheels. If I looked at it from her point of view, it made no sense to change things now, if having training wheels meant she didn’t have to worry about falling.

So last week, a friend of mine asks me about Bella and if she’s learned to ride training wheel free. I said, she still needs her training wheels. He then told me about how his daughter, who is Bella’s age, learned to ride a bike in about an hour. He pointed me to a video on youtube. I watched it, everything made sense, here are the steps to teaching your child to ride a bike:

  1. Take the training wheels off.
  2. Take the pedals off, essentially turning it into a balance bike.
  3. Lower the seat, so your child can stand over the bike easily.
  4. Find a flat riding surface.
  5. Let your child start by trying to glide with her feet just off the ground.
  6. Keep it fun, play games. We made it a game to try and balance for 3 seconds, then 5 , then 10.
  7. Practice turning.
  8. Once They are comfortable balancing on the bike, put the pedals back on. And repeat the balance games.
  9. That’s it, grab your video camera because you will want to document the moment they begin to pedal themselves to a lifetime of bike riding fun.

Now Bella wants to go riding everywhere. She woke me up at 5am on a Saturday morning to go riding. I dragged myself out of my warm bed… I couldn’t say no, that kind of enthusiasm is want I was hoping instill in her. But does it have to be so early? Seriously, 5am?

Here’s the video if you still want to teach your child to ride a bike. 🙂



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