Monday, July 16, 2012

Ride like the Wind!

Big Girl has been intimidated by her bike. For years, she has avoided mastering the two-wheel thing, and it has been slightly frustrating to me. And has made me feel like a parental failure. She is not a sports-oriented child, and does not like to get hurt, so the trial-and-error process of staying upright and pedaling has been a challenge. There has been a lot of coaxing. And resistance. And avoidance.

That said, time has been ticking. She is getting older. And when I created the Summer Bucket List, learning to ride a bike was included. She still resisted, but I told her it's like learning to swim. You just need to learn how to do it. And you need to learn how to do it now or it will be so much harder.

Her old bike is quite small now, but I figured at least balancing on it could start the process. My parents offered to get her a new bike for her birthday, an incentive for the process. And then, enter my father: He said, "I'm taking her out to learn. Tomorrow."

It is so hard sometimes, especially with the twins and a husband who works a lot, to find time to do the simplest things, so having Grampy step in and take the lead was fine with me. He is patient, and he taught both me and my brother, so I figured it would go well with my sensitive Big Girl. He packed up the old bike and took her to a parking lot. I did not go with them, but the report was this: It will take more than one lesson, obviously, and her legs are so long that a new bike would definitely be helpful.

We headed out the next day and picked out
a new bike as an early birthday gift:

Isn't it cute? It's Big Girl's favorite color. With the new bike,  Big Girl was motivated. She found her groove. We came home and she started hopping around on the driveway on it. I thought she might break a leg, and I thought it might be too big for her to learn, but she showed perserverence and motivation. She would go out in that driveway and try, come in and take a break, then ask to go back out again. I let her fool around on it, wanting to capitalize on her motivation.

The next day, we went back to the big parking lot with Grampy and the new bike. Within a half hour. She was managing to coast along on her own. She came home and practiced in the driveway, on and off, in the afternoon. I would watch her out the window, and was so proud of her for not giving up. I was so surprised a few times to see her on two wheels for the length of the driveway. She was figuring out to start off on her own without someone giving her a push.

A trip to another parking lot at night after dinner, with the whole family, and it was like she had been riding forever. I didn't have to help her at all, not even to start. She just got on that bike and rode along like it was nothing:

Only two lessons. A new bike. A proud mom. And a confident daughter. So relieved!

Now, here's the catch: I always told her when she learned how to ride a bike, I could get a bike too. She reminded me of that last night, after I took a spin on hers around the parking lot. Of course, it's not in the budget immediately, but one can window shop, right? I starting "pinning" to my Pinterest wishlist board, of course.

I found a few cute ones. This one is my dream bike!

I love the colors, and the plaid -- so retro-vintage cute. The only catch is that it's $355 and I know I can find a decent bike cheaper, especially since I won't be riding daily or crazy like my mountain-biking husband who thinks he is 15 years old and in the X Games (until the morning after when his body is aching :)

This one is more affordable, and still cute, with it's argyle pattern:

Of course, neither would be complete without an adorable basket on the front. I am actually looking forward to coasting along with the wind in my hair now. There's nothing like a leisurely bike ride to make one feel like a kid again. And now I'm so glad my kid will get the chance to enjoy this simple outdoor activity.

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