Coach them on proper technique and critique their performance so they know where they stand.
Insist on proper saddle height even if they’re afraid of not being able to put their feet flat on the ground. Tell them the truth—that pedaling with a too-low saddle will lead to chondromalacia. That will motivate them with worry on top of their fear.
Teach them the wonders of drafting, and be sure to overemphasize the difference it makes at family riding speeds. Make them ride scarily close to your rear wheel. And teach them about rotating pace lines.
Buy them upscale bikes, and remind them how expensive they are. The guilt they’ll feel for not appreciating them is a fantastic motivator.
Make sure they know that expensive bikes make hard hills easy, so when they’re struggling, they’ll think it’s them, and work harder to improve.
Force them to wear lycra shorts and jerseys. This will reinforce how easy and natural it is to just hop on a bike and ride somewhere.
Get them clipless pedals and matching shoes so they have that “locked in” feeling. Emphasize how much easier it is to ride this way, “once they get used to it.”
Point out stellar examples. If you ride in a club with fast women, tell your wife that if she puts some effort into it, she can be like them. If your child is chubby, admire his or her fitter friends.
Give your teenage daughter who doesn’t ride a bike a bracelet or necklace made of a bicycle chain. That will put her in the riding mood for sure.
Race vicariously through your children. Believe you’re doing them a favor by turning play into a lifetime obsession with cardiovascular fitness.