Ingenious Technique for Helping Your Child Learn to Ride a Bike
Last night my oldest daughter (who is seven years old) finally learned to ride a bike. After a few painful crashes learning the traditional way (where you just receive a push and try to go), Jane read a tip on one of her mommy blogs about a new method to teach children to ride a bike:
- Remove both pedals from the bike.
- Lower the seat all the way.
- Let the child scoot along with the bike using her feet for as long as she wants. This helps the child learn to balance and feel comfortable on the bike.
- When the child asks for the pedals (my daughter asked for the pedals after two days), reattach them and raise the seat again.
- Now give the child a little push and off she goes.
I was absolutely stunned at what happened. Whereas before she'd been wobbly and would crash after about 25 feet, now she began riding like a pro. Within 5 minutes, it seemed like she'd been riding her bike for years. For a father who felt a certain responsibility in helping his kids learn to ride a bike, watching her cruise down the street with confidence filled me with tremendous pride and gratitude.
My second oldest daughter is almost four. You can bet that I'm already thinking about taking the pedals off her bike.
About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.