I have to admit something that might make you think I am a bad mom. Until last week we had an eight-year-old who could not ride a bike.
"Why?", you might ask. Well, the last eight years we lived on a twisty "country" road with no sidewalks and bordered with either huge deep ditches or high snake-filled grass. Traffic wasn't a huge issue unless they were playing softball games at the park up the road, but the vehicles (mostly trucks) that did come by drove like drunk bats-out-of-hell. The area was pretty, but you would risk your life trying to ride your bike anywhere. So this avid bike rider (I biked all four years to my classes at college and commuted to work by bike for many years) had stopped riding.
So needless to say, the boys did not know how to ride and my poor bike sat there sadly, rusting with rotten tires.
We moved last year into a subdivision with a safer road and Imp was riding his bike with training wheels everywhere, but Duke wanted nothing to do with his bike. He has a green machine three-wheeler which was enough excitement as far as he was concerned.
We tried to teach Duke to ride his bike and he fell a few times and decided bike-riding was not worth the pain. So I had resigned myself that he would hopefully learn how to ride before college.
But last weekend we had enough and packed up the boys' bikes and headed to the local park which has a large parking lot. Imp was up first and learned to ride within one minute. After five minutes he was jumping curbs, riding in ditches and grass, and doing figure eights. He crashed about a hundred times doing these fancy tricks, but he would simply dust himself off and get back on. That kid is going to end up a Navy Seal, or in prison... :-)
So Duke's time was up. My husband was recording the video and as I was starting to run with Duke, he captured Imp (5) doing wheelies behind us. ;-)
After a few crashes, extra-cautious Duke was up and riding. And was he ever proud; but not as proud as his parents.
We got back home and both boys couldn't wait to ride around the subdivision. In the photo above, Duke is in the foreground and Imp is the tiny speck at top (getting ready to jump a curb and wipe-out).
I had just donated my old college bike because it needed too much work, so we drove to Academy and picked up two new adult bikes and we are now a riding family! We found out if we cut through the woods to the bigger neighborhood next door we have plenty of room to ride. And through that neighborhood there is a "country" dead-end road (part gravel) with almost no traffic, beautiful woods and fields, and houses that make our little house look like a shack. The complete ride there and back is around three miles and the boys and I do it sometimes twice a day.
Teaching both boys to ride their bikes that gorgeous, sunny winter day ranks in the top ten days of my life. Imp said it best; "Mom, this is the best day of my life!". Yep, life is good when you are on a bike. Especially if you have a cushy gel-filled seat.
I would love if you could leave a comment below on what ages your kids learned how to ride without training wheels. Hopefully someone out there can make me feel less guilty. :-)
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