Learn To Ride A Bike In One Hour – A New, Better Way To Teach Your Child To Ride

Kids learn best when they can see and feel what they’re learning.  Despite that, we often try to teach them with words and concepts with which they’re not familiar.  Like telling your child to “keep your balance” when they haven’t yet learned what balance is, or how one keeps it.

Nevertheless, this is how our parent’s taught us, so we just keep doing it until eventually our child figures it out.

SO, ABOUT LEARNING TO RIDE BIKES…

I taught my kids to ride without training wheels in less than one hour.  They weren’t prodigies, nor was I “Coach of the Year.”  There were no scrapes or tears, nor fear or apprehension.

Needless to say, that’s a contrast to the experience of many parents who’ve struggled and become frustrated and exhausted, while their child cried, and begged to get the training wheels bolted back on.

The difference between these two outcomes, was simply to teach them to ride in a way that is pretty much the opposite of most people try.

FIRST, HERE’S HOW NOT TO DO IT.

The classic approach to training kids to ride on two wheels is to unbolt the training wheels, put them on the seat, and run along side, while they pedal up the road or sidewalk hopefully in a straight line.

The critical failure, is that this puts the child and bike in a situation that is inherently not stable, and which actually teaches them little.

Your child is riding upright (as long as you continue holding onto them), but being upright with someone holding onto you, simulates a situation we don’t actually experience while riding a bike.

In fact, as we ride, we’re not really ever “in balance” — at least not perfectly.  We’re actually either leaning (falling, but slowly) to one side or the other.  Learning to ride, means learning to correct for this.  This involves shifting our weight in the opposite direction.  As we get to be better riders, we learn to do this with much more subtle shifts, until it appears we’re sitting upright, and always “in balance.”

Simply stated, the conventional approach fails to teach our kids how to respond to balance.  After all, they’re sitting as perfectly upright as possible right up until we let go of them.  Then just as soon as the child leans or steers slightly, they fall, get wrapped up in the bike, and gain their first taste of the pavement.  So e dry their tears, patch their scrapes, put them back on the bike, and repeat the process, over and over, hoping they’ll eventually they “get it.”

The only thing this conventional process achieves effectively, is tiring out the parent, and teaching a child how to crash, probably on unforgiving concrete or asphalt pavement.

Let’s try a more logical approach.  We’ll break this into four quick and easy steps, and call it –

“WHAT TO DO”

Step 1 — up to 10 minutes

With each of my kids, I took them into the garage or driveway – a relatively flat space with no obstacles – put them on the bike and held them up, one hand on their seat and one hand on the handlebars, then told them only to pedal, as I steered them in small circles.  Their job was to get acquainted with how it felt to pedal, move the handlebars, and feel how their body moved the bike as we went around and around.

After a few minutes, and I mean like two or three, I asked them to use the brake to stop the bike, then we turned around and made circles in the opposite direction.  After a few minutes, we switched back again.

That driveway exercise totaled maybe ten minutes, and nobody fell off their bike or got hurt, or cried.  Rather, they thought it was fun to ride in circles, feeling the sensation of speed but with the safety of dad holding on.  In reality, as the minutes went on, I played less and less of a role in holding them up and influencing their balance — because their bodies quickly learned what they needed to do to keep balance.  My hands became only a safety blanket, holding them and the bike firmly when they got squirrely.

The key to this step, is that the child is learning how to ride the bike when they are not perfectly upright, but are actually leaning to one side.  Then they learn the same thing when leaning to the other side.

The beauty is that they don’t need to do it very long before the body “gets it.”  Like I said, one to two minutes going each direction, then switch.  Do each side twice, and they’ll quickly have the tools they need.

Since the circular path they rode was maybe 15 feet in diameter, I could stay with them at a walking pace and therefore hadn’t worked up a sweat, so dad and child were both relaxed and doing fine.

Step 2 — takes 10 minutes

Walk or drive to some place with a flat field of grass.  Best choice, a school or park with a baseball or football field not in use.

Step 3 — takes 10 minutes

Spend just a minute or two doing a couple warmup circles in both directions, just as you did at home.

Next, line the child and bike up and tell them you’re going to ride in a straight line for a bit.

