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The thrill of freedom that comes with riding a bike or gliding on a skateboard is a feeling most of us remember vividly from our childhoods. But before the wind-in-your-hair, carefree days, there are a few steps to master – it all starts with teaching your child to ride a bike starting with the basics of balance, control, and safety.
Here’s a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to teaching your child to ride a bike (or skateboard) that turns the learning journey from ‘I can’t do it’ to ‘Look at me go!’. Here’s to a fun and confidence-building adventure.
Stage One: Picking the Right Gear
When teaching your child to ride a bike, the journey starts in the bicycle store, selecting a bike or skateboard that’s the right size for your child. Make sure their feet can touch the ground when seated on the bike, and for skateboards, go for a beginner-friendly model that offers stability. Remember, helmets are NOT optional; they’re a crucial part of the gear, so pick one that’s a good fit.
Don’t miss our List of Places to Get Bikes and Scooters in Hong Kong below!
Stage Two: Finding the Perfect Practice Spot
A wide, flat area free of traffic and obstacles is an ideal spot for beginners. A park, a flat driveway, or an empty parking lot could work. Make sure the surface is smooth for an easier and safer learning experience.
Stage Three: Mastering Balance
Without the distractions of pedaling or steering, your child can focus purely on balancing. For biking, remove the pedals and have your child ‘scoot’ around using their feet. Skateboarding beginners can start by simply standing on the board, getting a feel for the deck beneath their feet.
Stage Four: Introducing Pedaling and Pushing
Once your child is comfortable with balancing, you can reintroduce the pedals on the bike. Support them as they begin pedaling, gradually letting them ride on their own. Skateboarders can start to push off with one foot while balancing on the board with the other.
Stage Five: Steering Straight and Turning Corners
Steering can be tricky for kids. Start with simple exercises like steering the bike or skateboard in a straight line. Gradually introduce gentle turns until your child can confidently navigate corners and change direction with ease.
Stage Six: Learning to Brake
Teach your child to use the handlebar brakes for stopping their bike. For skateboarding, they’ll need to learn how to use their back foot to gently drag and stop. It’s crucial to emphasize the importance of braking well ahead of obstacles.
Stage Seven: Practicing Until Perfect
The key to gaining confidence on a bike or skateboard is practice. Create a practice schedule, but keep it flexible and fun. Encourage your child to go at their own pace, and celebrate each new skill they learn.
Stage Eight: Uphill and Downhill – Introducing Slopes
Once your child is comfortable on flat surfaces, gradually introduce them to small inclines. Teach them how to use their body weight to control speed and maintain balance. Remember, it’s important to re-emphasize braking techniques during this stage.
Stage Nine: Safety First
Reinforce the importance of safety. Your child should always wear a helmet, and as they get more confident, consider introducing knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards, especially for skateboarding.
Stage Ten: Ready, Set, Go!
With practice, patience, and persistence, your child will have developed a new skill set and will be ready to enjoy the freedom that comes with riding a bike or skateboarding. Celebrate their achievement and continue to remind them about safety.
Success and rewards
Teaching your child to ride a bike or skateboard can be a wonderfully rewarding experience, creating lasting memories and teaching them valuable skills they will use throughout their life. Remember, the key is patience, persistence, and a positive attitude. Happy riding!
Where to Buy Bikes and Scooters in Hong Kong
Well known around Hong Kong for good quality athletic equipment at a good price, Decathlon offers a range of bikes for all ages and purposes. With children’s balance bikes starting at $399 and pedalling bikes at $899, Decathlon might be a great option. Adult bikes are also reasonably priced.
Their scooters start at $499 and skateboard decks start at $399. Plus all the necessary components and safety accessories are well priced.
Address: (Multiple across Hong Kong) Causeway Bay, Central, Mong Kok, Tseung Kwan O, Sha Tin, Kowloon Bay, Ma On Shan and Tuen Mun.
Toys Club has a vast variety of scooters and skateboards, penny boards, roller blades and ripsticks of varying prices (averaging $400-$800 with some options over $1000). They currently only have a balance bike and a pedalling bike available online so be sure to check back to see if more come in stock.
9/F, South China Building, 1-3 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong
Rm 1913-15, 19/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau
Find everything you need to get your children cruising on a bike or scooter! Balance bikes start around $399 and bikes for ages 3-8 are around $900-$999. Their scooters start at $299 with ranging styles and sizes.
Address: multiple locations across Hong Kong island, Kowloon and New Territories
Carousell is a buy and sell website with a plethora of second hand bikes that work and look just like new and for a largely reduced price. With some notably expensive bike brands such as Trek going for $700 and used scooters going for $100, you’re in for a great deal! Make sure to ask for pictures of damage and be well informed of the state of the bicycle or scooter before purchasing.
Flying Ball Bicycle Co. LTD
With all types of bikes in stock, this store is perfect for the whole family. They sell mainly high quality bikes. They do not sell balance bikes so this store is mainly for older kids.
Address: Unit B1 & B40-42, B/F, Lai Sun Commercial Centre, 680 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong (Lai Chi Kok MTR exit B1).
The largest all in one bike shop in Hong Kong likely has just what you’re looking for! With an extensive in store variety of high quality bikes, you can get anything from a balancing bike to pristine road or mountain bike. Take a look at their online catalogue but more detail regarding prices will be available in store.
Address: G/F, Prince Centre, 70 Tai Po Road, Prince Edward, Hong Kong (Prince Edward MTR Exit A)
With two stores in Hong Kong and an E-store, Asia Bicycles offers high quality children’s bikes with reasonable prices and free shipping on orders over $300. They provide a one year warranty on all products unless specified otherwise. Their bike prices start around $880 and average around the $1000-2000 price range.
Shop B, G/F, Keader Centre, 129-149 On Lok Road, Yuen Long, New Territories, Hong Kong (West Rail Long Ping Station Exit E)
Shop 1, G/F, Sunshine City Phase 1, Ma On Shan, N.T., Hong Kong
Micro Scooters is a highly awarded company selling the best scooters around! Micro Scooters make a variety of styles for wee ones all the way to adults and scooters come with a 2 year warranty. You need not worry about broken parts as they are easily replaceable from their store. There’s free delivery of purchases over $1000.
Address: 1202, 12/F, Car Po Commercial Building, No.18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central
Become a JollyMap member and enjoy extensive rewards such as participating in the trade-in program which allows you to purchase a bike from them and sell it back (up to three years later). Use the redeemed voucher to buy a new bike when your child gets too big for their old one. JollyMap was awarded the Caring Company logo for their contribution to society and voluntary work. With each bike or similar purchase, the company sponsors an under-privillage child to play in the HSBC Playright Playscope – a versatile playspace.
Address: Unit AC, 22/F Waylee Industrial Centre 30-38 Tsuen King Circuit Tsuen Wan, Unit H, 4/F High Win Factory Building, 47 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong
German cyclist and product designer, Ralf Coerschulte created First Bike to encourage individuality in learning to ride a bike stress free. With a 5 year warranty, first bikes provide a series of balance bikes perfect for young children just learning to get on a bike. Most balance bikes cost around $1480 and products are mainly purchased online. Delivery is free for purchases above $400.
Sky Blue Bikes
Sky Blue Bikes has a range of services from fitting and customisations to rentals. Owners Sean and Elissa have 50 years experience in the cycling industry and offer exceptional service and purchasing experience. Alongside prime adult bikes, they offer high quality proper pedalling bikes and will help you get exactly what you need and keep you well informed.
Address: G/F, 419R Queen’s Rd West, Sai Wan
You might also be interested in: The Best Skateboard Parks in Hong Kong