Tuesday, March 27, 2007

"Me ride bike no training wheels"

Gabe has had his choice of several different tricycles (that we just managed to accumulate without really trying) ever since he was big enough to climb onto them. He never showed much interest. But even a year ago he was interested in two wheel bikes. Early last summer Claire bought him a medium-size bike with training wheels; I thought it was much too early. But he caught on pretty fast. He didn't like having the training wheels though; he would notice every time someone (of any age) rode by without training wheels: "Wow! No training wheels!"

For the last few months he's been asking to ride a bike with no training wheels. A couple weeks ago a neighbor gave us a tiny little red two-wheeler (that their son outgrew) and he was eager to give it a try. We took him to the park and he did alright, but he'd forget to steer while concentrating on balance, and visa-versa. We had to hang onto the seat and handle bars while he got started, and continue to hold onto him or the seat and be ready to grab him when he went off the path or lost his balance.

Last Friday Claire suggested I take the training wheels off his larger (blue) bike, and we went to the park. I guess the bigger wheels made it easier for him to balance. Before long he could ride by himself (while I ran alongside) and even start to turn when he had to.

We took the blue bike camping this weekend (I had the red one packed, but he asked for the blue one) and he spent every moment he could on his bike (when I was available to take him). It didn't take long at all before he was riding up and down (small) hills and turning and going quite fast (with me running beside him). On Sunday he went on a couple quite long rides (stopping only occasionally), and he was even starting to learn how to stop and put his feet down.

Now he's talking about going for bike rides with Mommy and Daddy on their bikes. He's determined (and skilled) enough that it probably won't be long where he can start and stop on his own so we can do that.

If I sound proud it's because I am. And I have a right to be; he only just turned three, after all.

He's certainly a strong-willed kid. We've been struggling with and focusing on the negative side of that coin lately. So it was a pleasure to see the positive side. He's got plenty of potential--our job will be to support him and teach him discipline so he can harness all that ability and drive.

1 comment:

yacitus said...

An update...I took Gabe and Elleda to the park last night. At the start I was running alongside Gabe to help him when he needed to stop. (He doesn't need any help turning--he instinctively knows to take turns wide when he goes too fast--though he does need some practice slowing down.) After they both "took a break" in the playground, I was helping Elleda with her bike (she's content to stick with training wheels for now) and Gabe just kept going. He rode all around the park by himself, and is able to stop--a little awkwardly, but without injury. Claire suggested that next time I take my bike too, so I can ride with him once I get him started.