Thursday, September 25, 2008

Kids and Bikes

My son is almost 9. Up until a few weeks ago, he didn't know how to ride a bike.

We had tried. Hard. Often. For years, off and on.

We tried training wheels.

We'd go to the park, and I'd hold on to the seat and watch him panic every time the bike leaned over, just a bit.

We'd go until he was crying and I was completely frustrated, then his bike would get parked for a few months, until we both forgot.

The last time-on the way home-he said, "Dad, I'm sorry, but I want to throw my bike away."

After he went to bed, I did some research, to figure out exactly what I was doing wrong. The answer was "everything". The traditional methods of teaching a kid to ride a bike...suck.

I found an ebook, titled, Riding Made Easy. It cost $15, which is a lot for a pdf file.

I wanted my son to learn how to ride a bike. To experience the freedom of exploring the neighborhood with his friends.

I knew that, if he didn't learn, he'd regret it later in life.

I wanted him to have the fun.

I bought the book.

The next morning, I told my son that we would try again that evening, with no stress and no tears. He agreed to one more try.

I followed the instructions in the book. No training wheels or holding the seat.

Two hours later, my son rode his bike home, and has been on his bike every day since.

Riding Made Easy
is quite possibly the best $15 I have ever spent.


Evan said...

So is there any mention of minimum age in the book? I sort of think my 4yo is about ready, but don't want to push him too hard.

princewally said...

If he can follow instructions, and balance on one foot for a few seconds, he's probably old enough.

The way the book works, you're not pushing. It's very low-stress.