Bicycle riding is more popular than ever right now. It’s a great way to get some fresh air and exercise. And of course zooming down hills is an absolute blast. I’ll never forget the first time my oldest went down a huge hill that she’d previously been so scared of riding on. As she coasted down the hill, she yelled, “I’m doing it! I LOVE THIS.”
So learning to bike ride without training wheels? It can totally be a confidence booster. But the process of learning to ride without help can be — shall we say — tricky. The process can be stressful for both parents and kids. But all these tips can help your kiddo get on their bike, balance, and take off in no time!
The key to teaching your kids to bike ride without training wheels as fast as possible though? They absolutely 100% need to be ready. That means they also need to want to ride without training wheels. Similar to potty training, training a kid to ride a bike is a whole lot easier when the child is ready.
When they’re ready really depends on their personality, rather than on their age. After all, the average age for a child learning to ride without training wheels is anywhere between 3 and 8. That’s a huge age range!
So if you’ve tried teaching your kiddo and they’re just not getting it put the bike away, take a break, and try a balance bike instead, if you haven’t already. After all, balancing is one of the hardest skills to master. But once your kid balances like a pro, they’ll be ready to ride a bike without training wheels… and I bet you they’ll then learn how to ride in 45 minutes or less!
Top Tips for Teaching Your Kid to Ride a Bike Without Training Wheels
Use as small of a bike as possible – If the kids are lower to the ground, they’ll have more confidence in riding without training wheels. This will also allow them to have more control over the bike too.
Teach them how to use the pedals – Especially if you started with a balance bike, or by removing the pedals from the bike, teach them how to move forward using the pedals. One of the fastest ways to do this is by starting the right pedal off in the “2 pm” position. This allows your child to learn how to press down on the pedal, and, in turn, rotate the pedals.
Start off on a gentle hill – While some suggest starting on grass, grass can actually make it harder to control the bike. Rather, start on an open, flat surface; the flatness helps especially for nervous kiddos, who — like my daughter — may be afraid of hitting a bump. Even better if it’s a slight hill so your kiddo can get a bit of natural momentum.
Teach them to turn – Next, teach them how to use the handlebars to navigate. Again, this is all about practice. Chances are they’ve been doing it with their bike before, but it feels different once the training wheels are off. But the more they do it, the more they’ll get the hang of it.
Most importantly: reassure them that you’re right there – Let your child know you’ll be with them as they get going. You can also start by guiding them by holding them under the arm pits. This still allows them to retain control both over the pedals as well as steering, but you can help stabilize them as they grow more comfortable.
Before you know it they’ll tell you to “let go.” You’ll ask them if they’re sure, and they’ll say yes. Then, off they’ll go, reaching yet another milestone.
They may fall — actually that’s pretty much a guarantee at some point — but what’s important is getting back up and trying again.
Now go forth and ride!
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