• Aerial view of the George Washington Memorial Parkway in the fall

    George Washington

    Memorial Parkway DC, MD, VA

Learn to Ride

Father and son bicycle on the Mount Vernon Trail

Learn to Ride introduces an effective and low-stress way to learn to ride a bicycle. Using a "balance first" method, kids will learn how to ride independently. This program helps young riders to be more comfortable while teaching both parents and children an easy biking technique.

  • Program space is limited. Advance registration is required.
  • Parent participation and support are essential. Each adult may bring no more than two children.
  • Participants must be at least 5 years old.
  • Participants must bring a bike and a helmet that fits properly.
  • Participants must be able to rest their feet flat on the ground when sitting on their bicycle seats.
 

Registration

Each of the following sessions will be offered at one location: Turkey Run Park, Jones Point Park, or Fort Hunt Park. Call 703-289-2553 for more information or to register for a session.

Sunday, September 21, 2014 (FULL)
1 pm to 3 pm

Saturday, October 4, 2014 (FULL)
10 am to noon

Sunday, October 19, 2014 (FULL)
1 pm to 3 pm

When sessions fill, you may be able to join a wait list.

Learn to Ride will resume in the spring when warmer weather returns. If you are not able to register for any of these fall dates, please check back in April 2015.

 

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to bring tools?
No, we have a complete toolkit that we bring, including wrenches and a bicycle pump. The only thing we can't do is adjust your bicycle chain.

Do I need knee and elbow pads?
Not really. If they make you feel less scared you can certainly bring them, but the first thing we show you is that you can't fall: all you have to do is put your feet down.

Can I sign up a child who is not five years old yet?
No. We set a minimum age of five because most younger children have not figured out how to balance well enough to succeed in the program. The last thing we want is for a child to get frustrated and decide that biking is terrible.

Can I bring my child's younger brother or sister?
Yes, but parent participation is very important. Your child is more likely to learn how to ride if you are able to devote a lot of attention to him or her.

Can adults learn, too?
Absolutely. We have taught several adults how to ride.

How does the program work?
We take the pedals off the bike and lower the seat. We teach you how to push yourself with your feet and glide (so that you learn how to balance). Once you can balance really well we put the pedals back on. We show you how to push, glide, get your feet on the pedals, and go (all without looking down). Finally we show you how to start with one foot on a pedal and one on the ground. Then you just practice! Because you do everything yourself you never have to worry about going too fast or falling over.

Do I need to sign up for more than one session?
Most people do not. Even if you don't learn how to ride during the program, you'll know what you need to go home and practice.

Did You Know?