Starting Out on Two Wheels: How to Get Kids Into Cycling
A kid’s childhood isn’t complete without learning how to ride a bicycle. Once they’ve begun their cycling adventures, they’ll need all the help they can get. Here’s how you can guide them to paddle their way to stardom with Bobbin bikes!
Bikes for Kids Benefits
Bike rides are a great way for your little ones to stay active, have fun, and discover their environment. The health benefits of cycling are promising, and there are many to mention! Improved physical development, increased strength, and better coordination skills, to name a few. Overall, it’s an enjoyable form of exercise that gets them outdoors while having fun at the same time.
A balance bike is a perfect introduction to children getting into the world of cycling. A bike with pedals comes next, encouraging the little ones to step up on their paddling game. As they spend more time on two wheels, they’ll become more confident. Eventually, being able to hit the road without stabilisers or other support. (Still, wearing bike helmets is a must.)
And as a parent, you’ll have peace of mind, knowing that your kid is reaping the rewards while enjoying oneself. Keep in mind, though, that it can be a challenge at first to persuade them into this hobby — but it’s worth it.
Let’s get started!
Getting Your Child Into Cycling
Cycling doesn’t come naturally to children. It takes patience, guidance and a lot of practice. But the benefits far outweigh the effort. If done correctly, it could be their favourite activity for years to come. (Who knows? Until they reach their adult skill levels!)
Start with a properly-sized bike and equipment
Wheel bikes that are too large or small can be tricky for children to handle. Consider your child’s inseam and height when getting their bike fit, besides the wheel size.
- 2-3 years old: 12″ wheel size, 15″ - 20″ inseam, and 36″ - 39″ height
- 2-4 years old: 14″, 15″ - 20″, 37″ - ″34"
- 4-6 years old: 16″, 15″ - 20″, 37 - 44″
- 5-6 years old: 20″, 19″ - 25″, 45″ - 54″
- 8-11 years old: 24″, 23″ - 28″, 49″ - 59″
- 10 and above: 26″, 25″ +, 56″ +
The bike seats must be at an appropriate height. The same applies to bike clothing. What they wear must offer no restrictions on their movements while riding. Always have them wear helmets that fit perfectly.
Teaching your child road safety at a young age can help them advance their bike handling skills. This especially ensures they stay safe and enjoy the experience more, besides the expertise.
Knowing all about safe riding practices can also be a great advantage. These include looking both ways before crossing streets and always wearing a helmet. Reinforce this knowledge by leading as an example whenever you ride alongside them. Followed by safe cycling guidelines.
Top tip: As a parent, it always helps to perform bike safety tests. This guarantees your children’s road bikes are in good condition, as well as their safety from a host of hazards.
Schedule and pick the right time
Make sure your child is fed and well-rested before hitting the road. Pick times when you know they had a chance to rest and refuel from their last activity. If they seem tired or have an off day, don’t force them to head out. Otherwise, it’ll make it much harder to encourage them later.
Practice makes perfect
Repetition is key when it comes to teaching young cyclists how to stay safe on the road. Try starting slowly by having short rides around the neighbourhood for fun. Then, increase the distance over time.
Taking breaks along the way is also important. Make sure there are plenty of intervals, so your child has enough time to rest before jumping back on their bike.
If they are starting on a balance bike, then you’ll find this guide very helpful. For tracking the progress, use GPS-enabled biking apps.
Encourage riding with friends and family
Kids often feel more comfortable when they have someone to ride with. Encourage them to go on bike rides with friends or family members. Or, let them join a mini bike club once your child is road-safe and mustard keen to ‘be a cyclist’.
This can help show interest in what they’re doing and channel their enthusiasm. You can also tag along and take rides together! Look for a local bike club or cycling event your child may enjoy participating in. In British cycling, most have a junior section, so you might want to consider that.
Provide direction and encouragement while keeping your voice assured and optimistic. Let them know you’re proud of them for trying something new and that you understand it can be a challenge. Assure them you’re there to support them and that the struggle will be worth it once they get the hang of their two wheels.
Show off their achievements
Reward your child’s new skill! Let them pick out new helmets or biking shorts that reflect their hard work. Post pictures from their rides online, or even plan an outing just for bikes, e.g. going out for ice cream afterwards. Celebrate small wins to give your little cyclist more motivation to keep pedalling!
Focus on what really matters
Focus on the right aspects of what riding a bike has to offer, and don’t make a chore out of it. Doing so will help you successfully persuade your child to give cycling a chance.
Say you’re a goal-oriented cyclist or regularly compete. It only makes sense for you to focus on the challenging and competitive side of the sport. This could be something your child also learns to enjoy later. But for now, the focus should be on fun, friendship and discovery.
Tell them about your cool experiences and the friends you’ve made on-road riding or at events. Do what you can to make sure they’re having fun!
Cycling must be something your child truly enjoys. This will help them big time in pursuing their own accord over time.
Also, keep in mind that every child learns at different rates, and your job is to make them feel good about trying. If they feel like it’s something they’re required to do, they’ll have less of a chance of developing a real passion for it.