Bikes for Everyone

Everyone can ride a bike now! Becca has been working so hard on mastering her balance bike, last night she did! She sat in the seat and propelled herself with her legs. She even held both legs up and glided along.

By this time next year I’ll be able to take both girls biking around the neighborhood.

And I won’t need a bike trailer! Balance bikes are a must for young children, in my opinion. Since there aren’t any pedals kids can get used to the feel of straddling the bike, cruising and balancing, and steering with the handlebars without any worry of crashing. Then when they’ve mastered the balance bike, you can generally move straight on to a regular bike without training wheels! Or the training-wheel-phase will be short lived.

Henley rode this Radio Flyer balance bike, not the brand I would recommend, and was able to transition to a pedal bike with just a week or two of using training wheels while she figured out the pedals. She was just barely three and proficiently riding a bike.

We’re hoping and working towards the same for Becca. It’s all about preparation and building skills incrementally. Starting with the balance bike builds the balance needed for riding a real bike and is manageable even during toddlerhood. It’s important to our family that our kids ride bikes and ride them well from a young age. So we intentionally take small steps to achieve that goal.

The brand of balance bike I would recommend is a Strider. The problem with the Radio Flyer that we have is that it’s too long and tall for really little kids to ride. Becca could have been riding it earlier, but she was too short to reach the ground, handlebars and seat all at once. This led to a lot of frustration as she still wanted to be big and ride a bike like Henley. The Striders are lower to the ground and have less distance from the seat to the handlebars.

Deciding what’s important to your family and then taking small, incremental steps to achieve those goals makes life easier and developmentally appropriate for small children who want to participate but need modifications for most activities. Just because we have kids doesn’t mean we have to give up on hobbies or adventures, we just have to find ways to break it down and simplify so small bodies can join in on the fun.

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