Learn to ride a bike (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada / Austin, Texas / Elsewhere in North America)

PLEASE NOTE:

Until recently, we were located in Austin, TX. Currently, we are in Saskatoon, Canada while we expand our US and Canadian operations.

If you have questions about training that would work for you, please contact us.

Allan Dunlop

About the lessons

…at any age! One-on-one lessons.

Visit us on Facebook to find out about special offers, get useful tips and posts, and read good-news stories about cycling.

Dane
Brenda
Miles

“I’ve never ridden a bike.” — “It’s been years…”

You’ve come to the right place. There’s a common misconception that everyone learns to ride a bike when they’re young. It’s just not true. There are plenty of adults who, for whatever reason – growing up in a busy city, not having access to a bike, being involved in other activities instead – never learned to ride as a kid.

People from 4 years old through their 70s have started riding in just 3 hours. Now is a good time. Treat yourself by adding this fun, healthy activity to the long list of things you can do.

“I’ve tried to teach my son / daughter / other family member to ride, but it’s not working. Help!”

Have you tried teaching someone to ride, but couldn’t quite make it happen? We can take kids as young as four years old, or teens, or adults of any age – and help them receive the gift of riding a bike for the first time!

In only 3 hours*, you’ll learn to confidently start, balance, turn and stop all on your own.

In this time, many people will also learn to scan behind and signal, shift gears, and do a ‘standing start.’

* For some people, more than one lesson will be needed. The lessons are patiently taught, and you will be made to feel at ease.

“I can ride, but I’m not as steady as I’d like to be…and I’m not ready to ride on the road.”

We can help. Our enjoyable training can get you controlling your bike with ease, so that you can go on to the next level, riding on local trails or venturing onto quiet streets.

We offer bike handling skills lessons for people who currently know how to ride. Learn to control your bike with precision: effective, precise braking / tight, controlled turns / scanning behind while riding in a straight line / signaling using each arm off the bars / doing ‘standing starts’ (while off the seat) so that you can raise your seat to the appropriate height.


Tyler-Noah-and-family-circle-150Hi Allan-

Wow what a great day for the boys! They learned so much today in such a short amount of time. Thank you so much for your insight and patience. Your kind manner immediately put them at ease and gained their trust. As a parent, it was thrilling to see how quickly they progressed. Tyler told me this was one of the best days of his life!!

Thanks again for a great day!! — Mary


 

We provide a bike and helmet for riders up to 5’2″!

Woom bikes for kids

WOOM bike and helmet rental at no cost with kids’ lessons

WOOMbikes USA generously makes their full line of bicycles available at no charge for kids’ lessons booked through The Center for Cycling Education. These bikes are lightweight, and the pedals can be spun backwards (important for getting the pedal into the proper position to start). Also, they have front and rear handbrakes that are easily reached and operated by small hands. A number of other features make these bikes an excellent choice for young riders. Contact us for details.

No need to pick up and drop off a rental--we bring along the bike(s) for kids' lessons and for adults up to 5'2"!

No need to pick up and drop off a rental–we bring along the bike(s) for kids’ lessons and for adults up to 5’2″!


LTR-Will-250wFind out how Will learned to ride a bike in just 3 hours at the age of 8.

No matter what age you are, you can experience the thrill of riding for the first time. Isn’t it time for you to schedule your first ride?


 

Price, scheduling and location

The full one-on-one training takes 3 hours. The cost is $150 for one 3-hour lesson, or $90 each for two 1.5-hour lessons ($180 total). Not sure which option you’d prefer? We can schedule a 3-hour lesson for you, and if you want to take a break halfway through, we can schedule the second half of the lesson for another day.

We provide a bike and helmet for kids, and for adults up to 5’2″, saving you the time and expense of finding, picking up and dropping off a rental bike (kids’ bikes are particularly hard to find for rent).

Lessons are one-on-one, and are set according to your schedule–any day of the week, and any time of day, subject to availability. Lessons are currently taught at the Prairieland Park complex in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Contact us today to learn more, or to schedule your mastery of two wheels!


