Bike Smart Publications & Resources
Looking for resources to supplement the Youth Bike Skills training program that you are running? We have a wide range of useful materials to help you with your program.
Looking for more information about your upcoming loan? We've got you covered.
Bike Smart Curriculum: Need a copy of the Bike Smart Curriculum? This is the in-field guide that we provide to schools upon their loan. This curriculum is specifically designed for children in grades 3-8, but many of the lessons are useful for teaching younger and older children.
Bikeology Part 1 and Part 2 Bikeology is a curriculum designed for middle and high-school aged students. This is an extremely in-depth curriculum, with worksheets, quizzes, and exhaustive background material, useful for teachers who want to deepen their own understanding of bicycles, safety, and activities.
How to Teach Children How to Ride Using a Balance Bike: Wondering what those pedal-less bikes in the trailer are for? Or, just want some pointers on how to teach children how to ride using the bikes? This is a great resource for learning how the process works.
Bike Smart Trailer Manual: This manual contains everything you would need to know about the trailer, the bikes, and the materials inside the trailer. Wondering which helmets are loaner helmets, and which are a giveaway? Or, how to re-pack the bikes after you're done with your loan? Perhaps you were wondering what the surgical caps are for. The answers to these questions and more are inside this manual.
Trailer Relocation Form: Planning on moving the trailer yourself? Perhaps you have a great off-site field trip planned, or you are working with a partner school or organization to share the trailer. You'll need to fill out one of these before you move the trailer. NOTE: You are NOT responsible for the initial delivery or pick up. We will take care of that. This form is only needed if you plan to move the trailer during your loan.
Bike Smart Loan Checklist: Want to make sure that you're on the ball with your Bike Smart trailer loan? This handy checklist will help you make sure that you have the trailer all set to rights before it is sent on to other schools, and to help you keep track of your end of the deal.
Parent Send-Home Letter: By popular demand: here's a sample letter to send home to parents and families about your upcoming Bike Smart loan. You can edit the letter to better suit your plans, but this gives you a good template to work from.
We've learned a thing or two over the years about how to teach children how to ride bicycles with confidence and style. The curriculum we use can be immensely helpful in implementing your own youth bike education curriculum.
Local Motion has also developed a user-friendly curriculum guide for teaching bike skills in collaboration with the Center for Health and Learning. This is the curriculum that we use for our own trainings, and we provide every school that borrows our trailer with bound copies for their own use.
For more information, contact Mary Catherine Graziano or (802) 861-2700 x106.
Get the Curriculum
Local Motion offers free copies of a booklet entitled "A Parent's Guide to Safe Bicycling Essentials" that covers everything a parent needs to know to help their child enjoy bicycling safely, from how to fit a helmet to how to navigate traffic.
Once you've helped your child become a safe and confident bike rider we invite you to join us in helping your community become a safer place to walk and bike. There are a lot of ways to help make this a reality where you live. To find out how, start by visiting the Local Motion page for your community!
Balance Bikes are an innovative method of teaching kids how to ride a bike without relying on training wheels. Right from the start, your child will learn how to maintain balance while being aware of their surroundings and, oh yeah, having an amazing time. Check out our resources on how a balance bike can help your child master biking!
The Balance Bike Method
This is a revolutionary method for teaching children how to ride their bicycle without using training wheels. Children who learn how to ride a bicycle using the Balance Bicycle method have fewer falls, a faster learning rate, and have a better experience than with the traditional method.
What are Balance Bikes, and how do they work?
Balance bikes are bikes that have no pedals, and children push themselves along the ground with their feet, figuring out how to find their balance. Once a child has demonstrated that they can balance the bicycle consistently, they graduate to a pedaled bike.
Steps for teaching a child how to ride with a Balance Bike
Things you need:
- Flat, paved space (a slight hill can be used to help kids get some momentum on their coasting-- used for downhill, not uphill)
- Balance bicycle, or a regular bicycle that has had the pedals removed
- Knee and elbow pads and bicycle gloves (optional--for children who are nervous about hurting themselves)
- Sidewalk chalk (optional)
- Remove the pedals from the bike (if using a regular bicycle)
- Lower the seat until the child’s feet are flat on the ground (if their heels are even slightly raised, they will have trouble balancing)
- Draw lines about 40’ long, and about 10-15' apart on the pavement
- Have the child push themselves along the ground with their feet, using the "lanes" as guides
- Once they have gotten the hang of that, challenge them to try coasting with their feet up
- When a child successfully coasts 20 feet about three to five times in a row (no wobbling), they can graduate to a pedaled bike
- Once children are on a pedaled bike, make sure that the seat is high enough that they aren’t hitting their knees with their chest, but they should be able to touch the ground quickly and easily with their feet.
- Before you start to practice pedaling, you should review how to brake (even kids with experience riding their bikes will forget how to brake in the excitement of pedaling by themselves)
- Hold the back of the seat (like you would with a traditional bike) to help the children get their balance, and walk with them while they find their balance while pedaling
- No need to let go of the seat without telling them--once you feel them pulling away from your hand, you can let them know that you are letting go, and they should also feel that they’ve got their balance and will be completely okay with you letting go
- Watch them fly!
Here's a great little video with tips on how to teach a child how to ride:
Here is a video from Bike New York about how this method works and why it is so effective: