teaching a toddler to ride a bike!

We have another biker in the family! Recently, Brad cleared his schedule on his day off and set out to teach Oli how to ride a real bike (without training wheels). It was windy and cold and our little guy (who is certainly not big for his age!) only needed THIRTY MINUTES before he was up and riding!

I thought Lily was a fluke, needing only about an hour to really master riding a "big girl bike", but Oli was the same so now I'm more convinced than ever. Brad is a great teacher - he's so patient and encouraging! - but really, the real reason they learned so seamlessly is because we used balance bikes for the two summers prior to learning. No offense, Brad!

The real challenge to learning to ride a bike is balance, not pedaling. The problem with bikes with training wheels is that they give a false sense of security to the child, and allow them to pedal (which is practically instinct and not hard to learn) without needing any balance. When the training wheels are off, it's a whole new ball game. I remember it taking weeks to learn to ride a real bike, and so many falls along the way! The balance bike avoids all of that!

Lily and Oli's transition from balance bikes to real bikes was so smooth! We have a few quiet streets near our house, and a nearby school has the cement yard open all weekend for practicing. Lily can now ride with confidence in the bike lanes that cover our city, but I don't think Oli is there quite yet. Probably in a month though!

I can't even believe she's old enough, but they say ages 2-5, so she definitely is. The day Oli learned, she was his biggest cheerleader, despite the cold weather. So sweet!


We bought both of our kid's big bikes from Kijiji and spent under $30 for each, but we splurged on their balance bikes and got them new, from Amazon, where they range from $60-$100. Now Chloe is starting on Lily's old balance bike! Look at her go!

This is one of the sweet milestones that I hope Oli will always remember. I still remember learning to ride a bike, sliding on gravel and skinning my knee at a bend in the road near my parent's old house. I wonder if I would have remembered it if I didn't get hurt? I've read that memories involving pain are stronger... so hopefully this whole balance bike thing doesn't work against us and cause our kids to forget learning to ride a bike, just because it was painless, haha!

There are so many things I love about each stage of parenting, but so far, having a biker gang, is pretty much tops.

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