My youngest daughter has, for many years, been an absolute natural on a balance bike. Since she was two years old she’s been scooting along, balancing with ease and maneuvering like a pro. However, the transition to a bike with pedals has taken longer than expected. Despite the fact that she can scoot along on a tiny balance bike (long outgrown), lift up her feet and pretend to pedal, for some reason the idea of actually riding a pedal bike just sent her into meltdown. She’s had a ‘real bike’ for nearly a year, but for the most part it’s stayed in the shed, with the ever-more-unsuitably-small balance bike being chosen instead.

Anyway, we finally had a breakthrough. I took her, and her bike, to the park for the umpteeth time, and we tried again. And it clicked. And, of course, she could just ride it – it was purely a confidence thing. She also easily got the hang of braking, able to gently stop when required and put her feet down.

She’s been riding it ever since, and hasn’t yet fallen off. So now she is off. A bike rider. I’m planning to go out for a ride with her soon. Maybe we’ll go and buy ice cream.

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Comment by dr bean on May 2, 2017 at 4:01pm

Maybe we’ll go and buy ice cream.

I'm not, as a rule, in favour of rewarding children with (usually 'sometimes') food, but that seems entirely fair and appropriate in this case. :-)

Comment by AdamM on May 11, 2017 at 9:57am

My son was pretty similar. He was flying around on a balance bike, but insisted on training wheels when he got a pedal bike. I resisted the urge to fight him on it, let him get the hang of pedaling and braking, and one day he asked to have the wheels taken off. And that was it. He was off.

Eating an ice cream shouldn't be seen as a reward but, rather, an integral part of riding bicycles; even as an adult. Ride 50km, have an ice cream... ;^)

Comment by Dabba on May 11, 2017 at 10:25am

"Ride 50km, have an ice cream."

While touring I find that I have to refuel with coffee about every 30kms. 50 would be a big ask!  :-)

Comment by John Knight on May 11, 2017 at 10:58am

They're all different! It must have been nice to be part of the final solution!

With my two daughters, the oldest still had training wheels on her bike in preschool, but at the preschool, unknown to us, were a couple of share bikes the kids could ride around in the preschool grounds - with no training wheels.

So Georgia was riding her bike at home with training wheels, and also riding the bikes at preschool without the training wheels. She didn't seem to care either way!

The younger one developed a certain amount of paranoia about the training wheels, until she saw her older sister getting the training wheels taken off. Then she wanted hers off too! 


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