As easy is riding a bike!

We bought Eliza has bike for her 5th birthday, but she has always preferred her scooter as she found pedaling quite hard work, but last month she went back to her bike and has been asking us to take her stabilizers off.

I have to admit I doubted my ability as a bike trainer. I love riding a bike and used to cycle everywhere when I was younger, but when it came to teaching Isaac, I tried and failed. In fact we booked him on a course in the end and all it took was someone with a bit more patience than me to get him off and going.

We took the stabilizers off Eliza’s bike last weekend and had a bit of a practice outside the house which showed that Eliza had the potential but that she was, quite frankly, hopeless at steering, so this weekend we headed to Potterne Park in Dorset, which has nice wide pathways, perfect for those wobbly first rides.

It didn’t start well.

There were lots of “I can’t do it”, “I can’t steer” etc and me hanging onto the back seat clearly wasn’t working.

She kept turning the handlebars to the right so I moved my focus to the handlebars which kept her in a straight line. I must have been holding on to her for a good few hundred yards, correcting her balance and keeping her straight and could see her confidence rising.

Potterne Park

I let go!

She crashed, but got straight back on and tried again.

This happened a few times and then she was off!

She was a little wobbly, but she was going.

She was so confident by now that we continued along the path towards Moors Valley, which got narrower and she lost her balance right by a huge ditch and ploughed over the side. Thankfully there was no harm done, but we decided to ride back the way we came, have a break in the play park and then try again.

Potterne Park

She rode back to the park confidently, but it was her second attempt, after a play, that she really nailed it.

She got started herself, rode off with Isaac and didn’t stop. She must have ridden about half a mile, stopping only at the bridge to wait for me as instructed.

Potterne Park Cycling

Again we turned around and headed back, with her so confident that she kept up with Isaac and was waiting at the park for me, as Sebby had run out of steam on his scooter and needed a tow back.

Potterne Park Play

I wish we could have stayed out longer, but Isaac had a swimming lesson so we had to head home. She was straight back on her bike, however, and insisted on doing a few laps around the block at home though.

I feel like a mean Mummy as she wanted to ride her bike to school this morning and I said no, as it is really busy and she hasn’t mastered her brakes yet, but I am sure after a bit more practice, she will be riding to school too.

Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Eliza bike

Testing Out Eliza’s New Bike at Potterne Park

Eliza turned 5 last week and top of her list for her birthday was her first bike and we didn’t disappoint her. Choosing the perfect bike is a minefield and we looked at various styles and sizes before we settled on the Emma Bike from Smyths Toys which was a bonus half price in the January sales.

Eliza couldn’t wait to get out on it, but being at school meant she was restricted to the school runs for the first few days but once the weekend was here we decided to find somewhere where she could really test it out. I loaded up the car with Isaac and Eliza’s bike plus Sebby’s scooter and headed over to Potterne Park in Verwood.

Potterne Park is perfect for learner cyclists with wide concrete pathways which lead all the way to Moors Valley and The Wheels skate park for more experienced riders which features a concrete bowl and a dirt track. Of course it has the added bonus of a large play area and equipment includes a Tunnel, Swings, Seesaw, Spinner bowl, Toddler Multi-Play unit, Puppet rocker, Climbing frame, and Flexus.

We met up with my friend Joanne from Charlie Moo’s and set off on our walk.  I had half expected to have to push Eliza most of the way as she built up her strength but the encouragement of cycling with her brother, Charlie and Olive saw her shooting off into the distance.

Potterne Park

Isaac only learned to ride without stabilizers at the end of the summer and hadn’t yet mastered how to get started himself as hasn’t had much practice since. After a couple of pushes from me and regaining his confidence he was off and starting off all by himself.

Potterne Park

The kids cycled about a quarter of a mile to the first bridge where we stopped for a rest and played a game of pooh sticks. It was clear that Eliza and Olive were both a little tired so we decided to head back towards the play park which gave them an added impetus to cycle back.


We arrived at the park with clearly exhausted small children, but something about seeing play equipment seems to give them an added burst of energy and we stayed and played for another hour.


I am hoping that a few more days out like this will build Eliza’s strength and it wont be long before she is riding without stabilizers too.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall