How to teach a child to cycle in 30 minutes | BikeRadar

Teaching youngsters how to ride is child's play

There’s no dark art to teaching a child to ride a bike. With a few simple steps and lots of encouragement, most kids can be taught in less than an hour, says Ruth Chiat, a Sustrans Bike It officer. Most of the time you can stop using stabilisers too.

“I think some kids will get it in half an hour, though others might take a bit longer,” Chiat told BikeRadar. “Obviously it takes time and you want to go through the braking step, because that’s laying the foundation for them being safe. But, once they start, they pick it up very quickly.”

Here are Chiat’s top tips for teaching children the intuitive act of balancing while moving.

1. Learn to stop before you start

Start by standing the child beside the bike. Get them to hold the bar, walking along and practising pulling on both brakes. It’s an important foundation that helps the child feel that they are in control.

“They just need to get into the habit of using both brakes, and it’s important to really get that into their head,” says Chiat.

2. Drop the saddle and take away the pedals

Now it’s time for the child to get on the bike. Chiat says dropping the saddle and removing the pedals to make the bike handle like a scooter is an important second step. It helps build a greater feeling of control and means they worry less about wobbling...

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