Visit us on Facebook to find out about special offers, get useful tips and posts, and read good-news stories about cycling.

“I wanted to learn to how to ride a bicycle when I was young, but it just never happened.” • “I never really learned how to ride a bike.” • “I treated myself to bicycle lessons for my birthday. What a thrill!” • “After all this time wanting to become a cyclist, it’s finally happened.” • “Trying to teach my son to ride a bike just wasn’t working. I’m glad we did this.” • “These bike lessons have brought a whole new range of possibilities to my social life.”


Cycling instructor in New York City:
Looking for someone in Manhattan to teach you to ride, or to help you get started riding city streets? We highly recommend Lance Jacobs of Virtuous Bicycle.


What can I expect?

“I’d like to sign up for a lesson, but I don’t know what it will be like.”

Many people recommend teaching others to learn to ride by taking the pedals off their bike, and letting them roll down a grassy hill.

Picture yourself in that person’s place. Rolling on a strange and complex object, down a hill, and not knowing how to stop it. Close your eyes for a moment. That’s kinda scary, isn’t it?

Will LTR1Instead, picture someone showing you how to walk your bike around without tripping over it or hitting the pedal with your shin. Showing you how the brakes work, and how to use them to slow and stop the bike as you walk alongside it. When you get ready to start riding, should your bike be straight upright or leaned to the side? You’ll learn the answer, and be shown the reason behind it.

Will LTR2Imagine a very patient and easygoing instructor laying out a few simple steps for getting on the bike in a controlled manner (so that it won’t roll away on you or require you to readjust a number of times before riding off). Now, this person will guide you through the basic steps for starting the bike. You’ll just push down on the pedal with your right foot. You don’t even have to find the left pedal with your other foot yet.

Will LTR3Best of all? This person has a hand on the handlebar stem the whole time to make sure you don’t tip over. The whole time. Imagine yourself rolling along, and getting a feel for how to guide it. Starting to tip? The instructor has you, and will show you two simple techniques to keep it from falling over. In a few minutes you’ll understand how to keep the bike comfortably underneath you, and how to slow it down or stop it with a light squeeze on the brake levers using just two fingers of each hand.

Next you’ll learn how to pedal properly, by pushing down with your right foot, pushing off with your left foot, and easily bringing that foot up to the pedal. All this time, the instructor is alongside you, with a hand gently resting on the handlebars, ready to guide you or hold you up, and calmly reminding you of the simple elements that will help you control the bike.

Will LTR4The most important parts of the bike are the brakes, and you’ll be patiently coached on how to use them effectively and easily. Before you get to ride on your own, the instructor will walk alongside you for as long as it takes—usually about 1 to 1.5 miles, and sometimes longer (you will not feel like you’ve covered this distance—you’ll be too engaged in the process). Once you’re comfortable with keeping the bike underneath you, making turns, and stopping consistently, you’ll be asked if you’re ready to ride on your own. You make the decision. At that point, the instructor will have a hand on the handlebar to (mentally) help you get started—by this point, you will be controlling the bike fully on your own. You say when the hand is to be taken away. On your direction, the instructor will raise the hand off the bike and walk right next to you, ready to help if needed. You’ll be guided throughout this, reminded of any of the simple steps you need to take to keep the bike doing what you want it to do.

The next step is for you to start the bike on your own, without a hand on the handlebar. Here’s the secret: you’ve already been doing this many times in a row, and that’s why you’ve been given the chance to ride solo. Take a deep breath. Go through the simple steps you’ve been shown, and trust in yourself — the instructor does. Get excited when you push off for the very first time under your own power, looking ahead, guiding the bike, and knowing that you can turn it, speed up, slow down, and stop, all by yourself. You’re now riding a bike!

The end result:

(Read about Will’s experience here, written by his Mom, Nicole: http://thecce.org/cycling-course-teaches-how-to-ride-a-bike/)

Read more testimonials here.

What will I need?

What will I need for the lesson?

