Saturday, February 6, 2010

Up on Two Wheels - Success !!

After many on/off attempts at learning to ride, six year old daughter Amy is up on two wheels - unassisted. We dragged the very pink little Specialized out today, after she asked to try once again. Me running along side, holding her up, she was starting to get it. I could let go for a few seconds at a time, until she veered off into the bushes or started to fall.

She asked me to "pull the pedals off", like we did a few weeks ago - where I removed the pedals, crank and chain to create a coaster bike. Instead, I just removed the pedals, leaving everything in place. Quick and easy.

After a few coasting feet up runs on her own, the balance was there. Reinstalled the pedals and we gave it another go. Finally, she started pedaling on her own. Awesome to see. Watching and helping with this process is pretty amazing. As soon as they "get it", its there for life - you can't forget how to ride a bike. It becomes ingrained into your brain forever.

She can now ride up and down our street, but is still working on turning around to continue each lap. I bet she gets that down tomorrow. Just one fall during today's festivities. I'll break out the knee and elbow pads for the next event.

It's very cool to see your kids ride a bike on their own for the first time. In a way, it symbolizes what's coming down the road a few years from now, when they leave to live on their own. You teach them, run along side a bit, cover any wobbles - then watch 'em cruise off into the sunset.

Now that she's finally riding on her own, the very pink little Specialized is approaching the end of use for us - being a bit too small. I'll let her ride it for a few weeks to get more comfortable, then start Project Schwinn - a '70s Sting Ray bike my wife rode as a child - and has been sitting in a box for decades now. I'll remove it from it's cardboard cocoon and see what kind of shape it's in.

Pictures and posts to follow....


  1. Congratulations! Very exciting to know there is another cyclist in the world. And kudos to you for being such a great a dad and letting her come to it on her own. Can't wait to see pics of the Stingray!

  2. Way to go Dad. My kids went from bike trailer rides, to a third wheel pull behind, to bicycles, and then they got their driver's liscense and their bikes are abandoned. :-)

  3. Thanks - fun stuff. I don't think she'll become the bike nut my son has turned out to be. But who knows, maybe that will change. It'll be cool just to share some casual rides as she gets a little bigger. Having a girl racer in the family would be awesome though. I'd get a big kick out of that.

    My son's bike time has been crowded a bit by mainstream sports involvement lately (basketball and soon baseball) - much to the amusement of weirdo non-mainstream sports dad (that be me). Though I support him in those activities as well. Kids need time to experience different things and see what they like.

    When I asked him what happens if a baseball game conflicts with a mountain bike race, he said he would have to skip the game - so there's hope...

    Even if he doesn't race much, we'll still get our fun rides in - and that's more important. It will be super cool when they both join me for a ride. That may not be far off.