Sunday, October 27, 2013

First solo ride on a two wheeler

First proud moments on her very first new bike.
Our little girl is growing up. This afternoon our nearly 20 month-old was hanging out with me in the bike barn. She took an interest in big sister's old Nutcase helmet, so I sized it up to her and put it on. Before I knew it, together we were assembling a brand new Strider bike that I had bought a while back to have on hand for her when she seemed ready to try a balance bike. That day was today.

I intentionally didn't want to push her into trying the bike. As it turns out, that wasn't my choice to make. When she realized the little red bike was her size and that it was meant for her, there was no holding her back. All I had to do was to help her get a leg over the seat, and she immediately started toddling the Strider down to the street.

I anticipated her interest would last only a minute or two. However, her initial excitement grew into enjoyment, even after a couple of slow-motion falls and a helmet change to her more familiar, lighter standard model. I ended up following her up and down the street for about half an hour.

Smiles and happy chatter.
The Strider is a very light weight, well-designed little bike.
It's amazing how instinctively a balance bike seems to mesh with even very young kids. She's not quite 20 months old, but instantly grasped how the bike worked, with her skills and confidence improving every minute spent on the bike. I know she is a while away from feet-up balancing and cruising. Yet, I'm certain she'll be a balance bike master by next summer, and will likely be on a pedal bike by this time next year. The only limitation will be whether I can find a pedal bike small enough for her to straddle.

Earlier in the day, we rode to the start of a local 5k. The Big Dummy and Julie's Breezer were the natural choices for transport, but we needed to bring our BOB stroller along with us, so I attached the BOB to the rear of the Dummy and pulled it as a trailer. The arrangement worked well, and drew a fair amount of attention as a pedal-powered road train.

Incidentally, today marks my 307th consecutive day of riding a bike. Most days, my rides have not been anything out of the ordinary. The vast majority of my biking days have included riding for utilitarian transportation purposes, a few have featured purely recreational rides, and nearly all have had some element of dog exercising via bike. I had stayed healthy nearly the entire duration of my streak thus far, which I credited with consistent riding. However, a bit more than a week ago I caught a cold that has yet to completely subside, so I suppose the bike/health correlation hypothesis is imperfect. Still, I don't plan to miss being on a bike every day, at least until I hit number 365.


  1. Well done little one, and well done on hitting 300+ days! I am not sure I have ever done more than 40 or 50, even when I had no car and did not live particularly near public transportation.

    1. Thanks on both counts. It's fun to see a little explorer discover the fun of two wheels.

      There have been a couple of times that it was a crunch to fit in a ride, but mostly it's been surprisingly easy. The key is that I don't travel out of town much, so my bikes are nearly always available. On the one airline trip I've made, I had a bike waiting for me at the other end. Some days, I had no need to leave the house. However, my dog is an insistent bike companion, so I have externalized motivation to encourage my action.