We provide a bike and helmet for riders up to 5’2″, saving you the time and expense of finding, picking up and dropping off a rental bike (kids’ bikes are particularly hard to find for rent).. Just let us know the rider’s height so that we can bring the proper size of bike.

For riders over 5’2″, you will need to rent or borrow a bike. We strongly recommend a rental rather than going out and buying a bike in advance. A comfort or hybrid bike works best—one with a more upright riding position in which the handlebars are above the height of the saddle. Here are some examples:

Electra Townie (Men's)

Comfort bike — Electra Townie (Men’s)

Electra Townie (Women's)

Comfort bike — Electra Townie (Women’s)

Hybrid bike

Hybrid bike

Woom bikes for kids

WOOM bike rental for kids at no cost with lesson!

It’s important that the minimum seat height be low enough that you can sit on the seat with both feet more or less flat on the ground, and that the bike has hand brakes (brake levers on each side of the handlebar, and not a coaster brake where you push back on the pedals to stop). Comfort bikes like the Townie are excellent for this. Neither might be the kind of bike you’ll end up buying, but these styles work well for learning.

You can find a map showing all the Austin-area bike shops here.

If you don’t already have a helmet, be sure to pick one up when you rent your bike.

For kids’ bikes, we highly recommend the WOOM brand (see the bottom photo at left). They’re lightweight, and the pedals can be spun backwards (important for getting the pedal into the proper position to start). Also, they have front and rear handbrakes that are easily reached and operated by small hands. A number of other features make these bikes an excellent choice for young riders. WOOM bikes and helmets are available for kids’ lessons through The CCE at no cost, courtesy of WOOMbikes USA. Contact us for details.

“How do I choose the right bike for my child?”

Using the Woom bike(s), we can discuss and demonstrate the elements surrounding the appropriate type(s) of bike and the sizing.

Sizing guide for kids’ bikes:
IceBike.org has an excellent, comprehensive guide on choosing the best size of bike for your child. I recommend reading this when you have a chance, and we can discuss the particulars before or after your young one’s bicycle lesson.

http://www.icebike.org/the-definitive-guide-to-kids-bike-sizes-dont-buy-the-wrong-bike/

Be sure to bring whatever water/drinks/snacks you for your young one will need to keep hydrated and keep the energy up.

Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might have, no matter how small.

I know you’re going to have fun with this. Looking forward to getting you up on two wheels!

Allan Dunlop

Learn to ride a bicycle in Austin, Texas and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan / Learn how to ride a bike / Teach my child to ride a bike / Teach my son to ride a bike / Teach my daughter to ride a bike / Teach my husband to ride a bike / Teach my wife to ride a bike / Teach me to ride a bicycle / How to balance on a bike / It’s like riding a bike…

Testimonials

“I feel like a new person!” (D)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUWlJnl4mlQ
“Oh my God–this feeling is amazing!”

‘D’* moved to the United States in 2006. Growing up in Peru, she wasn’t allowed to ride a bike. While watching the movie ‘Wadjda’ (about a young girl in Saudi Arabia whose story closely matched hers), she decided it was time, and called soon after getting out of the theater. This is the result of her first lesson.

Every time this happens, the hair on the back of my neck stands up and I want to jump up and down and just laugh at the thrill of being a witness to such a moment.

* Her name is withheld by request, but she’s happy to have the video posted.

“Thank you so much for a fantastic and truly enjoyable experience.” (Ashleigh)

Ashleigh, Johnnie and Brynne circle 150wHi Allan,

Thank you so much for a fantastic and truly enjoyable experience. I really appreciate your approach to learning how to ride a bike, it makes so much sense and I wonder how any of us learned any other way. You were very attentive and they both responded well to you and your methodology. I appreciate how you tailored your lesson to each individual child, being mindful of my younger one’s attention challenges and my older one’s desire to “cut to the chase”. I was shocked that you had her riding within 40 minutes…! Trust me, she is bragging about it but I am keeping her in check since it took her brother longer to get his groove on….your patience is truly abundant!

