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28
Apr, 2012

A Two Wheeled Milestone For Aubrey

Today was a day that will go down in Aubrey Anderson-Emmons history and one for my books as well. Today, she mastered her 2-wheeler bicycle. Her big girl bike! WOOHOO!!

I made a little video to show her off. I’m so proud of her, but especially thrilled that she got it on the first try sans training wheels! Not because she’s an athletic whiz… trust me, she’s not, but because she rode a balance /running bike for several months leading up to today.

 

For anyone teaching a little one how to ride, I truly believe this is the way to go. If you’re interested in how Aubrey learned, watch the video and read the steps. I swear by it and have heard many other parents sing the praises of the balance bike!

When I was around 5-6 years old, I vividly remember attempting to learn to ride a 2-wheeler for days on end, by myself. Falling over and over and over on the little hill at the top of our driveway. I remember getting so frustrated and actually throwing the bike down on the ground over and over, tears streaming down my face. I really didn’t want bike riding to start out as such a negative experience for Aubrey and all the research I did paid off.

When Aubrey was a baby, I saw a kid riding a balance bike at the park one day. It looked intriguing because it was wooden (they make metal ones too) so I went home and Googled it. A balance or running bike is a 2-wheeled bike without pedals/chain. Essentially a scooter bike. Imagine a Razor scooter, but in the form of a bike. The child propels and stops the bike with their legs and feet and once they get the hang of it, coasting down hills and zooming down trails is a blast!

It seemed like the way to go. I got one for Aubrey and continued to watch a lot of YouTube videos about how to teach the balace bike when I was first teaching Aubrey to ride, so I thought I’d list the steps we took for my fellow parents & care takers who might be researching too:

1) Gain the confidence to balance on 2 wheels with a balance bike. This took Aubrey several months. Around a year for Aubrey, actually, but on and off at first when she was three. Also, she didn’t have it at her dad’s house, so it was inconsistent learning. I think most kids may catch on a little quicker.
2) Once they master the balance bike, get a bicycle w training wheels as close to the same size so feet can touch the ground from seated position, like the balance bike
3) Ride the new bike leaving training wheels on until kid can pedal and steer simultaneously with confidence
4) Keep practicing on the balance bike in between
5) Loose the training wheels on the regular bike and go to town!

As you can see on the video, when she got wobbly, she was able to put her feet down and keep coasting/balancing confidently because of the experience on the balance bike. This momentum enabled her to put her feet back up on the pedals and also kept her from falling down and hurting herself.

Good luck to the new riders out there and happy trails!

Love, A & a

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