Now do the parent-running-beside-the-child routine, with your child riding through the grass in a straight line from one end of the field to the other.  Tell them just to pedal and steer, and you’ll hold them up.  In fact, you won’t need to do this very much.  You’re just the “parachute” in the event things go wrong. Let them pedal and wobble.  You’ll notice they already seem to be self-correcting when the bike sways one way or the other.  This became natural to them in Step 1.

After the first pass up the field, turn them around and do it again, but as they ride, run BEHIND them with a hand on the shoulder so they know you’re there, but DO NOT try to hold them up.  They won’t need it.

** note: pass up the temptation to do this exercise on the dirt infield or a running track.  Yes, it would make their pedaling easier, but also their “landings” harder, and fear of getting back on greater.

About halfway across the field, stop running, and watch them go.  When they get to the other side, yell for them to hit the brakes before the hit the fence.

Step 4 — takes 10 minutes

Do this a few more times, launching them off and then letting them go.  You can walk across the field and meet them on the other side.  Then as they get better, encourage them to try to ride a big loop all the way back to you.

If they fall once or twice while they’re out on their own, the soft grass and dirt will make it no problem.

At this point, they’re feeling great and excited — so stop while you’re ahead.  Go get a soft drink or something to celebrate.

You can do it.  Hope this helps.

Comments

  1. abdurrashid says:

    How glad I am to find this, and eager to help my daughter learn!

  2. Thebigmamma says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I have an eight year old that is having major problems with balancing. I am going to bring him out tomorrow and work with him and then after that if I have it in me I will teach my six year old daughter. Cross your fingers that this does the trick. Its been three years of running behind him and still no luck. Thanks again.

  3. Amy Loge says:

    Thanks so VERY much. My son who is 5 had no trouble when he learned but my daughter who is 7 was very hesitant to learning. I tried your technique last evening and literally in about an hour she got it!!!!!
    We did a few minutes in driveway as suggested and then went to grassy park. She is so happy and so confident. We are going back tonight to get some more practice so we can surprise her dad when he gets home from business trip.

    THANKS!!!!!!!!!

  4. jac*m says:

    This was the best info find ever, taught my daughter to ride via this method, and she was cycling unaided in 20 mins, could not beleive it(nor could she!)
    We did about 10mins of circles in our garden, then off to a long grassy stretch, i just ran along side her in case she needed me, a couple of goes up and down and job done!

  5. tmhk says:

    Fantastic. I (Mom) had tried teaching my 8yr old a few times over the past two summers (at 6yr, 7yr) but she was very timid and scared of falling and freaked out every time the bike tipped and/or she fell. She then refused to get back on the bike until I re-installed the training wheels.

    At 8, she knows that all of her friends know how to ride a two-wheeler, is frustrated/embarrassed that she does not, and feels that she will never get it. This weekend, I suggested we try a new approach. In about an hour (as promised!) she was finally able to ride a 2-wheeler on her own, and she only fell off once on the school field. She loved being able to try riding anywhere on the large field with no obstacles, people, and cars. She did not have to fear landing on a hard pavement, which I think removed much of her fear as well.

    She still needs to practice to better control the bicycle, but she is excited about her bike now. she was so proud of herself that she finally figured it out. When Dad came home, he was surprised but excited to hear about her accomplishment. I’ll definitely use this approach with her little sister this spring too. Thank you for the method!

  6. System6 says:

    Very pleased to hear you found the article and it helped. Perhaps we’ll follow it up with a “Teach your child to DRIVE in one hour or less” sequel. Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

  7. hippym says:

    So my daughter is almost 12 years old and I have never been able to teach her how to ride a bike. She can get very frustrated and tearful so we haven’t attempted it for a few years now. Recently she’s been asking about getting a bike and learning because all her friends know how and it’s embarrassing for her. A friend of ours loaned her daughter’s bike to us yesterday so this morning we took it out and tried. It was extremely difficult, my daughter got very upset so after a half hour we came in. I was determined that it would not hinder our efforts so I looked up “teaching and older child to ride a bike” on the internet and found this site. My daughter and I read it together, had our lunch and out we went to give it a go. I’m so happy to say that in less than 20 mins she was riding on her own!!!! I could not believe it, I mean of course I knew she could do it but this was just amazing. less than 20 mins!!!! I was crying and my daughter had a huge smile on her face, that confidence in her was just fantastic! Thank you so much :o)

  8. Tiffany says:

    It worked! Thank you so much! It was less than 30 minutes total!!! Woo hoo!!!

