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No training wheels required!

Well he did it! my little 3 year old got on a regular old bike and just took off.

The full story is that he started his love affair with wheels when he was 18 months and my mom bought him a radio flyer scootabout.  He got a kaZam balance bike back in December (it was a Christmas gift) He didn’t get to ride it all that often until spring but then he really took off on it. He love that balance bike. Then he started begging me for a “pedal bike”. Simon always wants what he sees other kids doing. So I bought a super cheap bike off craigslist and let him have it. What I didn’t realize at the time is that most kids bikes are made of steel and are super heavy, heavier than Simon in fact. He couldn’t even lift it off the ground. Actually I think the first bike I got him was heavier than my bike. I realized that he wasn’t going to be able to ride it for years so I sold it (for exactly what I bought it!). And I began searching for an aluminum frame kids bike, they are hard to find. There is exactly one manufacture of aluminum 12″ kids bikes  –  specialized hotrock. I don’t know much about bikes but I guess that specialized is a very high end performance brand. The 12″ bike cost almost $200, that’s WAY out of our budget for a first bike that he will likely quickly outgrow. I thought that he would just have to wait until he is older/bigger and ride a steel bike but I kept looking on craigslist for a used specialized hotrock. Periodically I would see them listed for about half price but by the time I would email they would be gone. My friend Jennifer finally found this one craigslist for me just about 30min after it was listed and I was the first to respond and I got it for $30 (score!).  We brought it home Myles took off the training wheels at the end of our drive way, I was busy fiddling with my camera and Myles was putting his wrenches away when we looked up and saw Simon had gotten on the bike and was riding away… I started shouting “he’s doing it! he’s doing it!” and trying to turn my camera on – and then he wrecked. It wasn’t a bad crash it’s just that it never occurred to me that even though he may know how to ride a bike he had no idea how to use the breaks. He has never had breaks before (neither his trike no balance bike has them). After that wreck he wouldn’t get back on the specialized at all. He was afraid of it.  This was about a month ago, and since that time his legs seem to have grown a full inch which has also helped a lot.  I put the training wheels back on it and spent 2 days teaching him how to break. Riding down our driveway (which is a slight slope) and having him try and stop right at the edge. When I was finally convinced that he had mastered it  I took the training wheels back off but he still didn’t want to ride it. Yesterday I suggested it again and he was game. I just held the back for him and gave him a push and he was off and riding like he had been doing it his whole life. It was pretty amazing! So the lesson here is when you are ready to transition from the balance bike to a regular bike just make sure they know how to use the breaks first.

Here is the video of him riding around. He did NOT want to quit last night and had a melt down over it when we finally made him.

We did have one other incident, about 30 min after he started ridding he got really comfortable with it and road right over Talia. It was pretty horrific. She was sitting in the middle of the neighbors lawn and he just made a huge circle and road right up on the grass, knocked her down, and road over her back and arm. (He fell off the bike in the process but I went straight to Talia) At the time I was sure he had broken her back or arm and she screamed her head off but then calmed down pretty fast. I gave her her first dose of Tylenol ever (because I figured she was in a lot of pain) and nursed her and then she seemed just fine. No bruises or anything. Simon says it was an accident but I won’t be letting Talia down while he is riding anytime soon…

That’s the story of my little bike rider and now what he REALLY wants is a skateboard – anyone know where I can get toddler sized elbow, knee, and wrist pads?
and guess what Talia is almost big enough for the scootabout…

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