A bike is not just a bike; for both you and your kid, it is freedom. It is adventure and exploration and independence. And for most Americans, it was wheels before wheels involved gas and insurance and a summer job. For your child, his or her bike is also a way to spend time with you, making it even more important to get your kid safe, balanced, and moving alongside. While many companies make bikes for toddlers, the balance bike concept in the U.S. came from a father who wanted to share his love of two wheels with his son. Strider has been making toddler-friendly bikes for more than 12 years, but it’s no longer the only game in town. Beyond balance bikes, some parents may prefer the tricycle for added stability, while still others may choose the pedal bike with a good pair of training wheels.  In terms of safety, we consulted expert Dr. Benjamin D. Hoffman, the chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention. His advice is common-sense and simple: “Look at the manufacturers’ recommendations for who can use it and how it’s supposed to be used. Supervise your kid while he or she is using it.” And wear a helmet. Seattle Children’s Ho...