  9. System6 says:

    Extremely pleased to hear about our daughter’s success! Will drop a liability waiver in the mail 🙂

  10. Franksmummy says:

    Just wanted to say thank-you!!! My ten year old son has always had balance and co-ordination problems and had given up believing he’d ever cycle. I found this page yesterday and thought it was worth a try.We sneaked to our local park at 6 o’clock this morning (as he didn’t want anyone to see him trying) and by twenty past he was cycling laps of the park!! Absolutely amazing!!! Thank you so much for this plan, it was positively miraculous!!!

    From one extremely proud (and grateful) mum, and her now ‘brimming over with confidence’ son!

  11. System6 says:

    So I’m out cycling this morning on a hard 50 mile “race among friends” kind of thing, and eventually I succumbed. Had to pull to the side of the road, down some drink, clear sweat out of the eyes, and prepare to pedal home solo. It’s a tough group, so I’m used to being humbled and sent packing. Anyway, doing what I can to stall for time, I glance at email and see your note, which, honestly, made my day. I’m enormously pleased the advice worked for you, and hopefully you’ll be able to refer others to it, should you here of another child struggling. For my part, just knowing I was able to share something that made a difference for children after they and their parents had felt at a loss and almost given up trying — is more rewarding than you can know. Congrats to your son, and to you as well. Frank is blessed to have a mother who will scour the world (wide web, naturally) on his behalf!

  12. JoannesMom says:

    Worked like a charm for my 11-year-old! 20 minutes and she was rolling. Unbelievable! Thanks so much.

  13. System6 says:

    Twenty minutes might be some kind of record, well done! Thanks a million for letting us know about Joanne’s triumph.

    p.s. Not to get too deep here, but this “method” works just as well for things other than bicycles. Just start with learning what “off-balance” feels like, focus on getting comfortable with it, and you’ll always feel balanced. From the unwritten book “Zen And The Art Of Bicycle Riding.”

  14. Cheese balls says:

    Hi I did what you said and I managed to teach my 10 yr old to ride and she was doing it in a flash, it was amazing thank you so much now we can finally cycle to school!!!

  15. Doodle'sMom says:

    Thanks so much for posting this! I’m an avid bicyclist, but found it hard to teach my daughter how to ride bike. She has some coordination/balance/attention issues. This technique worked great for us. It took us 1.5 hours, but so much less than if we had tried to do it the old fashioned way. She’ll have a great time this summer riding her bike around town with her sister. Thanks you!

  16. Justin says:

    Just got a video message from my wife of our son riding his own 2-wheeler on his own for the first time ever! We had been trying the “what not to do” method for awhile, with (surprise!) very little success. He had grown so frustrated that he just didn’t seem to be interested in learning how to ride at all anymore. But my wife found this article, decided to try it, and had our son riding within an hour. Brought a tear to my eye!

  17. editor says:

    I am so happy. Congrats the Sanders family!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Ruth says:

    My 11-year old son can’t thank you enough. We had tried all of the “what not to do” things multiple times. This morning, we found your article — and in one hour — he was riding!!! He is SOOO very excited. THANKS!!!

  19. Catalina says:

    I am encouraged to try this. After an hour of tears and heartbreak today I need a better method!

  20. System6 says:

    You have nothing to lose then! Good luck and let us know how things turn out.

  21. Amy says:

    Sooo excited to try this with my six year old son. Thansk so much!!

  22. Amy says:

    ok got his training wheels off, he is excited to try so wish me luck…

  23. System6 says:

    Dear God, Amy, we can hardly sleep waiting to hear how it went! Maybe it being mid afternoon and our sitting in a hardback chair at Starbucks isn’t helping, but toss us a crumb, will ya?

  24. Gail says:

    Thank you so much – your technique works!

    Previously we had tears and scrapes and declarations of “I just can’t do it!!”. In one afternoon (2 hrs or so) my 9 year old learnt how to start without wobbling, balance, ride in a straight line, turn figure eights and brake to a halt before putting her foot down.

