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Where to Ride a Bike for Beginners

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by Emma Jane Warren (subscribe)
Freelance writer, born and bred in South Australia.
Published November 6th 2016
Teaching your child to ride a bike - it's something that all parents have to do at one stage. Learning to pedal and steer the wheels is a mandatory part of any kid's childhood.

At a glance, it appears as though all the hardship is laid on the child. They are, after all, the ones who actually need to do the learning and put knowledge into practice.

But, let's not forget Mum and Dad in the equation. They are the people giving up their time and energy. They're also putting their emotions on the line as they watch their kids fall over again and again and again.

As a parent, one of the trickiest decisions is figuring out where to teach your kid. Here are some ideas to help you out.

bike riding adelaide beginner child learn to teach taught trainer wheels mountain recreation park
Image: LukaszKatlewa - CC BY-SA 4.0,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49248622


1) An oval or reserve.
For their absolute first time riding a bike, (or first time without trainer wheels), you are going to want to make sure that they have a soft surface to fall on. Yes, they will definitely fall at least once! Try your local oval or reserve.

In the South, some good spots include:
Colley Reserve, Colley Terrace, Glenelg.
Warriparinga, Sturt Road, Bedford Park.
Mitcham Reserve, Norman Walk, Mitcham.
Moana Beach Recreation Reserve, Esplanade, Moana.

In the East:
- Broadview Oval, Myponga Terrace, Broadview.
- Thorndon Park Reserve, Hamilton Terrace, Paradise.
- Ridge Park Reserve, Glen Osmond Road, Myrtle Bank.
- Levi Park, Vale Street, Vale Park.

In the West:
- Largs North Reserve, Victoria Road, Largs North.
- Collins Reserve, Valetta Road, Kidman Park.
- West Lakes Aquatic Reserve, Hero Way, West Lakes

In the North:
- Pitman Pioneer Park, Commercial Road, Salisbury.
- Linbolm Park, McCarthy Court, Pooraka.
- Civic Park, North East Road, Modbury.

2) Flat paths

Once your child is getting a bit more confident, the next step is to let them ride on a hard surface. It might still be in your best interest to make sure the path is reasonably flat, so they won't be struggling on an uphill or losing control on a downhill.

A great, flat path near Adelaide is the Henley to Grange esplanade path. The only problem is that at some points, the path goes directly next to the road. So, you'll have to keep a close eye at all times and make sure the little ones don't accidentally steer into an oncoming car. This path can also get quite busy on weekends and becomes difficult to dodge walkers.

Another popular track for families is the River Torrens Linear Trail. Although this is generally flat, it does have some small steep hills along the way. It's better to ride from the city to the beach, rather than the opposite direction, as it is slightly more uphill when riding towards the CBD.

The Little Para Linear Trail is a very wide path, perfect for learners. It is located in the North-Eastern suburb of Salisbury. Just like the River Torrens Trail, the path is well maintained and gravel for the entire length.

3) Recreation parks

As children get older, they will want something a bit more challenging. The best bike park in Adelaide is currently at Cobbler Creek. It has recently been renovated to have a number of innovative bike trails - suitable for all ages and abilities.

Other parks that allow for bike riders include:
- Belair National Park
- Brownhill National Park
- Cleland Conservation Park
- O'Halloran Hill Conservation Park
- Onkaparinga River Recreation Park
- Shepherds Hill Recreation Park
- Sturt Gorge Recreation Park

For these destinations, your child might benefit from a mountain bike as opposed to an average cycling bike. You'll also have to check and ensure the specific trail you plan on using permits riders - not just hikers.

mountain bike cobbler creek south australia adelaide bike cycling kids park recreation pump track jump 1 2 3 beginners hiking bmx trail
Trails at Cobbler Creek Recreation Park. Image: Emma Jane Warren


But, wherever you go....
Don't forget safety. Always have a helmet on yourself and your kid (set a good example!). Always ride at 'walking speed' when passing walkers. Always ride on the left hand side of the path.

And always have fun.
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Willunga has a fabulous skate park behind the oval that is really good for littlies. You see toddlers having a ball on scooters, balance bikes and skate boards. There's grass and shade too. Nearby is a BMX track for the 7 - adult ages to enjoy a really good challenge. My two year old grandson is fascinated just running up and down the small slopes too. I see other little tots really enjoying the smaller slopes. It has a real sense of excitement. The skate park is close to a BBQ area on Aldinga road which has a playground with swings and slippy dips etc. Grandma sits in the rose garden maze and watches the action. A wonderful walking and bike trail runs from the back of the park all the way to McLaren Vale. It takes 1/12 hours to walk all the way.
If you're starving Willunga has a great bakery as well as other lovely places for wholesome food and coffee. I live near the park and it is a really joyful place. Come and try and check out the Christmas tree festival too. Gill
by gddoy (score: 0|2) 363 days ago
Willunga has a fabulous skate park behind the oval that is really good for littlies. You see toddlers having a ball on scooters, balance bikes and skate boards. There's grass and shade too. Nearby is a BMX track for the 7 - adult ages to enjoy a really good challenge. My two year old grandson is fascinated just running up and down the small slopes too. I see other little tots really enjoying the smaller slopes. It has a real sense of excitement. The skate park is close to a BBQ area on Aldinga road which has a playground with swings and slippy dips etc. Grandma sits in the rose garden maze and watches the action. A wonderful walking and bike trail runs from the back of the park all the way to McLaren Vale. It takes 1/12 hours to walk all the way.
If you're starving Willunga has a great bakery as well as other lovely places for wholesome food and coffee. I live near the park and it is a really joyful place. Come and try and check out the Christmas tree festival too. Gill
by gddoy (score: 0|2) 363 days ago

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