When we live in Nashville, we had a really nice situation for walking and learning to ride bikes. We had a flat acre of land on a dead-end street. I bet we walked 5 days a week while Isaac was learning to ride his bike. We started with a Red Rider tricycle, graduated through various plastic trikes and finally onto a 2-wheeler with training wheels. We spent a bunch of time riding, now and then raising the training wheels a little so he would have to balance more and more on his own. One day he had enough and asked me to take the trainers off completely. I figured we were in for a few skinned knees, but I kid you not, he jumped on the bike and never wrecked a single time! He was about 5 when he figured it all out.
Isaac’s first time riding w/o training wheels – 2005
We moved to WV when Abigail was 3 so she didn’t have much time to ride bikes like Isaac did. There is plenty of land here in WV. In fact, there may be more land here than in Nebraska. WV is just wrinkled into a small package that is straight up and down! So, learning to ride a bike here requires that you find a flat piece of ground somewhere. Last weekend, Emily was at a training class so the kids and I headed over to the track at the nearby high school. Even at almost-8, Abigail was still in training wheels on her bike. Before heading to the track, I raised her training wheels a little so she would have to balance a little.
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We walked a few laps and Abigail was beyond fed up. She got so mad she said, “I wish you would just take those stupid training wheels off.” Being a good Boy Scout, I had a wrench with me so I had them off in 5 minutes. I helped her a few laps around but she pretty quickly caught on and is now officially a bike rider! Now that I have no more training-wheel-encumbered kids in the house, I think I have finally figured out that training wheels do more to slow kids from learning to ride a bike than they help.
So, Abigail is now a biker chick. She loves riding and wants to go all of the time! I am super happy for her and so proud that she got mad and decided what she wanted…and made it happen! Bikes first…next, the world!