    What a surprise we had for her dad when he came home from work!

    When I put her to bed that night, she said “Now I don’t have a secret to worry about.” When I asked her what secret…?
    “Before I couldn’t ride a bike and I didnt want anyone to find out. Now I can ride a bike and its ok if someone asks me now – I can say I can ride a bike.”

    Thank you, thank you from both of us.

  25. System6 says:

    We are so happy to hear about your daughter’s success!

    If we had a nickel for every satisfied customer we’d probably have a pocketful by now, but checking the bank statement it’s clear we’re not in this for the money.

    Anyway, finding a bike and learning to swim and getting potty trained all fall into the category of things kids need to conquer, or they’re left with a disadvantage they don’t want to talk about but always are aware of. Now that your daughter has checked off another one of those gotta-learn skills, make sure you get out there with her again soon to reinforce the skills.

    Most important of all, get out and ride with her often!

  26. ellen j says:

    i am praying this method works for us! My 10 year old daughter is so scared of falling that it is hindering learning. I have been trying to teach her for 3 years – 3 long years. I read her the steps, but she refuses to go to a public place to learn because she is embaressed. I hope this works, I really, really do!

  27. N Bansal says:

    Thank you so much. This really works.
    We had been trying to teach our 5 year old daughter for the last one year, and it was getting very
    frustrating both for her and us, often resulting in outbursts that she hates biking and will never get it.

    We tried your technique and literally in 10 minutes she learnt how to balance for several seconds.
    Another half hour of practice and she was almost riding like a pro.

    I am surprised that such a simple solution is not more widely known. Thanks again for sharing this.

  28. System6 says:

    Another success! Invoice will be mailed shortly. Just kidding. Great to hear it worked out!

  29. Lisa says:

    Your method worked great for our four year old. Thanks for the info!

  30. System6 says:

    Wait, this method isn’t tested and approved for children under 5! Of corse, if it worked for you we will call this a “one time exception” and a nominal extra fee shall apply, plus 79.95 for shipping and handling.

    Seriously, it sounds as if we’ve successfully gotten a set of wheels underneath another child, which is wonderful. Congrats to you and your little one.

  31. leigh says:

    Thanks so much!
    the child i look after is so chuffed he can now ride his bike 😀

  32. System6 says:

    Well I’d say we are totally chuffed that your little guy is chuffed! Perhaps he’s ready for Part II of the program — How to Win The Tour de France In One Hour or Less.

    Best wishes and congrats on your success!

  33. Stewart Ramsay says:

    Thank you very much for this information. Our 8 year old daughter was born with mild Cerebral Palsy affecting her lower limbs, balance, and coordination. 9 months ago, she became the first Scottish child to have SDR surgery in the UK (Bristol) to rid her body of the spasticity. She has been having intensive physiotherapy since. Her goal was to ride a bike unaided. We have been trying for a while now using the wrong method and she wasn’t even close to succeeding, and probably wasn’t expected to do this for another year or so. I read this page earlier this morning and took her out. Using this method, within 40 – 50 minutes she had cycled the entire length of the football pitch at the top of our road….. all by herself. A dream come true !!!!!

  34. System6 says:

    When I wrote the article, I’d hoped simply to share a concept that might help a few kids struggling to get up on two wheels, to finally do it, and maybe with a few less tears and scrapes in the process. I never anticipated a note like yours, but in fact every comment the article has generated has seemed to express how conquering the bike was actually a step in conquering something even more important. I want to thank you for letting us in on your daughter’s story. She sounds incredibly brave, and you seem like a tremendously devoted parent. Please congratulate your daughter on her wonderful achievement, and thank you again for sharing!

  35. Tia says:

    I have an eleven yr old son who did not know how to ride a bike. We purchased one 2-3 weeks ago and attempted lessons only one day. This morning I prayed for wisdom and guidance in how to teach him. After praying he came to me and said he thought we should return the bike because we have not been back out. That was not an option. I told him he was going to learn how to ride his bike. While I was getting dressed he was googling advice on how to teach kids how to ride and he found your blog. I read it and we did it. He was balancing on his own in 15-19 minutes. In twenty minutes riding around carefree as if he’s been riding forever!!! How excited we are. Thank you for the help. It has made a boy’s summer that more enjoyable!!!

