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Bike riding is a wonderful activity.
Unfortunately, learning how to ride a bike is not an easy task. Most children are terrified, and most parents are impatient.
You are ready for your child to learn now, but it might not be time for your child to start riding bikes.
When Should a Child Ride a Bike?
The age range of bike riding significantly varies. The average age for learning how to ride a bike is 5. Children can learn as young as age 2. Many kids don’t learn until they are closer to 8.
Riding a Bike for the First Time
I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until I was almost 11.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to learn. My family was too poor to afford to buy a bike for me.
My older brother and sister each had bikes, but they were older than me, their bikes were too big for me, and they refused to share anyway.
When my brother started driving, he didn’t need his bike anymore. I seized the opportunity to learn how to ride and I never stopped. It was glorious.
My kids didn’t feel the same way when I taught them how to ride a bike. My son was five when the training wheels came off. He was petrified. He cried and screamed and cried some more when he was certain he would fall off.
He did fall off, and then he cried some more. He fell again and again, crying each time, until one day he didn’t fall. He pedaled like a champ and rode his bike daily until, like my brother, he started driving.
My daughter was in a different situation. She had seen her brother ride a bike enough times to know the mechanics behind it. She fell once before she started biking around the block.
She was three. She rarely rode her bike until she had a serious accident. Rather, the accident was serious to her. She didn’t injure herself but she did get dirty. That was the end of her bike riding days.
We all have different reasons for wanting to ride a bike. We also all have different stories of how and when we learned. Your child will be no different.
They might be two or five or eight when they learn how to ride. They may be even older. You need to convince your child, and yourself, that the time to ride a bike happens when they want it and not a moment earlier.
Teaching A Kid How to Ride a Bike
There are several websites that provide solid information on how to teach a child to ride a bike.
You can go through all of these suggestions, but I will save you time. You only need four things to be effective at teaching your child to ride a bike:
1. A child
You won’t get very far in your bike riding lessons if you don’t have a student.
2. A bike
You technically could attempt to teach a child to ride a bike if they don’t have one. I wouldn’t recommend it.
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Don’t forget to pick up a helmet.
3. A flat surface
Any flat surface will do. I took my children to a local school with a large, empty parking lot on evenings and weekends.
A little bit of patience won’t cut it. You will need mountains of patience to teach your child how to ride a bike.
You will have to practice patience when they resist wearing their knee pads and helmet. You will need patience when they make you promise them, again, that you’ll never let go.
You will need so much patience when you watch them fall off and refuse to get back up again. Practice kindness and patience and you will eventually have a bike rider.
What Age is the Right Age?
As with so many things when it comes to raising children, there is no singular right answer. Your child might be two years old and ready to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels.
Your 10-year-old might not be ready yet. Encourage your child to ride their bike but don’t push too much.
Pushing could cause them to push back. It will be harder for you to teach and harder for them to learn when there are negative feelings between you.
Have you started teaching your child how to ride a bike? How successful have you been thus far?
Do you remember how old you were when you learned to ride? Tell us your stories and give us bike-riding tips in the comments!