Thursday, July 15, 2010

A tale of transition

Our little girl first rode a pedal bike at age four years ten months and four days on the bike below. I got this little 12.5 inch-wheeled bike for $5 at a second hand store. I put air in the tires, lubed the chain, removed the generous coating of scraped and faded princess-themed stickers, and it was good to go.

It is the typical inexpensive department store bike originally sold with training wheels (otherwise known as "the crutch that cripples"). Although it never had training wheels during the time we've had it, the bike arrived with a little warning sticker denoting that it was intended for use with training wheels only. Unfortunately I didn't take a photo of the warning sticker before I removed it with the other stickers. From modest origins, this bike has nevertheless been the perfect stepping stone from her 12.5 inch-wheeled Skuut balance bike, a great little bike in its own right.

Her first solo ride on a pedal bike was on May 20, 2010. She took to it immediately, her skills progressing exponentially each time she rode.

Since she has entered the domain of pedal bikes, this has been the primary shape of family transportation around our house:

The Dummy with the little bike stowed aboard the port side of the vessel. On side streets, trails and parks, she launches off on her own like a jet fighter from an aircraft carrier. It's been a good era. But now less than two months later, she's moved up to a 16 inch-wheeled bike. I bought the Schwinn Trixie a few years ago from a second hand shop for about $15 and prepped it for her older cousin Chloe, who used it to learn to ride. Now it has come back as a hand-me-down.

Prior to this bike, she dabbled with another 16 inch wheeled bike, rescued from a neighbor's trash pickup.

The little purple bike is leaving soon to help Chloe's little sister Meredith learn to ride. I wish the little bike well and cherish our time together. But things change and girls grow. Who knows what the future will hold, but with a Daddy like me, she is destined to a bike-filled childhood and is unlikely to ever be a one-bike kid.

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