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.


Learn to Ride is usually offered from April to October at Turkey Run Park and Jones Point Park. If you would like to register for a spring 2016 session, email us here e-mail us for Turkey Run Park and here e-mail us for Jones Point Park initial dates are set in early spring of 2016. Additional dates will be released for registration each month.

Currently, Learn to Ride is scheduled for every Sunday from 1 pm to 3 pm starting on April 17th through September 25th at Jones Point Park.

Turkey Run Park dates are Saturdays, April 16, 30; May 7, 21; June 4, 18; July 16, 30; August 5, 20; September 10, 17; from 10 am to Noon.


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.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

George Washington Memorial Parkway Headquarters
700 George Washington Memorial Parkway

McLean, VA 22101


(703) 289-2500
Ranger-led programs for schools and other groups: Theodore Roosevelt Island and North 703-285-2965 USMC War Memorial and South 703-235-1530

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