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Five Great Recreation Locations to Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike

The key to choosing a good spot to teach your child to ride a bike is to look for a large, flat area with no traffic on fairly even land. You may have the perfect driveway or back yard but if you don’t, take a look around the Montgomery County Community Recreation Centers for the perfect setting to learn to ride a bike.

Blacktop or Court

Unlike an empty parking lot, you KNOW there won’t be any traffic on the local community center basketball court blacktop. These are always paved nicely and provide ample room to practice straightaways and turns. Winter and colder days are perfect because you won’t interrupt a pick-up game of ball. Check out the black tops at several local community recreation centers including Potomac, White Oak, and Mid County. Tip: bring a broom with you to sweep off any large debris from trees and bushes.

Grassy Field

Grassy fields that are well groomed can be the perfect place for a beginner to start out on a bike. Even big falls on grass don’t hurt or scrape nearly as much as they do on pavement!  Look for a field where grass is mowed regularly. Keep in mind that in the winter, grass does not need mowing and the ground is harder, so you may need to inspect a few fields before you find one that works well for a bike. The Germantown Community Recreation Center has a very expansive grassy field behind it. If you go in the summer you can also take advantage of the outdoor pool next door to cool off after a challenging day learning to ride! For a closer look at the center and its surrounding area, check out this video:

 Playground that has the rubberized pavement

Damascus Community Recreation Center has an outdoor playground with soft, rubbery pavement that is perfect for unsteady landings on a bike. You’ll want to come here when there are no other patrons, and take the pedals off the bike so your child can just practice balancing on the bike and using their feet to start and stop. Other rubbery places to inspect around the County are Hadley’s Park in Potomac and the Miracle Field in Germantown.

 Paved Bike Paths
After a few initial lessons, it will be time to move onto learning to steer and ride a narrower area like a bike trail. The Martin Luther King Jr. Swim Center just happens to be surrounded by a large bike trail system that is perfect for a more advanced bike-riding lesson. You can practice riding then, depending on the season, take a dip in the indoor or outdoor pool!

Now that your child is steady on a bike, be sure to learn more about Montgomery County’s Bikeways program and read up on Bike Safety before you hit the streets!