The whole process was tremendous for us, it really boosted their overall confidence in being able to conquer new challenges…in fact, they won’t stop talking about it and they both want to rent bikes right away so we are heading to the location you recommended. When we are ready, I will gladly seek your advice on which bikes will best suit them and will sign on to your site to get the low down on safe and responsible riding on the road.

You are doing a great thing giving people this wonderful gift. My family cannot wait to ride together and share that experience and you made it so easy for us. We are truly grateful and I am so happy we chose you to help make it happen for us.

Thanks again,
ashleigh

“Tyler told me this was one of the best days of his life!!” (Mary)

Tyler-Noah-and-family-circle-150Hi Allan-

Wow what a great day for the boys! They learned so much today in such a short amount of time. Thank you so much for your insight and patience. Your kind manner immediately put them at ease and gained their trust. As a parent, it was thrilling to see how quickly they progressed. Tyler told me this was one of the best days of his life!!

They are SO excited and would like to work with you again. We would love to do another Sunday soon, when you are available. So please let me know what works best for you.

Thanks again for a great day!! — Mary

“From start to finish I learned what I was doing wrong and what to do right.” (Candace)

Candace riding a bike for the first time at 37 years of ageI never thought in my 37 years that I would ever learn how to ride. I do not know how Allan does it but I was riding in 2 1/2 hours!!! I could not believe it! It was AMAZIIIIIINNNNGGG!!! From start to finish I learned what I was doing wrong and what to do right. When you really think about it at the end of the course, it is sooo easy and simple. Thanks Allan, you are THE BEST!

— Candace

First solo ride (Miles)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFdWm7w64lE
This is Miles’ first solo ride, in front of his mom and younger brother. Mom is rather excited, and Miles is having a fine time.

“You are wonderful with kids!” (Cathy)

Jacob and Gabriel laughing it up during a break during their cycling lessonsHi Allan,

Jacob was so excited after your lesson. I was so amazed with his confidence boost after just one session with you–you are wonderful with kids! He was very proud of his ABC quick check & showed it to my husband. Thank you again!

— Cathy

“Wooooo!” (Erin)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnoXq-NmwG8

I grew up in a very rural area without much incentive or opportunity to ride a bike. There were no friends and not many neighbors for miles around me. What that meant is that I never really learned how to ride a bike. Over the years it has led to embarrassment that I don’t feel comfortable on a bike.

I finally realized that it was really quite silly. As a capable adult I have learned to do plenty of things and I figured it was about time to get on a bike. After a google search I was happy to find the adult learn to ride lessons from the CCE.
Erin turning in a tight circle on her bike.
I spent 3 hours with Allan on a Saturday morning and after that time my confidence, my skills, and my strategies were much improved. I will still need a lot of practice, but it has given me much more confidence to try. I would recommend it to any adult who wants to learn to ride.

Thanks Allan!
— Erin A.

“Now I can ride with my family!” (Patrick)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpVJjvtQ6Qo
Patrick is a fine father, husband, marathon runner, and a successful professional. Like many people, he had never learned to ride a bike, so he got in touch with us.

Within three hours, here’s what he’d added to the list of enjoyments in his life:

“It almost seemed miraculous.” (Emily)

Emily's learn-to-ride lesson.
I had so much fun today! Thanks so much for teaching me how to ride a bike once again; I’m so excited to re-enter this part of my life!

I had learned to ride a bike when I was a child, but never rode very much because I was given a bike that didn’t really fit me. When I was older I was given a bicycle and could ride it, but never really learned how to control the bike well. Several years ago I got a road bike (with some friends who raced bikes trying to teach me), but I injured myself badly and became afraid to ride after that. After several years of looking at it, I wondered if I was just not meant to ride a bike at all. Anyway, I decided that maybe taking a lesson to learn to ride properly could help me get over my fear. Allan was wonderful! He was very kind and patient, and he loves teaching bicycle riding! I felt very, very safe in his care. He actually had me up and riding within just a few minutes. And I learned how to turn well, brake properly (I’d never learned that before), shift properly (ditto), signal in traffic, and inch forward. By the end of the session, we’d ridden through the neighborhood together, and I didn’t fall or hit anything! I cannot believe that after so many years of being afraid to get on a bicycle, that I now feel confident to practice on my own. It almost seemed miraculous. Allan is a really great teacher, and it was a wonderful experience. Good luck!
— Emily H.

