Monday, November 19, 2007

First family bike ride

A couple weeks ago both Gabe and Elleda renewed their interest in their bikes. Actually, in addition to the larger bikes with training wheels that they each have, they both also have a smaller bike with no training wheels. Gabe gave his a shot back when he learned how to ride without training wheels, but he found the smaller, lighter bike harder to balance. (I see that I blogged about him wanting his training wheels back in May, so I don't think he's tried to ride without them since then.) However the idea got planted, we found ourselves taking those smaller bikes to the park.

For Gabe, learning to ride his bike again was just like riding a bike. Because he could easily put his feet on the ground while sitting on the bike, he could stop easily. That gave him his confidence back. But he still needed our help getting started.

Elleda didn't want our help, and didn't even want us to watch. So we watched out of the corner of our eyes. (She really did seem to have performance anxiety--she did better when she didn't think we were watching.) She was persistent. I think she figured out how to ride (for the first time, without training wheels), stop and start without help in less than an hour.

I think seeing Elleda figure it all out for herself gave Gabe some incentive. Gabe announced proudly this week when I got home from work that he could start by himself.

So Saturday I took down Claire's bike from the garage roof and re-inflated the tires, and went out and bought a WeeRide seat for Henry and mounted on my bike. After everyone awoke from their naps we went for our first family bike ride. We were pretty ambitious: we rode probably a little more than a mile to the local Jamba Juice. The kids did great--no complaining, they stopped and walked their bikes across the street and through a busy parking lot, and (aside from the parking lot) they rode all the way there and back. I was especially impressed with Elleda--she's now quite confident on her little bike. I even saw her ride right off a curb.

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