Thursday, September 8, 2011

Progress on Wheels

We are all diligently working helping the kiddos learn to ride bikes.  When the typical way wasn't working (you know, push them along and let go, like our parents did), we consulted the internet.  After sorting through a plethora of suggestions, we settled on a combination that seems to be working.

  1. Take off the pedals (so they don't hit their legs)
  2. Drop a saltine cracker every 10 feet or so (then farther and farther apart, in varying patterns)
  3. Have the biker scoot along aiming for the crackers.
  4. Add knee pads before they fall and end up with 2 bloody knees (yeah, forgot that step the first try)
"Cracker Smashing" was a success.  It got him to stop thinking so hard about falling, and start thinking about aiming for the cracker while the back of his brain worked on learning to balance the bike.  A part of me is disturbed by wasting crackers, but the local birds seemed pretty pleased with the idea.

After balancing and scooting to smash the crackers, he was more interested in letting dad push him and gliding. 
gliding along
After a few days of doing this, he is able to glide for more than a few seconds, and now he can glide down a mildly sloping sidewalk, use his feet to slow himself and turn the bike around the corner as the sidewalk changes directions.  He even went over a curb and didn't lose his balance.  We have a lot of hope that next time, after a few minutes of gliding, we will have success when we put the pedals back on.  He is certainly working hard at it.  Once he gets pedaling down, we are picking up the "new" (used, refurbished) bike from our neighbor so he has a better bike, instead of one as small as Zora's.

Zora is also enjoying tooling around the parking lot and sidewalks in the bike she got from her Uncle Steve & Aunt Nora.  As soon as Zane is riding on his own, we will work with her on ditching the training wheels too.  Right now it looks like our biggest challenge for her is to get her to quit leaning to the right.  The right training wheel is noticeably dirtier and bending.  Right leaning is baaaaad.  She is starting to get some speed while riding, so hopefully it will help her make the transition.

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