It went incredibly well! After the lesson, I circled the parking lot a few more times, and finally believed I could ride a bicycle. It’s a lot of fun and I hope to find some time this weekend to try my own bike. Thank you for your patient instruction.
— Bart

Hi, Allan. The riding is going GREAT! I bought a bike a few weeks after our lesson and I go riding several times a week. I’ve gotten comfortable riding in bike lanes in traffic (it took a while) and being able to go on evening bike rides in the spring has brought me much happiness.

I am SO SO thankful for your time and the patience in the lesson. It’s been invaluable. Last week I was on a beach vacation and we rented bikes and rode to the beach daily and being able to do that made the trip so much better.

All in all, learning to ride has been one of the best decisions I made and I couldn’t have done it without you. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

Regards,
— Tiffany

Hi Allan,

It was lovely to meet you and thank you so much for being flexible about the lesson. Samuel had a great time and commented repeatedly about both your patience and your detailed approach.

Best,
— Sherri

I was able to show Gabe my new moves on two wheels, he was blown away! I had such a great time yesterday, you are an excellent instructor, I honestly can’t thank you enough!
— Linda

We had tried everything to teach our 6 year old how to ride without training wheels. Running behind the bike holding into it was exhausting and he never built up the confidence to keep riding when we’d let go. Allan’s calm, comforting and knowledgable demeanor won my son over instantly. In just two sessions, Allan had my son expertly riding a two-wheeler and weaving through an obstacle course! [using tennis balls cut in half] We were able to take the nicking family vacation we had always dreamed of, thanks for Allan’s help!
Best,
— Zoe, Gabe and big brother Max

What an amazing bike and company! Our 8 year old son, Jacob was having a hard time learning to ride a bike (being born premature at 1lb-14 oz, he has had some motor skills development issues). This bike has boosted his confidence along with a lesson from Austin based Allan Dunlop at the Center for Cycling Education. Jacob can now ride a bike–in just one lesson on a WOOM bike! Thank you Allan & Mathias!!
— Cathy

When I was a kid my family and I used to go to my dad’s ranch and take our bikes with us, but for some reason I was really scared to ride my bike without the training wheels.
After 20 something years, I decided to try it again. My husband gave me a bike lesson as a Valentine’s present, and I have to say that it has been one of the greatest presents ever!

Allan is a very professional teacher, very patient and very intuitive. As soon as I met him I felt relaxed and safe. He taught me to trust in myself and take a leap of faith, and so I did!
Thanks Allan, I still need to practice but I have the confidence now that I can ride my bike without training wheels:)
— Melissa

I had learned to ride a bike when I was a child, but never rode very much because I was given a bike that didn’t really fit me. When I was older I was given a bicycle and could ride it, but never really learned how to control the bike well. Several years ago I got a road bike (with some friends who raced bikes trying to teach me), but I injured myself badly and became afraid to ride after that. After several years of looking at it, I wondered if I was just not meant to ride a bike at all. Anyway, I decided that maybe taking a lesson to learn to ride properly could help me get over my fear. Allan was wonderful! He was very kind and patient, and he loves teaching bicycle riding! I felt very, very safe in his care. He actually had me up and riding within just a few minutes. And I learned how to turn well, brake properly (I’d never learned that before), shift properly (ditto), signal in traffic, and inch forward. By the end of the session, we’d ridden through the neighborhood together, and I didn’t fall or hit anything! I cannot believe that after so many years of being afraid to get on a bicycle, that I now feel confident to practice on my own. It almost seemed miraculous. Allan is a really great teacher, and it was a wonderful experience. Good luck!
— Emily

Kids' bikes

What to look for

TwoWheelingTots.com has an excellent article entitled ‘What to Look For When Purchasing a Child’s Pedal Bike.’

