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How to teach a child to ride a bicycle

How to teach a child to ride a bicycle

How to teach a child to ride a bicycle

Hello everybody

This is not “bicycle engineering” but I feel I had to share it with you. It is about training a child to ride a bicycle.

I was the trainer and my 6 years old son was the trainee. He was familiar with riding a bicycle with the two small supporting wheels at the rear wheel.

First of all I had to be close to him while he was riding in order to keep him having a sufficient speed (me running and  pushing him or the bicycle) and  to catch him to avoid any injury. I found out that there are three ways of keeping contact (while I was running near the bicycle)

a. grasping the seat of the bicycle
b. grasping him from the T-shirt in his back
c. grasping the middle point of the steering rod

I think that the best way is (c) especially when it is combined with a continuing slightly oscillation left-right. This oscillation teaches him that this is the way that someone keeps the balance. This is something unknown to him since he only used the steering  rod to change direction with the previous bicycle with the supporting wheels.

We have spent 3 times of 10-15 minutes each with the training. Until now we had some “soft” fallings and none “hard”.  

I will write again when the training is over….

If  there are any other ideas about how to train someone bicycling I would be happy to hear or read…


RE: How to teach a child to ride a bicycle

My uncle took off my training wheels, put me on the bike and gave me a push. My dad had a cow. The sink or swim method is harsh but 100% of your concentration goes into it because it has to. When I was in the military a sink or swim issue would come up and I would remember this experience. I think the push helped in more than one way.

I used this method on our daughter about five years ago. My dad had a cow again.

RE: How to teach a child to ride a bicycle

So how did your dad's cow help you and your daughter ride the bike?  Did it pull you or chase you like a bull?


RE: How to teach a child to ride a bicycle

It pulled us after we got use to riding on two wheels. I've been chased by bulls but horses were more scary, they can turn faster. We grew up in Northern Vermont. Lots of dairy farms up there.

RE: How to teach a child to ride a bicycle

Hello all,

Very funny last posts! Here's my 2 cents:

Low cost method:
I like the run behind method, works best with a bananna seat bike since you've the handy cromed metal loop at the back of the seat to grab if the rider isn't particularly adept.

Not so low cost method:
Get a set of rollers, adjust to suit trainees bike (may require drilling new position for forward roller and a new shorter connecting drive band), sit trainee on bike on rollers, have a foot stool beside rollers to assist mounting since the rollers raise trainee and bike up about 10 cm. Place rider, bike, roller, footstool apparatus in doorway. Hold rider vertical and have them pedal with sufficient speed so as to build up rotational inertia of wheels of bike. Release handlebars and as trainee falls over, they will, make sure their shoulder will hit the doorframe of the doorway you placed above apparatus in.

Benefit to low cost method: Everyone should learn this way or the cow generating way mentioned above.
Benefit to high cost method: having mastered riding on rollers they'll have no problem wat so ever riding on asphalt, gravel, or dirt.

Advanced balance: find ice covered surface and ride on it without studded tires!


RE: How to teach a child to ride a bicycle

Hello again,

after a long period (winter in Greece) without training, the last two weeks me and my son finally finished the training course. Him, learning to ride a bicycle and me learning which is the best way of teaching him how to do it.

Well, as I said in the previous post, grasping from the middle point of the steering rod teaches the child to keep the balance by turning left and right. But as the speed increases it is difficult to run beside the bike, so after the first low-speed days, it is better to grasp the child from his T-shirt in his back.

Now the training is over and I am a happy father bicycling with his son.


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