Teaching The Basics

How to keep a child safe whilst teaching them how to ride a bike

Learning to ride a bike is a rite of passage for most children. You can ensure your child learns to ride safely and in the correct manner using the tips below.


  • Choose somewhere safe and away from traffic to practice; for example a park or playground
  • Check your child’s bike to ensure that the seat and handlebars are the correct height, that the tyres are inflated to the correct pressure, and that the brakes are working correctly
  • Your child should start with their left foot on the ground and their right foot on the pedal in the 2 o’clock position. This is the optimum position for a smooth and controlled start
  • Practice starting until they are able to do it without wobbling
  • When riding it is important that they keep their fingers on the brake levers at all times to ensure they are ready to use the brakes if required.
  • Teach your child to brake in a slow and controlled manner to avoid skidding
  • Practice riding in straight lines first until their balance has improved and then practice going round corners. When they have mastered this you can use small objects to create an obstacle course to allow them to practice manoeuvring without losing their balance
  • When they stop the bike they should put their left foot on the floor and return their right foot to the 2 o’clock position on the pedal
  • Before riding on the road is it important to teach your child the correct techniques for manoeuvring and signalling. The correct for procedure for signalling is to first look behind, look forward and then signal. Learning to look behind while cycling is a tricky manoeuvre and will require a lot of practice

For information on Bikeability courses please click here.


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