Getting Ready to Ride
When Is a Child Ready to Ride a Bike?
Choosing a Bike
Start with a Bike Helmet
Finding a Place to Teach Bike Riding
Preparing the Bike
Learning without Pedals
Turning and Coasting the Bike
- Set up cones in a pattern and have your child practice steering between them.
- Set out a cracker to give a child a target to aim for. Place a cracker on the pavement 10 feet away and encourage him or her to run over it with the bike. This game teaches children to scan ahead and to direct the bike to a specific target. Move the cracker to 15 feet out, then 20 feet.
- Coast the bike with their feet up
- Make turns while coasting
- Look where their going (rather than down at the bike)
- Have fun while doing all the above
Riding with Pedals
Next Steps: Pedaling the Bike
Steering and Pedaling the Bike
- As you did during the scooting/coasting phase, set up a line of cones (or other friendly objects) for your child to navigate.
- Or, place the now-familiar cracker about 15 feet away and encourage your child to try to run over it. It's not important that he or she runs over the cracker immediately, but it's good to provide a reachable goal.
Stopping the Bike
- Place a cracker or traffic cone (or other soft item) about 10 to 20 feet ahead on the ground and have your child try to stop before hitting it.
- Use simple verbal commands. Have a child ride 10 feet and practice responding to your shout of, "Stop!" Mix it up. Vary the distances and encourage ever-faster stops.
Follow the Leader
Taking the Bike on the Road
- Looks both ways before going onto the sidewalk (from the driveway).
- Wears bright clothes.
- Rides safely and in control of speed and braking.
- Is alert at driveways, gateways and intersections.
- Rides a safe distance from other bikes.
- Keeps to the right.
- Lets pedestrians know if when approaching.
- Lets a parent know when he or she is riding.