I hope you are all well and enjoying the sun that has finally joined us. Last week I posted a blog where I described my first son’s experience on the WeeRide balance bike.
As I previously mentioned, by two and a half, I could see he was very confident on his balance bike and would whizz around the playground swerving and picking up speed on the contours. I was excited to see if he would be able to manage on a pedal bike.
Previously, I’d searched online to find a mid-priced bike which was suitable for toddlers available second-hand and was lucky to find a good bargain on ebay. This time, I found an offer at my Local Halfords. I don’t think this particular model is in production any longer but the green Apollo Marvin the Monkey kids bike was on special offer and I’d noticed a lot of local kids using them. At the store they offered to attach the accompanying stabilizers but I declined while wondering if that would turn out to be a mistake.
I then picked Frank up from nursery and he immediately spotted the bike in the boot. I know I should probably have waited a few more months until his birthday but it was August, the conditions were OK (a little rainy) and I was just too excited to see if he could learn.
We went straight to the park and first tried it on the grass. On one hand it offered a softer landing but it also makes cycling a lot more difficult. He wasn’t grasping how the pedals worked and we called it a day before he got too annoyed! The next day he was up for another try. This time we went to the concrete path. Toddlers bounce anyway. Don’t they? (!) Again he wasn’t really getting the pedals and was trying a half pedal action which was not effective. But he was determined to keep trying and after a while he got it! My shaky video documents me trying to chase after him and both of our delight in his achievement. I should say that at this stage (and for the next 6 months) I had to give him a push off to get started as he couldn’t manage. It would be a little annoying if he kept stopping because I’m 6”5 and it takes its toll on my back! Actually, this was also the case even more with my other son Eric who didn’t take to cycling quite as easily as his brother did!
For the next few months, I was the proudest dad in the world. It seemed like Frank was a minor local celebrity. No-one could believe an under 3 year old child could ride a bike at that age and I spoke with a lot of other mums and dads who were inspired to get their toddlers riding too.
Naturally, there was a crash. I have to take my share of the blame. It must have been around February and about 6 months after he started riding the bike. One afternoon he was clearly tired and grumpy, and the weather wasn’t great but he insisted on going out and I rarely take much convincing to get out of the house! Anyway, all the signs were there that we shouldn’t have gone out with the bike. It certainly highlighted the absolute need for good safety equipment to be worn at all times. The next day was the day of his first ever school photo so I have a permanent reminder of the accident on my wall. A lovely photo with his face angled so that only his left cheek his visible!
Thanks for reading. There is actually a final part to this blog to come so please check in the next few days for the concluding part!
Best wishes to you all from me and the rest of the team!
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