Learning to Ride a Bike

Through our *almost* EIGHT years of parenting we’ve learned some things. Things like:

– It’s important to make gentle transitions when you change baby formula or your baby will projectile vomit onto the man across the aisle on an airplane.

– When buying a portable DVD player for children under the age of 20 you should always, ALWAYS buy them from Walmart with the 1-year warranty. This is because if when it breaks, you call the company they send you a gift card to buy a new DVD player (which of course only costs as much as a new warranty.)

-When something breaks, always get a quote. In other words don’t wait 3 years to fix a bathroom shower because you think it’ll be thousands of dollars only to find out it will be less than $100.

These are just a few things. The most recent learning experience is: when your children are learning to ride a bike, the size of the bike matters. Now, this may sound like common sense… but, well, we learned the hard way.

Two years ago someone gave John a bike. We were so excited because we had been planning on buying one anyway. John riding bikeThe bike was bigger then what we were planning on buying, but that’s ok. It also didn’t come with training wheels, so we started teaching John to ride a bike. One full summer of trying, a school year of forgetting, and another summer of relearning John finally learned to ride his bike. I remember his joyous, triumphant proclamation, “I’m doing it! I’m doing it! I’m really doing it!” Now riding a bike is old news for John. He’s a pro.

Lydia just turned six. For her birthday we bought her a bike. A princess bike complete with a bell and pink, sparkling streamers from the handlebars. This one had training wheels. Man! She loved her bike! She rode it everywhere (and nowhere!) Then one day she asked if we could take off her training wheels. All I could think of was our experience with John and how it took almost 2 summers. She would no longer be able to independently ride her bike. I was bummed. I put it off and told her she’d have to ask daddy. Then last Wednesday, daddy agreed to take off the training wheels. We loaded up our bikes, headed to the park and he was going to give her her first lesson in riding a bike.

Lydia ride bikeI stayed to take a picture of the beginning of the lesson. Aaron started off running and shortly after I took the picture I hear Lydia yelling, “Two hands, daddy! Use TWO hands!” (Daddy was only using one.) I smiled and took off for a lap around the park with John and his friend. This lap is approximately 0.6 miles. On a bike, even with two boys, 0.6 miles does not take that long. When we returned we found Lydia and Aaron. He yells, “Watch this!” So he started running with Lydia. I then hear Lydia scream, “No hands, daddy! PLEASE NO hands!” (Daddy was using one hand) I couldn’t believe it! In less than 10 minutes my daughter was riding a two wheel bike all by herself. And she was CONFIDENT!

This is when we realized… John’s bike was just too big for him when we had originally tried to teach him to ride. Poor kiddo. We’ve learned our lesson and hopefully anyone who reads this can learn from our mistakes!


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