At age 4 1/2 we had our first attempt at a ‘big girl´s’ bike for our daughter, and today we can finally say
At age 4 1/2 we had our first attempt at a ‘big girl´s’ bike for our daughter, and today we can finally say that she has conquered the goal in the best way possible: no falls, no trauma and no crying whatsoever.
Of course, it´s been quite some time, she is almost 6, but now we know that the goal is achievable and it is time to share what we have learned in this path.
Like most parents we know, we thought that training wheels were the obvious step for her to begin her riding experience confidently and we got her something like this:
She really liked her new bike, and at first, was eager to go riding. But the magic wore off fast and she didn’t feel as confident as we thought she would. The truth is that while training wheels seem very helpful as a concept, they are in real life more of a flimsy obstacle attached to the little bike.
Being the ‘geeky’ kind of family we are, and way before she was of age for a bike, we agreed that the now discontinued Gyrowheel would be the best way to let her discover the joys of bike riding, but when the time came we decided against it and favored a more traditional approach.
We ended up postponing the bike thing for a while to give her time to forget what a chore it seemed to be to ride a bike, and got her a scooter to practice her balance while burning some energy. It was something like this:
She really loved that thing and brought it with her anywhere, it was also a good introduction to turning and using your weight to steer.
After she mastered the scooter, we felt it was time to go back to the bike lessons but we needed a new approach. We had seen and liked the Strider balance bikes and did some research on them, we even watched de videos of the races, which were extremely cool, but we felt that she would want to move to a ‘real’ bike soon and then we would have to buy something else. So we did some research and found the 12″ Schwinn Kwickster 2-N-1 Learning Bike which has all the advantages of a balance bike for beginners, but also, has attachable pedals for when the kid is ready to take the next step. That was exactly what we wanted.
Everything went pretty naturally from then on, she would just pick up the bike whenever she wanted and practice a little. In no time she was already dominating the curves and sliding off sidewalk ramps, and the greatest thing is that she was really enjoying her bike.
Last week she announced that she was ready for the pedals, awesome! we replied. Ready she was indeed, she was able to ride off pedaling by herself in her third attempt!, so I´d say that this was a complete success after all.