Learning to Ride – Discovery Method

The best way for anyone, young or old, to learn how to ride a bike is to discover the trick for themselves, in exactly the same way the bicycle was discovered. Go to a quiet open area, such as in a park, and change the bike into a hobby-horse: remove the pedals (15 mm spanner, left-side pedal unscrews clockwise), and lower the saddle so that the rider can touch the ground with their feet when mounted. Show the rider how the bike steers. Let them push with their feet, as with a scooter. Show them how to use the brake. After they can start and stop, put them on a bit of ground with a gentle downgrade. Each individual scoot will progressively become longer and longer. When they can travel for a good stretch without touching the ground, replace the pedals and watch them go.

This method is infallible. Do not use training wheels, or attempt to assist by holding the bike yourself. The discovery method usually works within 20 minutes, often less, but if your protege wants to take longer, don’t push; the whole point is that they do it themselves.

Extracted from Richard’s 21st Century Bicycle Book.     A great book!