Thursday, March 15

They Grow Up So Fast

I went back to the eggbeaters this morning. I hadn't ridden in bike shoes in a long time. As much as I hate to say it, I think they contributed to a faster commute on The One. 45 minutes over my usual 50-55.

So is this the new norm:

Anyway, to less self-centered news:

My daughter has finally learned to ride her bike without training wheels. A little over a year ago she had learned (she was only four) but after two or three crashes demanded I put the training wheels back on. She went back to careening all over the place, tipping over on one training wheel as she barreled around curves, but never expressing an interest in committing fully to only two wheels.

Occasionally we'd ask her if she wanted to try learning to ride again, but she has gracefully (well, not really) bowed out time and time again. She does love riding her bike, and when we talk about going on a family bike ride she always assumes she's going to ride her bike along with us, when we typically mean for her to ride on one of the longtails.

Lily's first ride to town

The return from Lily's first ride to town

A few days ago we were talking about it again. The weather had turned nice, she's just learned to tie her shoes, she tears around on the little pink princess bike like a stunt rider; it just made sense.

She was game, so I put her on her "big girl bike," a larger Trek pink princess bike. The training wheels won't fit, so I had put the buddy bar on it last year. It's still kind of big for her, but she's grown quite a bit in the past few months, so I tought we could give it a try.

Well, the mud boots got in the way, and we just couldn't adjust the seat to a place where it was low enough for her to touch the ground but not so low that her knees weren't in her armpits.

After a few frustrating tries she decided she wanted to ride her "little bike."

I assumed she just wanted to ride, so I was headed back inside.


"Yeah, Lil'?"

"Can you take the training wheels off?"

So we took them off and mom and I stood back. It took a little while for her to get the hang of it. I think we took the training wheels off on Saturday and day before yesterday (Tuesday) something finally clicked and she was riding like a pro. There was drama along the way. There was suffering (She sufffers?). There was elation when when she managed a good run. For the most part we just stood back and let her go.

Tuesday night at sunset we went down to the park. As she chased after her brother going 'round the paved path, little pink-clad knees pumping furiously, pink snow-boots jamming up and down like pistons, she cried: "Sucker!"

There's a lesson to be learned in all this I'm sure.


  1. The lesson is never give a kid a bike with training wheels in the first place. Give them a bike without pedals as their first bike. (make sure it has a hand brake)

    Without the pedals and with the seat lowered they scoot along hobby-horse style and learn to balance the bike as they coast. They're confident because they can always put their feet down. They can learn to pedal the bike later once they have balance and turning down.

  2. Marvelous! Do I hear her making 'engine' noises??

    Our granddaughter has a small Giant+training, but she is still a bit scared of it. They live in a condo and so her folks (son&wife) need to really work at getting her out on it.