Teaching Children To Ride – Trials And Tribulations!

One of the biggest benefits we have found since moving to the lovely county of Lincolnshire, is how very flat it is! Where we previously lived in Hertfordshire, we lived at the top of a rather large, steep hill.  No matter where we wanted to go, we eventually had to go up or down a hill – all by the side of a very very busy road!  When we first bought bikes for the children, we didn’t take this into consideration, but after a year and a half of them having their bikes, we had been out on them a grand total of 3 times! Yep – 3!!!  So, moving to Lincolnshire, we knew that we would be able to get them out and about on their bikes so much more – and how lovely that was going to be! Hmmmm…I really wish someone had talked to me about the headache of teaching children to ride! It has been..let’s go with difficult!!  

teaching children to ride

The first thing we realised once we had moved here was the both children really needed new bikes. We bought the children their first bikes 2 years ago, and they have grown so much since then that they really couldn’t ride them anymore.  Our biggest problem with having 2 children so close together in age, is that they tend to need new things at the same time – and this can be so very expensive. We discovered that not only did they need new bikes but also needed new helmets and Paul insisted on high vis jackets if we were thinking of getting them riding on the roads.  Thankfully we came across Bike Discounts UK which has a huge range of discounted bikes and meant we could buy them both one for their birthdays which are only a month apart! Not only that but I also discovered a fantastic freebies UK site which had both bike helmets and high vis jackets on it! Solving that problem, however, wasn’t the end of it. Once they had their new bikes, we discovered the following: 

1. Although Little Sir has fabulous balance after using his balance bike – it turns out he has absolutely NO idea about how to use pedals!  This really should have occurred to me after we had given up trying to get him to pedal mini tractors at our local farm.  However, when we recently bought him a new bike for his birthday, we managed to go about 100 metres down the road before he declared that he thought it was better he just push it for a while!

2. On the flip side, although Little Miss is pretty good with pedals, because she has been on stabilisers for such a long time, she has NO sense of balance.  I mean literally – NONE! She did have a balance bike for a short while but we quickly moved to stabilisers with her – which is turns out has probably caused us more problems than we had realised.  As the stabilisers would regularly tip the bike onto one side, she has learnt to ride with her balance to one side – definitely not conducive to a good ride!

So, my initial hope that we would quickly get both children riding and then be able to head out for days on the bikes has very quickly come crashing down! Thankfully there are some lights on the horizon!  Little Sir ended up having to go to stabilisers (which we’d hoped we could avoid) to give him some practise with pedals, and he is picking it up super quickly.  So we are thinking that in a few weeks time we’ll try teaching him to ride again and hopefully he’ll pick it up. As for Little Miss, we think that we’re going to have to do quite a lot of riding practise and teaching her how to move her body weight to the centre of the bike before she’s going to get the hang of it. 

The thing that is keeping us going is the knowledge that, sooner or later, with a bit of encouragement and perseverance, both children will eventually be confident riders – and those long bike rides will once more be in our future!

I’d love to know some of your tips about teaching children to ride. Have you had any similarities particularly to do with your children learning to balance? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: This post has been written in collaboration with Bike Discounts UK


  1. steph
    August 6, 2017 / 9:43 pm

    teaching children how to ride a bike is never easy, a really interesting read and i love the tip about http://www.bike-discounts.co.uk and will be sure to check it out

    • cherrynewby
      August 6, 2017 / 9:48 pm

      Thanks Steph – I hadn’t realised how difficult it would be until we really started! Fingers crossed they get the hang of it before the wet weather comes!

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