You Can Now Pay Someone To Teach Your Child How To Ride A Bike

If you ask Google “How do I teach my kid to ride a bike?” you will get an overwhelming number of suggestions. You can get lost in a wormhole of information: book offers, videos, and parental testimonies on riding with training wheels vs. without or learning on balance bikes vs. bikes with pedals. Or if you are like some parents, you might ask Google “Who can I pay to teach my kid to ride a bike?” Google has an answer for this too because there is a growing list of people you can pay to teach your child how to ride a bike.

Parents have figured out that they can let go of the frustration and let someone else teach their children how to ride a bike, and a popular and successful program called Pedalheads is one place to find those teachers. Offering bike camps for kids as young as two years old, Pedalheads promises to take your child “from training wheels to trails” with group and private lessons for kids at a variety of riding levels. As the training wheels come off, Pedalheads instructors also teach children the safety skills they need to ride on streets or trails.

Pedalheads has locations in British Colombia, Alberta, and Ontario, Canada as well as Washington State. But from “Newbees” to “Crankheads”, Pedalheads is gaining ground on the movement to outsource this rite of passage. On the Pedalheads’ website, one parent said that her daughter’s patient and fun instructor with whom she bonded “seems to make all of the spills and bruises just simply part of her day.”

Two women in Somerville, Massachusetts teach children (and adults) how to ride bikes through the Bicycle Riding School. One of the women, Susan McLucas, has been teaching people how to ride bikes for over 25 years, and is affectionately called the Bicycle Whisperer. With a sliding rate scale to accommodate what individuals can afford, the Bicycle Riding School offers small group lessons and private lessons for one-on-one attention. If you don’t live in the Boston area, the Bicycle Riding School’s website lists instructors across the United States who are willing to teach your child how to ride.

Bike New York is just one more example of an organization happily willing to be the one to let go of the back of your child’s bike as they take off on two wheels for the first time. Bike New York offers free two hour sessions with experienced instructors. And even if your child doesn’t get the hang of a two-wheeler by the end of the session, the program is confident that their low-stress technique can be used at home for a quick path to independent riding.

I don’t remember actually learning how to ride my bike, but I remember summer days pedaling up and down our street. I also remember the freedom and thrill of riding on two wheels. My four year old daughter has mastered her bike with training wheels, and even if she won’t remember these milestones, watching her figure out how to pedal and navigate her bike is something I hope I will never forget. And on the day she tells me she is ready to take off the training wheels, I’ll be ready for frustration, fear, and falls, but I think we’ll figure it out.

I’m not willing to pay to have someone teach my kids how to ride their bikes, but I am willing to take advice from those who have helped kids ditch the training wheels. If my kids have memories of learning how to ride their bikes, I want to be a part of them. Local Department of Parks and Recreation offices or bicycling clubs are good places to start for advice. I’m curious, though. Would you pay someone else to teach your child how to ride a bike?

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