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Learning to ride a bike - Tips and tricks - Educatall

Learning to ride a bike

Learning to ride a bike is stimulating for children. It helps them develop emotionally while building their motor skills. Riding a bike provides a new form of autonomy, but also a sense of competency and confidence in his/her body.


Mastering riding a bike without training wheels usually occurs between the ages of 3 and 8 years old, depending on the child's motor development and the interest he/she has for the activity. Note that a child's interest can greatly be influenced by how frequently biking is enjoyed within his/her family. The best time to remove a child's training wheels is when the child claims he/she is ready. Removing a child's training wheels too early will only discourage him/her and lead to a lack of interest in the activity. Providing a tricycle or a bike with training wheels, using a tow bar, and pedaling to different destinations, such as the playground, are all interesting ways to build a child's interest in riding a bike.


Teaching a child to pedal without training wheels
When a child is motivated to remove his/her training wheels and feels he/she can succeed, he/she can normally learn to pedal on two wheels quite quickly. Different methods exist. For example, you may choose to raise his/her training wheels gradually to give him/her the chance to develop a sense of balance without suddenly feeling insecure about the absence of training wheels. Of course, another method consists of running alongside the child, holding and releasing the seat repeatedly when necessary once the training wheels are removed.

If, in spite of your efforts, a child is experiencing difficulty developing his/her abilities, he/she feels that removing the training wheels is too challenging, or if his/her self-esteem or interest in riding a bike drops, it is best that you wait another year and let him/her enjoy riding his/her bike with training wheels. You can deduce that his/her body is not yet ready. After all, there are certain prerequisites involved with mastering riding a bike without training wheels.


They are:

A. Postural control
B. Dissociation, integration, and coordination of body quadrants (upper and lower body, right and left side, and cross-lateral movements)
C. Sense of balance
D. Leg strength and shoulder stability


Throughout the year, aim to introduce a variety of activities that will help the child develop motor skills and promote the development of these prerequisites.


Furthermore, keep in mind that using a smaller bicycle that makes it possible for the child to plant his/her feet on the ground while seated (as opposed to a new bicycle that may be just a little too big) is a good idea at first. Once the child is able to pedal independently, simply raise the seat.


Good luck!

Josiane Caron Santha
Occupational therapist


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