What can I do as a parent to support my child?

Videos that include how to choose a first bike, and advice regarding how to help your child move from a balance bike to the pedalling stage.

Each of the videos below include practical examples that you can try out at home or in your local park. Each of the videos ends with a bulleted list of top tips that we have pulled out and listed below.

You can view the full playlist featuring all the videos on the Cycling Scotland YouTube channel.

Our video guides

1. Choosing the right bike

  • A balance bike with a brake is best so that your child can practice breaking
  • Don’t be tempted to buy and bike your child has to ‘grow into’.   Speak to your local bikes shop for the best advice.
  • Avoid front of back baskets, they add unnecessary weight
  • Buying second hand can be a great way to find a good bike for your child and reduce waste.   It is worth getting a bike checked by someone with experience, such as your local bike shop.
  • Removing the bell can help improve avoid distraction when practicing bike control

2. Safety checks and helmets

  • Learn to carry out a simple bike check before each use – is there enough air in the tyres?  Do the brakes work? Does the chain spin freely or does it need oiled?
  •  Good helmets have a simple adjustment dial to ensure a good fit.  It is very important that a helmet is the right size.
  • Ask a mechanic to check over used bikes

3. Bike Skills

  • Don’t hold onto their bike as this affects their balance and movement
  • Encourage your child to use the brakes to come to a stop, not their feet

4. Balance and control games

  • Remember – the aim is to have fun and make use of their fantastic imagination.

5. Gliding

  • You can keep your child engaged by being creative
  • Use their imagination to add new features, e.g. lava, molehills, sharks, or quicksand

6. Pedal ready

  • Demonstrate how to pedal by riding your own bike
  • You could play the game Windmills, lie on your back, raise your feet, and pedal forward
  • A gentle slope can help when getting started
  • If a skill you are working on isn’t going well, take a rest or enjoy some ‘free play’. Keep it fun.

7. Improving skills

The last video looks at improving skills. Again, the aim is to have fun as your child pedals on different surfaces and small gradients, improving their steering to move safely around other people.