Miracle: The Littlest Cyclist

Since we’re fresh out of friends lately, we have to do something to pass the time other than munch through our entire peanut butter cracker stash, right?

I’m charging ahead with Rosetta Stone German and will have an update on that for you next week.  Screech is now starting to use the BIG potty (with a little seat) and is almost accident-free.  He’s also waking up dry from naps which just blows my socks off.  Not that I wear socks in summer, but if I did, they’d be a-flyin’.

And, T-Rex, well, he’s also decided to man up and learn something huge.  He’s riding a pedal bike!

I’m not really sure what age most kids start riding a bike.  I’m almost certain I was at least 6; Doc Sci thinks he was 7 or 8.  But that’s because we’re Americans and our parents used those pesky things called training wheels.

When T-Rex was two, I tried to teach him to ride a tricycle.  It was despicable, awful, a fate comparable to the plague.  How the junk do you teach a two year-old to turn, much less pedal?  If you’re thinking your hair’s a bit thick and could use some pulling out, borrow a two year-old and a tricycle and have at it.

I’m now a big believer in two European toys: the Bobby car and the balance bike.  Both of my boys learned to steer on Bobby cars, and the Puky laufrad(walking, no-pedal bike) definitely taught T-Rex to balance.

T-Rex on his Puky laufrad last fall.

Funny though, when I googled “when do kids learn to ride a bike,” I came up with this guy’s website that says, “There are a number of companies pushing re-invented draisines [no-pedal bikes] as an intermediate step between tricycles and bicycles. These are a waste of time and money. You can achieve the same effect simply by unscrewing the pedals from a real bicycle.”  While I agree that you could just unscrew the pedals from a real bicycle, I think the wasted item is the tricycle, not the balance bike.  I’m not bitter.  Really.

We took the advice of a friend here who told us to go straight to the real bike and skip training wheels altogether.  I’m so glad we did!  We found a small pedal bike at a flohmarkt (yeah buddy!) and forged ahead with the task.  Because T-Rex already knew how to balance, he was able to learn pedaling in about 3 days.  I was totally shocked.

I still am.

About to try out the bike for the first time.

A little help from Doc Sci/Daddy.

And, away he goes!

It has been such fun to teach my little boy something that he will know for the rest of his life and he truly enjoys.  He seems all grown up to me at only 3 1/2.  Sheesh.

However, one thing we have learned in all of this is that ability does not necessarily equal responsibility.  After T-Rex had been riding for about 2 weeks, I let him ride his bike with me to the public pool, about 2 miles away.  Though most of route consisted of bike paths, we still had to cross some intersections and go up and down a few hills.  He was completely unprepared, and we both ended up frustrated.

We’ve since scaled back and now mostly have him to ride it to the grocery store or nearby park all the while practicing riding up and down hills, emphasizing which side of the path to stay on, and remembering to look up not down.  We’ll get there, slowly but surely.

P.s. – The best part is that T-Rex takes a REALLY good nap after he practices.  Score!

What age did you learn to ride a bike and/or what age did you teach your kids?

3 thoughts on “Miracle: The Littlest Cyclist

  1. Pingback: T-Rex Cycles to School « Thrifty Travel Mama

  2. Pingback: Searching for Deals in Deutschland « Thrifty Travel Mama

  3. Pingback: The Absolute Best Thing Our Family Did in Paris.. This Time Around | Thrifty Travel Mama

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