Almost every kid wants to learn, and should learn how to ride a bike at the youngest age they can understand how. Bike riding is good exercise, it helps with coordination and balance, it teaches them to learn safety issues that will help them in many areas of their lives, and it’s fun. Opinions on when and how to teach your kids to ride a bike vary, but the latest studies show that leaning this lifelong skill of bike riding show that training wheels are the worst way to learn.
The best age to teach a kid to ride varies from person to person but some general guidelines are: From 18 months to 2 years old, kids can learn to ride straddling toys that they can push with their feet. In the 2 to 3 year age range, they can start to understand steering and how to avoid hitting things. In the 3 to 4 year age range, they can learn the pedaling technique and can learn to ride tricycles. After age 4 some kids can learn to ride a 2 wheel bike. Most kids in the 5 to 6 year old range can learn for sure.
From the time that they start riding the push with feet toys at 2, they should be taught safety procedures for riding so they will stay safe once they get out into public areas with cars and other vehicles. they should learn to:
- Always wear a helmet. 90% of all fatal bike accidents are from head injuries. A helmet can save their life.
- Never ride into a street without stopping and looking left, right and left again, and listening for cars.
- Obey all traffic signs and laws when on the streets.
- Always look back before going left on their bike.
- Always ride on the right with traffic.
- Always assume that drivers can’t see you.
Training wheels are only a crutch that will delay their ability to ride a bike for many months or longer. Don’t use training wheel, they are just a reason not to learn how to ride a bike, and it makes the kids afraid to try without them.
The way to teach without training wheels and get them riding fast is an easy process. First you need to get a bike that they can sit on the seat and be able to put their feet flat on the ground. There are some new training bikes, that don’t have pedals, they only have a flat area on the bottom bar to put their feet on. If you have the extra money to spend on a training bike, they work well. If you don’t want to spend the extra money, just get a regular bike the right size for them and remove the pedals so their feet have clear access to the ground.
Find a grassy area with a slope that is enough to slowly move the bike along fast enough for them to be able to balance and stay up. Go to the top and let them learn to coast down the slope with feet down. Let them keep practicing until they can coast down the hill with their feet up off the ground. When they can do that, you can put the pedals back on and they are ready to ride a bike. Using this method, many kids can learn to ride a bike in an afternoon.
If you need a bike for your kid to learn on, and you want to see and try a training bike. They are hard to find in stores. If you live in or around the Twin Cities, you can see the training bikes at Erics bike shops around the metro area. You can also see some other good small kids bikes. So get out there and teach them to ride.