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.
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.
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.
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.
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.