Let’s go ride a bike - tips for teaching your children

Fraught parents trying to teach their children to ride Christmas present bikes are being given top tips on how to get started. The experts at Bobbin Bikes have put together advice for parents struggling to teach their children how to ride a bike.

Patience is key when it comes to cycling lessons but there are some simple steps mums and dads can follow to make it a little easier. Having the right size bike and essential safety equipment is a good place to start as well as picking the right location for those early lessons.

A spokesperson for Bobbin Bikes said: “Once you can ride a bike, you never forget but those early lessons can be stressful for both you and your children. Keeping calm and following their lead is a must.

“There are some simple steps to follow. Encouraging your child to find their balance without the pedals on is a must and will help them grow in confidence.

“Slowly add the pedals back on and keep practicing. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect - that’s definitely true when it comes to learning how to ride a bike.”

Here are Bobbin Bike’s tips for teaching children to ride a bike:

1. Good equipment
Before you even start, make sure you have the right size bike for your child and the safety equipment you need. A helmet is essential. It should be level with a gap of around two fingers between the eyebrow and helmet. Straps and adjustments should be firm but not uncomfortable. Knee and elbow pads may be worth investing in for the early days - falling off is all part of learning to ride a bike.

2. Pick your location
Finding the right location for those early lessons is important for building confidence. A packed park where they may bump into friends is not a good idea. Instead try early lessons in the back garden or find a quiet spot where they can practise without distractions. Avoid learning on grass - tarmac is a much easier surface to learn to ride.

3. Balance
Balance is key in learning to ride a bike. Try removing the pedals to allow your little one to push themselves along with their feet. After a short distance, encourage them to lift their feet off the ground and use the brakes to stop.

4. Using the brakes
Show your child how to use the brakes and make sure they’re comfortable using them.

5. Adding the pedals
Add one pedal and then the other once your child has got the hang of balance and using the brakes. Walk them holding on to the bike and as confidence grows, start to let go. Keep repeating this and you’ll quickly build confidence.

6. No pressure
Every child learns differently - you may have one natural cyclist and another who will take more time. So be patient and don’t pressurise. Follow the lead of your kids. Remember, cycling is all about having fun.

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