  36. System6 says:

    It never ceases to amaze, how quickly youngsters are able to google a solution for their own challenges. Kudos to google for hooking us all up this way. More importantly, your son learned a lot today. He learned that there are other possible solutions if one takes time to look for them. He learned that he can take the lead in solving his owns problems. And he learned that his mom isn’t a quitter, and he shouldn’t be, either.

    Thanks a million, Tia, for sharing your son’s story. That’s one more child who will learn the magic of riding bikes, and possibly his tale will encourage other children to give it another go.

    p.s., consider dropping by your local bike shop and picking up a kid-sized cycling jersey for him to race around in. Warning: He may decide to keep it on all summer.

  37. Momof4 says:

    My 8 year old son just learned to ride his bike thanks to you!! And I’m the happiest mom! Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!

  38. System6 says:

    Another satisfied customer, woo hoo!!! Congrats to mom & son.

  39. hayley says:

    Thank you so much! We were all finding teaching our 5 year old stressful and he was so nervous. I thought we would never be able to teach him but I followed your instructions and 50 minutes later he was riding by hinself! We are all so happy and he is so proud of himself. Will be sharing this page with all my friends with young kids. Brilliant!

  40. System6 says:

    Very happy it worked for your son! Next thing you should do is ask at your local bike shop where they hold amateur bike races and take him out to watch sometime. It’s free, it’s more exciting than you might imagine, and he might just decide to spend a lot of time on his bike, which is a pretty healthy thing to do.

  41. proud_mom says:

    my 5 year-old daughter is very head-strong and wanted so badly to figure it out for herself… we negotiated that I would only hold on to her bike for the circles (about 2 mins each side) and then she would be free to try it all herself… she practiced for about 10 mins after on the same day but got quite tired… she rested for two days and then decided she wanted to ride to the park (3 blocks away) — on the way there she was able to peddle herself for about one full rotation — on the way home (pleading exhaustion) she let me hold her handle bars just until she got started but she was able to peddle consistently for about 10 ft at a time… today (three days after the circles) she rode her bike BY HERSELF the three blocks to the park and then home again – downhill to start but uphill on the way home! needed to adjust the seat up a bit but when that was done she was so excited that she went up and down the street again and again to show off to the neighbours! I can’t thank you enough! your method is amazing and I’ve recommended your site to all my friends!

  42. System6 says:

    Thank you for spreading the word about this “1 Little Secret” (don’t you hate those cheesey ads?) that actually works. Always excited to have another satisfied customer and we wish little Missy Headstrong many safe miles.

  43. Blue God says:

    My child is 8, has had a bike since 4 and has never taken to it, next year in school they do mandatory cycle proficiency so she needs to be able to ride a bike by then. Currently, she hasn’t touched a bike in 2 years.

    I tried this technique as it didn’t involve taking pedals off and instructions were very simple therefore I did the following:
    1. 10 mins on tarmac (shortish circle).
    2. 10 mins on grass (largish circle).
    3. 10 mins on grass (straight lines, letting go of seat but within seconds her feet were on ground and she was at standstill).
    So, I thought may as well head home as it’s clearly more difficult and will take next 6 months. But on way out of park as we had to go over large area of grass, we carried on and she got the balancing, first time around 5 seconds then going onto more.

    Got home, showed wife the video of her riding bike unaided and she really could not believe that she could ride bike unaided. She said I was thinking you were going to have to spend next 6 months teaching her to ride bike.

    This could possibly be the single most important instruction given since the invention of the Bike and I shall do my part in spreading the good word of System 6.

    Thanks a million.

  44. System6 says:

    We are positively elated to hear about your daughter’s success, and since you’ve shared the kudos we will resist our natural tendency to launch the big guns in Bicycle.net’s world class Law & Harassment department to lecture you silly about having modified our Intellectual Property – specifically, which circles to ride in which direction on what surface for how long – without our explicit advance written approval and a modest gratuity or bakery good.

    Your note raises an important point that our esteemed Global Marketing department may have overlooked, having to do with this being perhaps the “single most important instruction given since the invention of the bike.” Without getting into specifics, we have to agree with you unequivocally. We also like the one about “remember to use the brake,” which we take credit for also. However, we sense you’ve hit upon something much deeper and more important than physical safety issues.

