Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's as Easy as Falling Off a Bike!

It's that time of the week again! Time to link up with Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday! This week, we have to write about something regarding the letter "B." For me, B is for bicycle!

We had quite the excitement over this past weekend! My husband and I finally bit the bullet and bought our daughter a two-wheel bicycle (wow, I had a lot of b-words in that sentence, and I wasn't even trying to do that! LOL). It's a little embarrassing that we're just now getting around to teaching our daughter to ride a two-wheeler! She turned 7 in January, so this is something that we should have done, well, a couple of years ago!

Why the long delay? For one thing, no offense to my daughter, but she's not the most athletic person in the world. Plus, I tend to be very over-protective. The thought of her on a bike just makes me really nervous! I really had to fight the urge to wrap her up in bubble-wrap before she climbed up onto the bike!

The other reason is that we live in a house on top of a hill. There are no sidewalks where we live. The streets are narrow, with steep hills. The street is also filled with potholes that haven't been fixed in years. The street really needs to be totally repaved. It's not conducive to learning to ride a bike.

After my husband bought the bike, the first challenge we had was to figure out how to get it into my trunk. We figure out that if my trunk is completely empty, and we unscrew the handlebars to move them down, we can fit the bike in! So, we were able to take the bike to a park where my daughter can learn to ride.

Our vision of taking off the training wheels on the first day didn't happen. My daughter managed to fall a lot with them on! In fact, she initially just had her helmet on for protection. Over the course of the next hour, we put riding gloves on her, then added knee pads. They really came in handy--especially since I couldn't find any bubble wrap!

Even with her falling, she got the hang of steering and pedaling. By Sunday, she was riding pretty fast around the park. My husband had to jog pretty fast to keep up with her. I didn't even try. I figured I was saddled down with carrying her water, jacket, and my purse (which must weight about 20 pounds), so I didn't even try to keep up.

Watching her ride like that made me realize how much she's growing up and separating from us. It's her first step toward some degree of independence. There are times that I wondered if she would be capable of driving when she's older because she can be so spacey at times. I now have more confidence that she'll be able to handle driving. But it's so weird to imagine her driving while I'm watching her ride her bike (with training wheels!). Nevertheless, watching her whiz around the park made me realize my little girl is growing up.

I have to find some tissues now!


  1. Yeah, it reminds me of that commercial where the dad is handing the car keys over to a little girl and he's going thru all the instructions and then they pan back to the girl and she's really 16. Daddy see's her as eternally 6, his little girl. Sigh, I wish they could stay young forever somedays (and other's not so much!).

  2. Hi Cheryl,

    We are also late in getting our kids riding ... a combo of their lack of coordination and motivation Re: two wheelers and our general lack of available daylight hours/warm weather.

    I wanted to let you know that there is a great tool for teaching bike balance that was developed by a PT. We had our kids in a bike riding class at one point ... can't remember what it's called ... maybe spinning wheels? The class was through the center where my son did OT for his handwriting and they used this jacket. It's a one-size-fits-all with a handle on the back for an adult to hold while running along side of the rider. I can't remember the name of the product now (I will go and find ours if you are interested -- they can be purchased online). According to the PT ... it's better to teach balance by supporting ~their torso~ rather than supporting the ~bike~, as with other learning-to-ride tools (such as handles that attach to the back of the bike). You steady them if they need it instead of controlling the bike for them.

    I imagine it would also work for learning to skate (haven't had a chance to work on that recently, either).

  3. My lads learned to ride quite early, but we had the same problem of no-where safe to ride. Eventually, they get old enough to cope with taking themselves further away from home and it helped that their school did cycling safety courses.

    Isn't it great when your kids accomplish something new. You must be so proud :)

  4. We always had a wonderful place to bike! I loved my bike, and was heartbroken to find that when we moved a couple of miles away, my mother had given our bikes away! I was crushed! When the kids were little, I had another bike, and rode it several days a week, just for a break from motherhood.

  5. I will have to look fir bubble wrap for JDaniel when it is time. I am so glad she has taken to biking.

  6. My kids are 10 and 13 and neither ride a bike. I figure, if the Big Man in the sky wanted us to pedal, he wouldn't have created car keys.

  7. My kids range from 35 to 41, but I still remember running alongside the bike and holding the back seat while they pedaled and tried to balance. It's strange, but once you learn to balance and ride a bike you never forget. I don't blame you about worrying about the street. I'd worry too. We moved a lot and I always wanted a house on a dead end or culdesac for that very reason. My sister's house was on the top of a hill and her kids were never allowed to ride their bikes down the driveway...they had to push them down. She was afraid they wouldn't be able to stop.

  8. Audrey still has the training wheels on. I wanted to do a clinic with her using the apparatus that PaleMother describes, but you had to be 8. I'm almost relieved to have the year reprieve!

  9. great post! I remember falling from a bike once after 3 years of learning. my father has never ever wanted us girls to bike because as he told us, it's dangerous and very unlady like. oh and of course i didn't believe on that 'lady like' part so i tried to learn my balance by leaning the bike on the wll and pedaling backward.after like two weeks of practicing, i tried to pull the bike away from the wall and voila! i did it, i was so happy then.. i learned a lot of things on that, practice makes perfect, you will learn from every mistakes, and try to get up when you fall :) you have a great day!

  10. Mine still has training wheels too, and judging from his wrecklessness and lack of balance, he will have them for some time to come. Sounds like you all had a great family moment. They grow up fast, huh?

  11. My Aspie is 10 and has a really hard time with this and has not learned to ride a bike.

  12. Our oldest Grand didn't start riding a bike until she was 7 either. There is no safe place to ride where they the bikes all stay here in our cul-de-sac and wide sidewalk neighborhood.

    Riding a bike is one of those aware moments for most Mom's I think. It is that independence that makes us gulp and wonder where the time has gone.

    Thanks for sharing this. I have gone through these moments twice...both with my kids and now my Grands!

    And struggled each time getting a bike into the trunk!

    Thank you. I loved this.


  13. Better safe than sorry! It's hard sometimes to watch them grow up and not need you so much anymore..You think this is bad, wait until the first time she drives out of the driveway in a car by herself...

  14. Pass those tissues my way...Please.

    My oldest didn't ride sans training wheels till she was almost 9.

    My youngest did it at 4

    They all do it at there own pace!

  15. Helmets are mandatory - because seriously - even with training wheels they fall off all the time. Not sure exactly how, but they do. Z fell off so hard he cracked his helmet. Better the helmet then his head I always say. Anyways, no, the training wheels are not coming off anytime soon and yeah - he'll be driving soon. pass the tissues!