A Bike Experiment.

Friday, June 8, 2012

So here's a question:  Who more quickly and easily learns to ride a standard two-wheel bike, a kid who starts with training wheels or a kid who starts with a balance bike? 

When we bought Big Sister a bike, she insisted on training wheels.  I was intrigued by the theory that balance bikes provide a more natural way to learn bike-riding, so we bought the little guy one of those.  Now we've got an experiment going.  What to focus on first -- basic balance or pedal power?  Of course, this doesn't take into account personalities and risk-taking, which seem pretty key.  But it's still an interesting study. 

Big Sister recently expressed interest in learning to ride without training wheels.  So Mr. Great removed them, we covered every bit of her body and prepared her for the inevitable falls, and we went to the track for two-wheel biking practice.

Although this picture is cute, it was a disaster.  She was timid, frustrated, scared.  She did not want to try.  I guess she wasn't ready.  We finally put the training wheels back on, and away she pedalled.  I do not know how to wean her from training wheels -- will she one day realize that she doesn't need them and figure out the balance-pedal combination on her own?  I'm afraid that, given the precious little time this family has for biking, we may be waiting many years for that to happen.  And, as you can see, Big Sister is already outgrowing that cute little bike, so we don't really have years.  If anyone has suggestions, I'm all ears.

Little Brother, meanwhile, was racing around the track without any pedals at all.  He hasn't quite got the hang of lifting his feet up and gliding, but he's definitely learning balance and how to right himself when he starts tipping.  And he moves amazingly fast. 

I don't know who will master two-wheel biking faster, but I do look forward to fun family bike rides.  We'll get there eventually, right?

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