    You specifically referenced how your beloved spouse anticipated it would require 6 months’ effort to complete this training endeavor, whereas having our coursework in pocket enabled the riding-instruction-giving parent (herein referred to as “you”), to dramatically exceed the expectations of the jaundiced-bystander parent (herein referred to as “her”). Our staff psychologist and marriage counselor advises that while you are still entirely correct, this pyrric victory will be short-lived, and long paid-for.

    Nevertheless, at least you’ll be able to console yourself with knowing your child learned to ride her bike.

    Best regards and warm wishes from all of us at Bicycle.Net.

  45. Chuffed Dad says:

    Erm I may have got the method wrong… I would take my 4.5 five year old son on real bike rides (3-8 miles with training wheels over 6 months). At the beginning of May (now 5 years old just!) *he* wanted them removed. Within 10 minutes he was riding on two wheels the same day we did a six mile bike ride on two wheels, took 4 hours, but its his enjoyment which is important and not the speed. He can comfortably do 15 miles (over 6 hours)

  46. System6 says:

    Such spectacular progress you might get him in on the remaining stages of this year’s Giro D’Italia! Anyway, glad you got it done. Sounds like you didn’t need this program to get your son going — and many kids don’t. Fortunately it’s here for the ones who struggle with other ways of getting up & balanced.

  47. Scott in Winnipeg says:

    Took my 5-year old son to the park yesterday to try out this method. He screamed when he saw the wrench and cried the whole way to the park saying over and over again, “I love my training wheels! I am never gonna let you take them off!” We passed a couple who looked at me funny and I had to explain that the wrench I was carrying and the crying were about losing the training wheels and not something they needed to call the police about.

    When we got to the park, I sat him down and bribed him with ice cream and promised I would not let go. We practiced going in circles just like how it is described above with me holding on to the seat to steady him. We did this for about 10 minutes. He was still whining and complaining about how boring this was and asking for his training wheels back.

    I told him, “Just 10 more minutes. Lets just go in the field and practice going straight.” Off we went. He started to pedal and I was amazed at how much more stability he had than when we had tried the “old” method last week. After 2 widths of the field he was riding on his own (K, I lied about not letting go, but don’t we all??).

    I jogged beside him and he looked over at me. I showed him my hands. When he realized he was doing it on his own, his face just lit up. He rode another 50 feet and finally wiped out in the grass, popped up laughing and I gave him a double high five. He said, “Let’s do it again Daddy, and again, and again!” We did.

    As the park is a good distance from home along some busy streets, we had to put his training wheels back on to go home. He was upset and told me to throw them in the garbage when we got home.

    So my little boy was both elated at his accomplishment and angry at me for putting his training wheels back on as we made our way home. We passed the same couple as we turned on to our street. They looked at my son’s face (still angry about having to put training wheels back on) and commented that it didn’t look like it went too well. My son said, “Daddy, can I show them?”

    So I took off the training wheels and sent him off. He rode the entire length of our street and into our driveway. They were amazed as it had only taken 45 minutes to transform a crying, petrified little boy into the happiest boy on the block.

    Thanks so much for posting this incredible method!

    Scott in Winnipeg

  48. System6 says:

    Scott, that may well be the most interesting story so far….and fortunately you have a very good sense of humor and the self-discipline to reserve use of the wrench to it’s intended purposes.

    We certainly believe this is a better-thought-out method and as a result it delivers success like your son experienced — but one could easily argue that it is not important whether it’s a superior way, but just that it is different than the way that has not worked already. Once you started doing something new with him on the bike, perhaps his mind let go of worries of repeating prior failures, and just focused on what was happening at the moment — i.e., that he was on a bike going in circles with dad ensuring his safety and providing encouragement. And perhaps then he relaxed and started to feel what it means to balance, and lean, and turn, and so on.

    This debate is certain to raise history’s great philosophers from their graves just to argue it out, but that’s not for your concern, which should be about how long it will take your son to make the natural leap from “riding on two wheels if fun” to “wouldn’t it be even MORE fun to ride down that big hill!”

  49. Brian V. says:

    Trying to figure out how to adapt this to a 14 year old. They’re heavy!

