Ta Ta Training Wheels

By October 19, 2011Letting Go, Parenting

Sophia Bike Turns

I must confess we thought Sophia was totally ready to ditch her training wheels this past spring, but we held off. She wanted to focus on getting her swim band and all the kids on our block were obsessed with scooters.  Her bike was really abandoned for a few months.

We knew she had the balance, strength and coordination to do it.  Her training wheels were way off the ground (this helps them learn to balance the bike) and she could ride like the wind.  Training wheels are not fun.  The are awkward on turns and honestly, she could not go as fast as her friends without training wheels.  Still, she wasn’t focused on riding a bike at all.

Then one afternoon we saw a Sesame Street clip on the computer of a little boy learning to ride a bike and the same day saw a Max and Ruby where Ruby does the same.  While I have no powers of persuasion, Ruby is a real leader.

Sophia begged to take those wheels off right after dinner and we obliged.  I hate those training wheels.  The first time I thought she did great, but we were all afraid of our street and her falling.  Also, dude, it totally sucks to run behind a child on a bike as they almost kill you with swerving.  It is back breaking.  The next night was easier.  We sort of just helped balance her as we jogged along side her.  Still, she had not fallen and we knew that to really learn full balance, we had to let go.

We went to a big museum parking lot with a big field next to it.  Ross gave her a push on the grass and she pedaled.  Finally, she fell.  But she got it.  They say three times a charm, right?  In that empty parking lot she totally ditched the training wheels.

Last weekend she went on a bike outing with her 7 year old friend Sean.  They were gone for almost two hours!  We were worried.  She was fine.  She can totally ride a bike!  She is working on some mean turns now.

I am proud and I am scared.  She can now crawl, walk, run, scooter, swim or ride away.  I am not going to think about driving.  It is just too much.

Riding Bikes

* I am linking up to the awesome Liz and Kristin for iPhone Photo Phun.  The pics were taken with my neighbor’s blackberry.  Yeah, blackberry people, your cameras are like doo doo.  I know, I had one.

iPhone Photo Phun

Join the discussion 14 Comments

  • Jamie says:

    Oh no, all those methods of getting away… never thought of that! now I”m scared too!

    • Brittany says:

      It’s so scary isn’t it. Just thinking of seeing the back of her head in the front seat of a car driven by anthing other than a full fledged grown up terrifies me!

  • I just want to keep mine little … for much much longer 🙂

  • My oldest is almost 8 and is still scared to death to ride a bike. He’s always been my cautious one. Which is fine with me. My younger 2, however, they’d pedal away at the first chance they get, which is why I haven’t given them the chance yet.

    • Brittany says:

      Bikes are hard. I just read an rticle that said some kids aren’t ready until 9 or so. That was my neighbor’s daughter. It also mentioned talking to your kids about what scares them. I will try to find a link but I did see an attachment for the back of the bike that is like a stroller handle for you to hold. While your 8 year old may not want to do that in front of friends, it could be an option for an empty parking lot. Also, have you considered maybe trying out a bicycle buit for 2? I just hate seeing kids terrified of something so fun!

      I’m with you on the caution thing. All 3 of my kids are scared of nothing. I wish they were. My 20 month old is constantly getting on the bikes and just falling off. Yesterday, my 3 year old told me he wasn’t afraid of zombies. I wanted to say wait until you meet one, but that seemed mean. 🙂

  • liz says:

    Dude, she’s SO an official big kid now!
    liz recently posted… My Polkadot LifeMy Profile

  • Oh yes, this. So much all at once and so, so big!
    Galit Breen recently posted… Remembering FallMy Profile

  • Oh my goodness. They grow up so fast. It’s hard to think of all the ways they get bigger and more independent!
    Greta recently posted… Birthday Goofiness #iPPPMy Profile

  • Jamie says:

    That definitely is a big moment. And yes, starting in the grass is best. She’s a natural.
    Jamie recently posted… Musing on Save the Ta-tas. Save YOU.My Profile

  • Go girl!! Sigh, why do they grow so quick?
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  • Sunshine says:

    My 8y.o. daughter finally mastered riding her bike too! And we’ve been working with my 5y.o.

    The thing that helped us the most was removing the training wheels and pedals completely from the bike and using it as a “balance bike” so the kids could learn to balance and coast on just the two wheels. This worked well because whenever my kids got freaked out that they were about to fall, all they had to do was simply put their feet back on the ground. Once balancing and coasting were mastered, we then put the pedals back on and it was pretty smooth sailing from there. My 8y.o. really only took 3 days! And the best part was that since they have already figured out the balancing part, my husband and I didn’t have to run holding onto the back of the seat.

    Even though it means she’s growing up, I LOVE that my daughter can now ride a bike on her own because it’s just another little special activity we can do together.

  • Balance Bikes for Kids says:

    I completely did away with the need for training wheels for my second child – and went straight to a balance bike. Weaning a child off their reliance on training wheels can be traumatic. With a balance bike I find kids learn to ride with confidence a lot younger.

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