Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Girls on Wheels

Just yesterday, Laura finally got the hang of riding her bike. So fun to watch! I can still remember that feeling of realizing my dad had let go of the seat. She's had the bike for a long time, but she's been a little afraid of it, preferring to ride her scooter. Our streets are really hilly, and not conducive to the parent-running-and-holding-the-seat method, but a neighbor gave us this tip and it really worked:

Out on the sidewalk, have your child sit on the bike holding the handlebars. Let her push herself along with her feet, taking short glides forward. You don't need to be touching the bike. She can practice balancing for a few moments when she pushes off with her feet, and she can put her feet back down again when she wobbles. She will start to zoom for longer distances, lifting her feet up higher. Then encourage her to try to pedal during a glide. She'll try it, she'll try it some more, and suddenly you'll be shouting, "GO GO GO, YOU GOT IT!"

This position--starting with feet on the ground--seems to reduce the nervousness that comes with the "pedal while Dad runs" method. And granted, Laura is 7, but she did this all herself in two afternoons. I just watched while she got herself ready and went for it. Along the way, I said, "You're really getting it," and she said, "I feel like I'm halfway between getting it and losing it." Pretty much how I feel about most things.

Later, Matt and I watched her circling the cul-de-sac, and I could not stop offering advice. Matt said, "She's doing it, she's got it." And I was like, youth is wasted on the young, 'cause I could ride the heck out of that bike. My turn!

So, an easy bike-riding tip for Works for Me Wednesday. Other things that work for me are here, here, and here. And hey, let's be careful out there.


Camp Papa said...

Well, dang! Like a lot of good ideas, that "lift your feet and glide" method beats the pants off of dad-running-like-crazy-holding-the-seat method. Especially, fter teaching three of you to ride to hold run and crash strategy.

You go, Laura!

Love to all,

CB said...

That's awesome! And a great tip which I'll have to file away for later. Right now my 2 year old won't even ride his tricycle; he walks next to it, a la Phoebe from Friends.

But he *feels* cool, so it's all good.

A Day That Is Dessert said...

Good job Laura!

Fifi Flowers said...

Aaaah learning to ride a bike... that thrill of being able to balance and stay upright!

Carrie said...

That makes a lot of sense. But guess what? I am getting a FREE glide bike to review online. Can you believe it? Have you heard of glide bikes? It's just a bike with pedals that you put on later. I just wonder if my 4-year-old will be too young for it.

Becky said...

I have never heard of that, Carrie. Wow! I haven't been keeping up with bike technology. I bet she won't be too young for it if you can get the seat low enough that her toes touch the ground. Cool!

David said...

Man, I miss riding a bike! Send my congratulations to Laura.