How to Get Kids Excited About Learning to Ride a Bike
We want to thank Guardian Bikes for the amazing bike we received in return for our honest opinion and feedback.
Do you remember your childhood bike? Riding on a warm summer evening, speeding downhill as fast as the bike could go, while your hair flowed behind your head like a trail of exhaust on a jet plane. Back then, a bicycle meant freedom and independence.
When I think back on my childhood, my red five-speed bike was my most cherished possession. She kept my secrets and together we went on adventures through the woods, to the beach, and no less than thousands of trips to my friend’s house a few blocks away.
My fire engine red bike and I were invincible and quite the dynamic duo of childhood excursions and memories.
Fast forward 30 years, I am now a mother of four boys. There’s nothing I want more than for the kids to feel the excitement and freedom a bike affords you as a child. Once they become proficient bike riders, they can meet their friends at the park or go for a ride along the trail to clear their minds.
Three of our kids love their bikes and use them exactly as I had hoped they would. But what do you do if one of your kids isn’t excited about learning to ride a bike?
This is the situation with our youngest. At 8 years old, he has yet to learn how to ride a bike or even be excited about riding bikes with friends.
There are countless articles available detailing HOW to teach a kid to ride a bike. But where does a parent turn if the child is downright fearful of the bike?
The following are the most impactful steps we have taken to help our kid to be excited about riding bikes. I am thrilled to share with you, that Jonah is spending the summer practicing his bike riding skills daily. He asks to go out on his new Guardian Bike every afternoon, which is incredible progress from where we were just a few months ago.
As of the time this article was written, Jonah still hasn’t quite mastered riding his bike independently. But we are embracing the effort and progress as much as the anticipated end result.
5 Ways to Get Kids Excited About Learning to Ride a Bike
- Let your kid pick out a new bike, helmet, water bottle holder, or a bell.
- Of course, you don’t have to BUY your kid a brand new bike in order to get them excited about riding bikes. There are often used bikes for sale or for free on Facebook marketplace or other community pages. One of our kids REALLY wanted a water bottle holder and a new water bottle for his bike – and that’s all it took to get him in the saddle.
- Our youngest kid is the king of hand-me-downs. He rarely gets anything new, especially not big-ticket items like a bike. Recently, I let him pick out a brand new bike from Guardian Bikes and it was truly like Christmas for him. He chose the red/ black/ gray 24” Ethos bike because the color scheme reminded him of Spiderman. The wheels have red rims, which only adds to the coolness factor.
- Plan fun bike trips and biking-related activities.
- Every summer, I sit down with our four kids to make a list of fun ideas for our summer. We aim for at least 50 items, some of which cost money (ie. visiting a museum) and others are free staycation activities. This year, once we started to create our “summer fun activities” list, our youngest quickly realized that “riding a bike” would make a number of our ideas a lot more fun. A picnic by the river is all fine and good, but a bike ride to the river to have a picnic is WAY more fun!
- Start planning family-friendly activities with your kids that involve bike riding. They will quickly realize that riding a bike opens up a whole new world of adventures.
- Teach your kid about proper bike maintenance and mechanics.
- If your kid likes to explore and experiment with mechanical things, learning how to change a tire or do regular maintenance on a bike, will make this magical machine even more enticing.
- Teach your kid visualization techniques.
- I am currently reading “See It! Say It! Do It!” which is the parent’s and teacher’s action guide to building confident and successful kids.
- This is the exercise I do regularly with Jonah. We lay down on the floor and close our eyes. I then ask him questions about his bike (ie. what it looks like, how different parts feel). We spend time talking about, visualizing, and imagining what it feels like to climb up on the bike, put the feet on the peddles and push off for the first time. Then we go on adventures in our minds and experience all the fun and freedom a bike ride can provide.
- If there is continued hesitancy or even fear related to bike riding, consider getting your kid’s vision evaluated by a specialized eye doctor.
- I took our kid to the eye doctor to have his vision checked due to some learning difficulties. Lo and behold, he was diagnosed with several eye issues which explain learning issues, lack of balance, coordination, and depth perception.
- Many people (myself included) are not aware of all the vision issues that can affect our daily lives, beyond the ability to see clearly with 20/20 vision.
- As always, I highly recommend partnering with appropriate and trusted medical professionals when there are continued concerns.
These strategies have all worked to get us to the point of Jonah asking to practice his bike riding skills every evening. I hope some of these strategies will work for your child.
Why do we love Guardian Bikes and why should you consider one for your child?
- It’s simple: I love quality products backed by great customer service. Both the quality of the bikes and the customer service from Guardian Bikes are second to none.
- We were impressed with every step of the ordering process, through delivery and assembly. All of our questions were answered ahead of time. The bike was easy to assemble and did NOT require assistance from professionals.
- Guardian Bike’s website is easy to navigate and it’s full of incredible resources to help teach your kid to ride a bike.
- The “RideSizer” is an amazing free tool to help you find the exact right size bike for your child, based on their size and bike riding skills.
- The SureStop braking system is safe and easy to use for little hands. It’s a patented brake system that applies equal pressure on both front and rear tires, preventing kids from flying over the handlebars.
- The stylish bike models and color schemes are eye-catching and a great way to get your kid excited about riding bikes.
As I am finishing up this post, Jonah has come downstairs, asking to go outside on his bike. This would never have happened a year ago, not even 6 months ago. However, implementing ALL the strategies I shared here, has made a tremendous difference. I am looking forward to the day, we jump on our bikes together and head to the river to have that awesome picnic!