  50. Momof2Angels says:

    I am very please with these reviews! My daughter is five and it took two years to get her to pedal consistently on a trike or bicycle with training wheels. I took her training wheels off last weekend and tried the same method my parents did with me; got her on the bike riding straight down the sidewalk while I held the back of her seat. I couldn’t believe how wobbly she actually is. After about ten minutes she got distracted and my hand was sore so we called it quits for the day with promises of trying again soon. Fortunately I was able to keep her from any nasty and memorable introductions to the pavement, so she is still very enthusiastic to learn. I will definitely be giving this method a try in the next few days! Hopefully she will be riding alongside me soon!!!!

  51. Lou says:

    Hi there,
    I have been trying to teach my six yr old since middle of July with no luck, and with one scared six year old!
    I am going to try this method tomorrow so hopefully will have a very happy six year old and a very happy mum!
    I’ll let you know x

  52. EllaMar says:

    All I can say is OMG OMG OMG THIS WORKS!!!! My niece and nephew are 5 and 8 and we had tried several times to teach them to ride bike with absolutely NO success!!! Every time we tried it ended up with both of them in tears and our backs about to break from holding all their weight and running along with them. Give this a try and don’t be frustrated anymore!!! We tried this exactly as instructed and wouldn’t you know they were BOTH riding within the hour. It was incredible!!!!

  53. DanielsMom says:

    Just want to say thank you very much. I had just about given up hope that my 9 yr old son would ever develop the important social skill of riding a bike. We had tried repeatedly with and without training wheels. He has some motor skill delay so I had kind of chalked it up to that and thrown in the towel. After reading you method, I decided it was worth one more shot and 30 minutes into it he was riding 50 feet or so. He still has a way to go to gain the skill and confidence but now I know we can get there. Most importantly, your method finally made bike riding fun for him. He bugs me everyday to go out and practice.

    Thanks to you, my son won’t miss out on riding with his friends to the park 🙂 I am VERY grateful.

  54. System6 says:

    It is enormously pleasing to hear each story of kids who’d struggled to learn to ride a bike, who now have gotten the wheels firmly beneath them as a result of this article. Thank you for posting your comments and feedback.

    Perhaps its time to commit it to video and post it on Youtube, which seems to be the go-to for how-to advice these days.

  55. rydersdad says:

    I had to stop in to say thank you and tell you that you are a miracle worker! Our six-year-old son seemed unable to ever ride his bike. We had even tried a bike camp to no avail and we were honestly beginning to wonder if he would ever ‘get it’. It was breaking all our hearts. Found your article, followed it to the letter this morning, and within an hour, he was riding unaided. His Mom almost had a heart failure when we showed her how well he could ride. Our son said it was one of the best days of his life as he said he truly wondered if he’d ever be able to do it. Again, I can’t say thank you enough. As far as I’m concerned, you are a hero for helping us out!! I think your advice should be adopted worldwide and your advice should make you big bucks!!

  56. System6 says:

    Sadly, very few ventures related to bicycles ends up generating big financial rewards! However, nearly everything related to cycling has the chance to generate great emotional rewards. I get huge endorphin boosts virtually every time I head out on the bike, and double rewards each time another young person has been helped by my advice to have an “experience of a lifetime.”

    As parents we all confront situations in which we are left to hunt the web for elusive solutions to persistent challenges. Good on you for not giving up, and so glad you found the article helpful.

  57. Renae says:

    I just tried this method yesterday with my 9-year-old daughter. She has been struggling to learn to ride a bike for years and had basically decided she just didn’t care that much about riding a bike due to her frustrations with trying to learn. She was embarrassed that she couldn’t ride when all her friends could, and she was upset with the difficulty she was having each time we tried to take off the training wheels.

    So I stumbled across this article last week, and decided to give it a shot. Took my daughter to an open lot with grassy field next to it and proceeded to walk her in circles as described. I didn’t even have a chance to do the circles in the opposite direction, because when I took a “mom’s getting dizzy” break between sets of circles, she decided she’d try to ride on her own and SHE DID IT!!! She took right off! A little wobbly, yes, but she did it–in less than 5 minutes she had learned to ride her bike. It was completely amazing. This method is like magic and I will be sharing it with others for sure! My daughter was just beaming yesterday, she was so proud of herself and so happy that she could now ride bikes with mom and that she didn’t have to worry about her friends finding out she couldn’t ride a bike. Thank you!!

