For a few moments last weekend, I rode my bike down the road and both my children were riding with me. I had the little one on the back, and the elder one pedalling alongside having finally cast off his stabilisers a couple of weeks ago.
This is it, I thought, dreaming of long summer bike rides along the seafront, stopping for ice cream and sandcastles along the way. And then, just a couple of hundred yards away from the house, my son stopped and decided he wasn’t very good at riding and wanted to go home. My moment of parenting utopia was shattered and my patience was tried. Come on Sam, I said, no one gets good at anything if they don’t try, you’ve just got to keep going!
We reached a bit of a milestone – our six-year-old rode his bike without stabilisers for the very first time a couple of weeks ago. Some kids his age may have been off their stabilisers for a pretty long time, but Sam was always pretty nervous about the idea and the opportunities for us to practice have been few and far between. We had tried last year, but he just wasn’t ready and I think the fact he could ride around on his scooter so quickly made it less of a pressing issue.
In the end it was down to my parents to take him to the park and finally let go of the training wheels, helping him find the confidence to ride the bike all on his own. It’s one of those moments ideally he would have been able to share with his dad, but as he is so poorly and not up to making it to the park that hasn’t happened yet. Huge thanks to my mum and dad for helping out!
I’ve been taking Sam on little bike rides to get him into it but not being the most patient person it hasn’t been all plain sailing. I’ve been making mental notes not to ever offer to teach either of my kids to drive in future!
I later took Florence on a trip down by the beach and through the park in the sunshine. It’s been so long since I went out properly on my bike I’d forgotten how lovely it is to cycle along, Sunday driver style, with no real destination. I loved glancing back and chatting to my little passenger, who has asked about ‘ridey bike’ pretty much every day since.
It’s spurring me on even more to get her brother fully going on two wheels in time for the holidays. Wish me luck!
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