It is an important overview of the factors involved in choosing a bike:
http://www.twowheelingtots.com/what-to-look-for-when-purchasing-a-childs-pedal-bike/

Here is their landing page for kids’ pedal bikes, with links to the article above, as well as bike reviews, comparison charts and a caution against buying a 12″ bike for your young child:
http://www.twowheelingtots.com/pedal-bikes-landing-page/

How do I choose the right bike for my child?

During the lesson, we can discuss and demonstrate the elements surrounding the appropriate type(s) of bike and the sizing.

Sizing guide for kids’ bikes:
IceBike.org has an excellent, comprehensive guide on choosing the best size of bike for your child. I recommend reading this when you have a chance, and we can discuss the particulars before or after your young one’s bicycle lesson.

http://www.icebike.org/the-definitive-guide-to-kids-bike-sizes-dont-buy-the-wrong-bike/

Some possible options

For our kids’ lessons, we use and recommend the full range of Woom bikes: www.us.woombikes.com/collections/bikes. These are well-made bikes of high quality.

If these aren’t in your budget, there are other options. Here you’ll find a listing we’ve put together of some readily-available 20″ and 24″ kids bikes in order of increasing price.

Generally, the more you pay, the better the quality of the frame and components (brakes, derailleurs, shifters, etc.), and the lighter and stronger the bike will be. We are not endorsing the bikes listed below, but are providing them as possible options in varying price ranges.

Important note: It cannot be stressed enough that we recommend, if at all possible, buying your child’s bicycle from a dedicated bike shop, and not a department or big-box store. Although the less-expensive bikes might look similar to what your local bike shop will offer, they will of poor (or very poor) quality, sometimes dangerously so. As well, they will weigh much more. Importantly, they are usually assembled by people who know little about bike mechanics. A bike shop is the best bet.

(We will be adding to this list as time goes on, for the full range of sizes for boys’ and girls’ bikes.)

20″ Boy’s bikes:

Giant XTC JR 20 Lite (Boy’s — 20″): $235
www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/xtc.jr.20.lite/22257/84099/

Diamondback Octane (Boy’s — 20″): $270
www.rei.com/product/876898/diamondback-octane-20-boys-bike-2015

GT Aggressor 20 (Boy’s — 20″): $310
www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1147106_-1___

Cannondale Trail 20 (Boy’s — 20″): $370 – $390
www.trekbicyclesuperstore.com/product/cannondale-trail-20-boys-178963-1.htm

Specialized Hotrock 20 (Boy’s — 20″): $360
www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/kids/hotrock-boys/hotrock-20-6speed-boys

Specialized Hotrock 20 Street (Boy’s — 20″): $360
www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/kids/hotrock-boys/hotrock-20-street-boys

24″ Boy’s bikes:

Giant XTC JR 24 Lite (Boy’s — 24″): $255
www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/xtc.jr.24.lite/22257/84098/

Novara Tractor (Boy’s — 24″): $300
www.rei.com/product/848169/novara-tractor-24-bike-2015

Trek Mt. Track 200 (Boys — 24″): $310
www.trekbicyclesuperstore.com/product/trek-mt.-track-220-boys-194356-1.htm

Giant Escape Jr 24 (Boy’s — 24″): $330
www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/escape.jr.24/22244/84080/

GT Aggressor (Boy’s — 24″): $360
www.gtbicycles.com/usa_en/2016/bikes/kids/boys/aggressor-24

Trek Mt. Track 220 (Boys — 24″): $380
www.trekbicyclesuperstore.com/product/trek-mt.-track-220-boys-194356-1.htm

Cannondale Trail 24 (Boy’s — 24″): $410 – $440
www.trekbicyclesuperstore.com/product/cannondale-trail-24-boys-178960-1.htm

Specialized Hotrock 24 XC (Boy’s — 24″): $470
www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/kids/hotrock-boys/hotrock-24-xc-boys