Our weekly columnist has prepared her son well for riding a bike without stabilisers - so what's the trick?
I like to ride my bicycle...
"Like most working parents, a speedy drop off to school can make all the difference to your own day. But my son had outgrown his Kiddimoto balance bike and wasn’t a massive fan of his scooter. So, we decided it was time to get him on a proper bike. Given that Ethan isn’t renowned for being the most graceful, confident or adventurous child, I was bracing myself for the long and difficult journey ahead.
We headed to our local Decathlon. If you haven’t been, then this is the shop to go to for anything sport related, be it trainers, gym clothes, ski wear, horse riding equipment and even kayaks and tents! I had thought I’d purchase some things for me but it proved impossible to keep an eye on the boys who were determined to explore all the fun stuff. One day I’ll get new gym gear!
Ethan immediately hopped onto a too-small bicycle with stabilisers and zoomed round the shop. We managed to return him to the bike area and point out the Pirabike bike he was actually getting. Once that was decided I spent a while testing the adult scooters, but haven’t decided if I’ll just look like an idiot on one as I attempt to shorten my commute. They are quite good fun but I’m imagining less so in the rain.
The next day, we were off to rugby practice and Ethan was keen to get on his new bike. We did buy stabilisers but my husband couldn’t get them to fit so we decided to go for it without them. The ten-minute journey involved my husband giving Ethan a push to start him off then running alongside, mostly holding the saddle but sometimes letting go. The return journey only needed a push to get started and he was cycling on his own! A few more goes and now he doesn’t need any help at all. The school runs are almost too speedy now as it’s tough keeping up (hmm, maybe that scooter would come in handy).
I can’t stress how amazed I am that he has got the hang of it so quickly. I remember my niece rolling along on her stabilisers for years, even though they were eventually raised so high they only touched the ground if she leant to the side. Which, she would do. I reckon the secret was in the balance bike, and I’ve heard other mums say the same. So, now it’s my youngest Logan’s turn. I’m hoping he also has a smooth transition to big boy bikes. At the moment he keeps complaining the balance bike is too wobbly, but I expect the desire to catch up with his big brother will soon get him up to speed."
Kirsty McCabe writes her weekly column here on www.juniormagazine.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter: @juniormagazine to keep up with the latest news
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