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.