  58. Tami says:

    We’re tried the straight line on the grass today with the 8 year olds, and the ending was a tangle on the pavement after with the adult getting the scrapes and bruises. Lol. Will be trying this tomorrow!!!!

  59. Tim says:

    Works like a champ!! I couldn’t believe it but it worked! My daughter caught on in about 15 mins!! Thanks for the post!

  60. Tim says:

    Works like a champ!! I couldn’t believe it but it worked! My daughter caught on in about 15 mins!! Thanks for the post!! My daughter even made up a new song while she was riding alone for the first time “training wheels suck! Two wheelers rule!!” She was very happy and confident! 🙂

  61. Lucy says:

    I am so glad I tried this with my 8 year old daughter, because it WORKS!!!! Thank you sooo much! ?

  62. Amy says:

    I have just tried this with my 9 year old son and I can believe than in less than an hour he is actually riding his bike. I showed his dad this website before we tried it and he did not believe it could work. I can wait to let him bike to school as its all he wanted to do. Great article, thanks ?

  63. Jeffrey Fisher says:

    So glad you’ve found success with this unusual approach!

  64. Sallyalley says:

    I never actually comment on these things BUT my 10 year old has finally agreed to learn to ride.
    We followed your tips and she was off and riding by herself in half an hour! Amazing! Thanks ?

  65. Julieanne Murphy says:

    Thank you for the help and new ideas, very reluctant just turned nine year old son rode his bike for the first time today! He’s super proud and we are thrilled for him. We’d reach a difficult point where he was afraid to learn… afraid of falling off bike, afraid of not succeeding, told us he had no interest in bikes even though all his friends could ride . We all needed a new approach to get the enthusiasm up… Our son… and my husband who did the supporting /teaching and your article was just that! Three 30-45 min sessions did it. Thank you!

  66. Caleb says:

    Don’t be discouraged. It took us a few sessions over a few days. Nonetheless, I credit this step-wise approach (and the soft grass) with giving my 8 yo daughter the courage to keep at it. She is still working on getting started from a stop by herself and still a little wobbly, but Aug 21, 2016 is the day she learned to ride a bike!

  67. Dan says:

    Thank you so much for this advice. My 7 year old took to this approach very quickly after struggling for the last 2 years learning to ride a bike without training wheels. We did the circles in the drive-way for a few minutes, then went to ride at the park and I saw a noticeable difference right away in my son’s confidence level. We repeated the same steps on day 2 and he continued to get better. By day 3 he was riding on his own. My only regret is that I didn’t learn about this approach earlier. My younger daugther will certainly benefit from this knowledge when she is ready to ride in the next year or so Thanks again so much!

  68. System6 says:

    Always pumped to see more posts about kids who got up on 2 wheels because of this unusual approach. Thank y’all for posting these successes!

  69. Happy mama says:

    My 9 year old son has been struggling for years – waited until his school had the day off, so no other kids were in the neighborhood, and it worked like a charm in about 15 minutes! Full disclosure he was angry that he didn’t feel like he was doing well after the first pass in he grass, got mad at my encouraging words and promptly rode away from me in a huff 🙂 it took him about 20 seconds to realize he was doing it on his own, and that was it! You are the best! Now he can teach his own kids one day! Thanks for this!

  70. Elizabeth says:

    My 13 year old is really embarrassed because she doesn’t know how to ride a bicycle, she doesn’t want to practice in the driveway or park. Do you think you could help?

  71. System6 says:

    Wow, that’s a challenge. If she were my daughter, I’d certainly understand her request, and would probably suggest we go out early on a weekend morning, before many people are up and about, to a high school that is outside your area, and thus she’d remain anonymous. Find a big high school that has athletic fields and a track and so on, go off in a far corner somewhere, and go through the exercises we described. It won’t take her long and she’ll be doing loops around the track, and the whole issue will be over with, for good. Best of luck to you both, and please post up your results!

  72. System6 says:

    Sorry for the laggy reply, but very happy for you and your son, and for your uplifting comment. Ride on!

  73. System6 says:

    Another welcomed success story! Congrats & well done.