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....