Hobbies and Leisure

Independent Living Skills

social and emotional behaviour

study skills and attention


Hobbies & Leisure

Bike riding

Before you start

Make sure the child wears a helmet.

Elbow and knee pads are also useful to minimise bumps and bruises. These are also used for skateboarding and in-line skating.

Gloves are essential to prevent abrasion to the palms in the event of a fall.

A small-sized children’s bicycle. The bicycle must be small enough so that the child can reach the ground with the saddle adjusted all the way down.


Make sure everything fits and is in working condition.

Make sure that the brake pads make sufficient contact with the rim of the wheels when the brake levers are engaged.

Remove both pedals


Push the seat all the way down so that the child can touch the ground with his/her feet.

Get the child to sit on the bike and push the bike along with his/her feet.

Once the child gets used to this, try to give them a little push and get him/her to lift his/her feet off the ground. You could also find a gentle sloping road where the child can coast downhill at a safe speed, as this will help the child get used to the feeling of balancing the bike when it is in motion. Once comfortable with this, encourage the child to gently steer the bike to one side and then the other.

Remove the training wheels.


Fit the pedals back on the bike and then gently push just enough to get the momentum going for your child to place their feet and start pedalling.

Do not hold the handlebar while he/she is riding because it will prevent him/her from feeling being balanced.

Try to get him/her to relax and not to grip the handlebars too tightly or tense up his/her body (do this for about 10 minutes at the beginning of each session).

Let him/her develop a leading foot to know which to start off with.

He/she will begin slowly at first, maybe 3 or 4 pedal revolutions.

During this time, monitor the child’s progress and evaluate whether his/her saddle can be raised to give him/her greater bio-mechanical efficiency. During this learning stage, do not raise it beyond the point where s/he can reach the ground.

Raising the saddle will often improve steering, especially if the bike is small for him/her.

Once the child is comfortable with propelling forward by pedalling, s/he will usually figure out very quickly how to start pedalling from a stationary position without the need for someone to hold the bike upright for them.

Praise, praise and praise always helps!