Whether this is the first bike ride or the first ride on a new bike, you really need to make the experience a great one. Confidence is king for kids and this applies to riding a bike, just like any other new activity or learning they experience. If they experience confidence on their first time out, that confidence will be sparked the next time and over and over again when they get back on the bike.
Make riding a bike fun!
Take the extra effort to go to a fun place that your child and you will really love and remember. A small flat park near a playground, or even near a cafe or shop with ice creams is ideal. Yes, I am saying a little bribing for you and them won't hurt! Seeing a proud new bike rider with their bike parked out the front of the shop, after enjoying bike riding and having some genuine family time is not only worth the effort, it's a memory forever.
A locked in good memory will be the first recollection when you next say to them, "lets go for a ride".
For me, I take the kids along with me while I run, and always keep some money close by just in case we go past the lolly shop on the way home.
Treat the first ride like a first date - be honest, tread carefully and slowly, and don't expect too much commitment right away!
Warren Key, Melbourne bike retailer and designer of ByK Bikes for Kids