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Teaching your child to ride a bike

Learning to ride a bicycle is one of life’s milestones, a white-knuckle introduction to mobile independence. It’s a rite-of-passage thing, exciting yet potentially terrifying at the same time.

When you analyse all the component parts that go into the ability to cycle you realise how near impossible it is. Yet billions of cyclists around the globe manage it, without giving it a second’s thought. Learning to ride is a leap into the unknown, a magical mastery of control that, done right, can be a genuinely wonderful experience for the successful student.

It’s a skill that parents – especially cycling parents – are proud to pass on, especially if they’re looking to create a ride companion. But balancing on tubes slung between two rotating wheels for the first time is not easy and there’s a lot of pressure on kids to master bicycling basics quickly. Parents can find the teaching experience stressful – and often back-breaking.

There’s an easy way to learn how to cycle, and it involves no special tricks, and no teaching whatsoever. Not from anxious adults anyway. Children teach themselves.

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