One of the best things that the boys and I have been doing since they were 3 is going bike riding in my neighborhood. It started with their tricycles and going to the local park. When they were 4, I bought them both 16′ bikes with training wheels. After a small stutter, we had about 2 years where they were good enough on bikes with training wheels for us to go the about 1 mile to either the local elementary school or to the pool. Most of the way is sidewalked so I could feel pretty good about them not getting hurt while experimenting. The next year we had Logan on training wheels and I took the two boys training wheels off. It wa a rough transition for them but they finally got it and we were able to bike to the pool most of the time last summer – with Addison riding in a seat on my bike. By the end of the summer, Addison was too big to be in the carrier and…besides, she wanted to ride her own bike. We tried a few times with her riding the trike but it was a loooonnnngggg trip so this summer I graduated her to a 16′ with training wheels and tried to take Logan’s trainers off (part of this was prompted by the fact that the training wheels were about $20 and the old ones from the boys bikes were totally shot!).
So, at the beginning of this summer I took off the training wheels on Logan’s bike. Her ambivalence about learning how to ride and the hot temperatures which have made me ambivalent about running alongside of her (in 95-104 degree temps) have interrupted her learning. However, this week Elena and Nina brought their bikes and all of the kids spent a lot of time on the bikes. (I spent a lot of time repairing bikes with chains falling off and tires needing air and training wheels needing adjustment (and some being taken off). On Friday Nina made a couple of straight runs without falling and so did Logan (though she was very frightened alot of the time). Yesterday Logan did a bunch of straight runs but after about 4 or 5 times down the street, she asked to stop because she was afraid to turn.
This morning dawned overcast and less hot so after breakfast I told them…”we are going to the park!” and we are riding our bikes. So, we got on the bikes, I got Logan going and she headed up the street. There were two small stops as one or the other of the boys careened in her path but she made it up to the park where there is a cul-de-sac. We spent 20 minutes there while she circled around the cul-de-sac getting more and more confident. She made it all the way back and then we spent another 15 minutes outside the house riding around the street – even getting herself started. I’m thinking by the end of next week she will be spinning around and maybe we can finally go on bike rides as a family again.