Monday, May 23, 2011
Here's a short movie clip from our ride yesterday, in which our girl was ripping up the trail. Apologies for the low resolution, but it's due to my nine year old camera's failure to die. The camera's longevity is the main reason I don't yet have a GoPro HERO HD. In any case, enjoy!
Sunday, May 22, 2011
|Post run Gatorade with my personal cheering section.|
|Warming up before the 1k.|
|Big Dummy in aircraft carrier mode with the squadron stowed aboard.|
|She went down with determination...|
|... and climbed back up eager to go for more.|
|Today she called this a bump. In not so long she'll decide it's a jump.|
|Perched at the top with an ear to ear smile.|
|Pilot's view of one of the downhills.|
|Whooping it up as she approaches terminal velocity.|
|Admit it. Sometimes you too wish you could rocket down the trail sporting a meshy yellow skirt.|
|Celebratory cruise on a chalk bike.|
Friday, May 20, 2011
|The rain let up enough for a little ride. The ladybug boots are there for the puddles.|
Recently I had a question from a reader regarding how we liked the Electra and how it has worked out for her. This prompted me to spend some time reflecting on not only the bike, but the learning to ride process. I thought it deserving of a bit more prominence than to reside in the comments section of an old post, so the following is a brief synopsis of our experience.
We used the balance method of learning to ride, and never used training wheels. It was quick, easy and fun for both parent and kid. We started out with a Scuut balance bike followed by a 12.5 inch wheeled pedal bike, followed by the larger 16 inch wheeled Electra.
For those unfamiliar with the balance method, the gist is to learn to balance a bike first, then introduce pedaling once balancing is mastered. Any bike can work, but smallish bikes are easiest. A cheap second hand 12.5" bike is a good starting point, depending on the kid's size. Just take the pedals off and lower the seat so that the rider can put both feet flat on the ground. The kid pushes herself along with her feet, quickly learning to lift them to coast, and thus learning to balance. The whole process can be mastered in as little as a few hours of practice, but easy, never forced practice spread out over several days or weeks is probably more typical. After balancing feels comfortable, then you can introduce pedals.
She rode her balance bike on and off for a couple of months. I slapped together a balance bike for myself out of an old frame I had, so that we could ride bikes together without her being too inquisitive about the differences between our bikes. One day, on her own volition she asked to try her pedal bike of the same size, and immediately took to it. Within an hour, she was riding reasonably well, starting, stopping and turning with increasing confidence.
It should be noted that during this whole process and for at least a year prior to this experience, she rode on the back of the Big Dummy many, many miles. It's possible that riding on the Dummy helped her internalize balancing skills and assisted her body and mind to absorb what it feels like to be moving on two wheels. If this hypothesis is correct, then a child riding on the bike of a parent before learning to ride on her own could contribute to the learning process. At some point I may investigate this in more detail. At any rate, we continue to enjoy riding together on the Big Dummy as well as on separate bikes, and hopefully she picks up practical skills and an understanding of safety on the road.
Below are a few short movies from a year ago on the first day she rode a pedal bike, taken within an hour of her first attempt. My favorite is the second clip during which she announces excitedly, "I made a heart." Here's to the first year of a long lifetime of riding.
Monday, May 16, 2011
|It was a tremendously funny inside joke. Unfortunately, you wouldn't get it.|
After an abbreviated morning of classes, Field Day kicked off following a picnic lunch at a park near the school. We topped off the fuel tanks, then warmed up with some play time at the park, and enjoyed a little bike ride back to school.
|She rode what she has dubbed her mountain bike today, a hand-me-down courtesy of Chloe.|
|Mid-air at the standing broad jump.|
|Sporting ribbons, a popsicle and a smile.|
|West bound and down, loaded up and truckin'.|
Sunday, May 8, 2011
|The loss of a second tooth has made corn on the cob more of a challenge.|
Following the first backyard barbeque of the year, the perfect Saturday evening called for an after dinner ride around the neighborhood and a local park. The day had reached in excess of 80F, which seems fairly hot for this time of year.
|Vamping for the camera.|
|The view from the reverse features the setting sun over the lake.|
|The blur in the distance is our little hot rod.|
|The clock is in fact displaying double digits. Good for us all.|