Thursday, March 25, 2010

As Easy as Riding a Bike?

We bought E a bike yesterday.  This has been something we have been meaning to do for some time.  She already had a bike but it's way too small for her and still has training wheels.  Given that my 6 year old is the tallest girl in her class, it just seemed beyond ridiculous that we hadn't bought her a new bike or even taught her to ride without wheels.  Especially when I see the little 5 year old down the street rollerblading her little heart out up and down our hill.  Double especially when I took my three kids out for a ride on their bikes and I just about had a conniption that my 3 and 4 year olds were going to careen down the hill way too fast and crash.  

Okay, so we're not exactly great parents in teaching our children skills.  My excuse?  We are just way too busy. K works days, I've worked nights.  Beyond weekends when there seems to always be something else to do or we can't leave the one that wants to do it but is still a wee bit too young for it etc out.

Am I just way too protective?  I don't know.  The 5 year old down the block?  She is able to rollerblade out her driveway to the mailbox, about 4 houses away and half way up the street.  We live at least 5 or 6 houses away from her. Would I even trust my 6 year old to use her scooter up and down the street by herself?  No way.  Even just sitting on the porch doesn't give me a good enough view because all our neighbours seem to have those big ass large trucks sitting in their driveways that are just great blocking the view.  Of course, she tells me she is old enough and I can see on her face that she so desperately wants to join the little gang of kids down the hill.  Sigh.

Oh yeah, the bike.  We haven't really been able to afford to buy one.  My parents were going to buy her one for her birthday last year but changed their mind in the end because they figured we didn't really have a place for her to ride it much.  I was a little disappointed but it is their money.

Obviously she's grown even more this year and her old bike definitely does not fit her anymore.  She's been begging to ride it and quite frankly.... we were too embarrassed to let her.  Isn't that crazy?  I thought, oh yeah, let her friends get a gander of her on that bike and she'd be teased like crazy.  Course if they knew her mother used words like gander.. the teasing would commence immediately.

So it was with great inspiration that I decided to check out craigs list.  Sure enough I found a bike online for $40.00 that's only been used twice.  In reality it was as good as stated.  It looked in mint condition and you could tell the tires were brand new, barely used.  So we bought it.  I was so relieved.  It's a lot easier coming up with $40.00 than $140.00.

Of course, she had to ride it immediately so we grabbed J and O's bikes and took them over to the school. Now comes the hard part.  Teaching her how to ride it. How can a kid who is over the top excited to learn to ride suddenly squeal and shriek every time she gets on it, saying she's scared, it's not safe?   Her dad held the bike the whole time for her and we constantly reassured her that he wouldn't let go and yet at one point she gets off the bike in tears cause she's afraid.  My husband actually was very patient with her considering.  So it makes no sense to me.

But by the time we headed home she was asking me to let go, which I didn't cause I could tell she wasn't ready yet.  Still, I hope this isn't too difficult.  Anyone have any tips for teaching a kid to ride a bike?  When I stop to think about it.. how do we learn to balance like that, how do you convey the idea to a 6 year old?  I have no idea how my dad taught me.  Maybe I should ask him.

4 comments:

  1. I have discovered that riding a bike, for some kids, is easy, and for others, is not. My daughter tried it and took off down the road, no holds barred, no problems, on the first try.

    My son, well, he refused to even try without training wheels until he was 9. He did eventually learn to ride without the trainers, but only after much falling and tears.

    I have found that letting the kid fall a couple times actually helps, Start teaching on grass if they're scared of falling. If they can master it on grass, they're golden. It's harder on grass.

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  2. We found our daughter's first bike through Craigslist as well! Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

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  3. I second Tortuga. We haven't tried out boys, but my brother, a year younger than me, learned in a two days; I learned in a couple of months on grass. Unfortunately that was the same Christmas my parents got their first video camera, so guess what the first footage is. Yup, two screaming kids being forced to learn to ride bikes.
    A friend of mine insists on never using training wheels and letting the child walk the bike to get the handle of balance. He figures if it works on dirt bikes, it'll work for regular bikes.

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  4. I definitely like the grass idea. I think we will try that with her. Also the walking the bike thing. That might help too. We need to lower her seat a bit so her feet are flat on the ground. She was so anxious to get out there we didn't have a chance.

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