This past weekend, my barely four year old daughter traded in her balance bike for this snazzy two-wheeler. The basket definitely sold her.
Don't worry, she was just posing with her bike in this picture. I can assure you that she has a lovely pink helmet.
I am basically the last person on earth who should be teaching anyone to ride a bike. My poor dad gave it a great effort, but they bought a bike for me to "grow" into which looking back was probably too much bike to handle. Combine too much bike to handle with really poor coordination/confidence skills and you've got an eight year old with a pit in her stomach every time there is mention of a bike ride. One time I remember actually riding into a the pole of a basketball hoop. Literally the ONLY thing to crash into, and of course I found it.
The skin on the knees and elbows of my daughter is still in one piece. When she bravely turned in her balance bike, I felt a little anxiety. The whole concept of the balance bike is that after your child learns to balance and glide, they'll be able to have the balance and coordination to just start pedaling on a two-wheeler.
Did I mention how I didn't learn to ride until I was eight?
It all just seemed a little improbable. We bought the bike and they took it in to the back to take off the training wheels and attach a kickstand. As the rolled the bike out, she took one look at where the training wheels used to be and I heard a little uh-oh escape her lips. As we got in the car, the first thing she asked me was if I knew how to put the training wheels back on because she was pretty sure she was going to need them.
We brought that bike home at 5 p.m. on Sunday and by Monday afternoon she was flying down the street. And I really do mean flying because learning how to brake didn't come until Tuesday.
I'm attributing our bike success to the time she spent on her balance bike and having a daughter who definitely inherited her dad's coordination.
If you're like me, and feel like you need a little extra help teaching your child how to ride a bike, click here to read an article from REI. It's a great step by step guide to get your little one (or eight year old) zipping along on two wheels in no time.
Don't forget your helmet!