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Riding a Bike

Teaching a child how to ride a bike can be an exciting and proud moment for parents and caregivers. We’ve created a list of resources to help you along the journey.

  • Top six tips for teaching basic bike riding skills

    1. Start with the right bike and gear

    Choose the right size

    Choose a bike that is the right size for your child and make sure it’s fitted correctly. Make sure the bike also has a bell or horn which is required by law.

    way2go_chart1_Bike_riding_height

    Balance bikes are an alternative for young children not quite ready for pedalling a bike. The child scoots along using their feet (as balance bikes have no pedals) which develops a child's balance, coordination and confidence.

    What to wear?

    • Choose a helmet that is the right size for your child and make sure it’s fitted correctly.
    • Wear bright or light coloured clothing.
    • Wear appropriate footwear (closed toes) and make sure any shoelaces are tied.

    Check out these videos for tips on choosing a safe helmet, how to do a bike safety check and putting together a new bike.

    Choosing a Safe Helmet

    Way2Go Bike Check

    Build your child's bike better

    Choosing a Safe Helmet

    Way2Go Bike Check

    Build your child's bike better

    2. Choose a suitable learning and practice location

    Quiet local parks are a great place to start. Road Safety Centres run by Local Council or South Australia Police also have facilities that you may be able to use. Local Councils can also provide advice on sealed off road bike paths in your area. Below is a list of some possible practice locations. Google to find contact details and call ahead to check availability.

    Venue

    Address

    Road Safety Centre Port Pirie

    David Street, Port Pirie

    Whyalla Road Safety Centre Inc.

    Cnr Plum Street & Billing Street, Whyalla

    City of Tea Tree Gully Road & Cycle Safety Centre

    Hazel Grove, Ridgehaven

    Children's Road Safety Centre

    Fifth Street, Millicent

    Golding Oval Reserve

    Corner Redhill Road & Kalina Avenue, Para Vista

    Mayfair Ride Safe Park

    Mayfair Drive, Andrews Farm

    SA Police Road Safety Centre

    Thebarton Police Barracks, Gaol Road, Thebarton

    Traffic Education Park

    Robertson Street Reserve, Reynella

    3. Break it down

    Developing_basic_bike_handling_skills_activities_guide_for_teachers_and_parents

    Patience and small challenges will build your child’s ability and confidence. Focus on one or two skills and give them an opportunity to develop them before moving on. Providing a safe place to practice will make it safer as they learn.

    Click here to download a brochure for how to teach basic bike riding skills.

    More tips:

    • Ride over different surfaces such as grass, gravel and sealed paths so your child experiences how this impacts on speed and braking
    • If your child does fall off, encourage them to hop back on to regain confidence
    • Provide regular opportunities to practice and develop new skills
    • Get your child to watch the videos to learn how to do a safety check and fit their helmet correctly
    • If your child is aged nine or older ask your school if they participate in Way2Go Bike Ed. It’s an in school program taught by qualified instructors where children learn how to ride safely on footpaths and quiet local streets.

    4. Keep it fun

    Be sure to make it a positive experience for your child so they want to keep riding.

    keep it fun

    5. Ask an expert

    If you don’t feel confident riding a bike yourself or teaching your child a qualified instructor can take you through everything you need to know or just give you some help with particular skills.

    Check out

    Local Councils often run learn to ride courses. Contact your Local Council to check if they have a course right for you.

    6. Maintenance

    Remember, just like cars, bicycles need maintenance to remain safe to use. Check with your local council or bike shop for further information about bike maintenance courses. Check out this video for basic maintenance tips.

  • Plan your route

    Planning ahead can help you choose a route according to your confidence level, traffic conditions and local facilities.

    Check out the Cycle Instead Journey Planner for a user friendly online tool.

    Click here for more tips and resources to plan the trip to school.

  • Rules and the laws

    For more information on cycling specific rules download The Cycling and the Law booklet

  • Useful books about bike riding

    Check out these story books about safe bike riding.

    • Duck On A Bike, by David Shannon ISBN – 0-439-05023-5. Publisher - Scholastic
      Why read it? To teach the key message – bike riding is for everybody.
    • Gracie Goat’s Big Bike Race, by Erin Mirabella ISBN – 1-931382-88-3. Publisher - Velopress
      Why read it? A great book to help beginner bike riders to be brave and reap the rewards of being able to ride a bike.
    • Everyone Can Learn to Ride A Bike, by Chris Rashka ISBN – 978-0-375-87007-1. Publisher – Random House
      Why read it? Another great book to help beginner bike riders to be brave and reap the rewards of being able to ride a bike.
    • The Bear’s Bicycle, by Emilie Warren McLeod ISBN – 0-316-56203-3. Publisher – Little, Brown and Company.
      Why read it? To teach key safety messages for responsible bike riding.