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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter is almost 7-1/2 years old. I have been trying to get her on a bike for over two years now, with little success. Emma is a strong-willed kid with a lazy streak (she takes after me in that regard) - getting her to just let go and try something can be a real ordeal sometimes (she takes after her mother in that regard). I got her a 16"-wheeled bike w/training wheels year before last. She liked to toodle around on it a little, but flat-out refused to even try to learn how to ride independently.

This spring, I saw it would be pointless to continue with that bike. Not only was she blatantly using the training wheels as a crutch, the bike itself was far too small for her. So we went down to Performance last week and picked up a 20"-wheel Schwinn - no training wheels.

All week I told her: This weekend, we're going to practice riding. All week, her response was to pout, whine, and say she didn't care if she never learned to ride. This afternoon, I sat down with her and made a solemn, cross-my-heart "pinky promise" that I wouldn't let her fall, and that I wouldn't let go of the back of her seat until she was ready (I conveniently neglected to mention that I would be the one to define "ready").

So we're cruising along, and she's pedaling, and I'm running, and my hand's pressure on her seat is lessening and lessening until I've let go entirely and she's on her way!

My daughter knows how to ride a two-wheeler! :)
 

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Go dad Go!

Now remember to give her space and let her decide when she wants to really go solo. As in starting by herself. That seems to be the next big hurdle. I got my oldest to the point that she could ride short distances on her two wheeler Schwinn last summer. She only got to where she could get herself started this spring. She has been unstopable ever since.

Today I took her out for her first singletrack ride. We only did about a mile, and the trail was pancake flat, but it was still one of the best miles of singletrack that I have ever ridden! I let her decide what she would ride, and stay in her comfort zone. I found out her comfort zone is MUCH larger than I had imagined. I may be buying her a "real" mountainbike before the summer is over!
 

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Congrats

yeah it's a cool thing! indeed to see them ride...and when you see that spark of realization on their part "man i'm doing it!" it's very cool. brings a big a s s smile to my face thinkin' about my son! Congrats and job well done brother! :D oh yeah just wait till the first real crash and they'll never want to do it again...well at least for a while!
 

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Great post...

I am having the same problems with my five year old who will be six next month. Its kind of frustrating, but he's just not that interested yet. The funny thing is that he gets interested, and actually can do it until he realizes I'm not hanging on anymore. After about 3 trips up and down the sidewalk, he's done and has no interest in the bike for about another month. I've kind of given up for now, but I have taken the training wheels off and told him I'm not putting them back on.

It brings back some funny memories. I remember my dad telling me that it would take about a half an hour to learn to ride a bike. I was all pumped, and then he takes me up to the top of the hill next to our house and sends me down. After a couple of spills at what felt like 30 miles an hour (I was able to bail out into the grass), I learned how to ride in about 20 mins....Dad was a sink or swim kind of guy. The funny thing is he taught one of the other kids in my neighborhood how to ride the same way. His parents were divorced and his mom rarely saw the light of day. I remember my dad pushing this kid on his brand new bike down our driveway which may have been steeper than the hill. Man, that kid rode down the drive way and kept going....I think he thought my dad was trying to kill him.....

Congrats and enjoy! I'm looking forward to it myself.
 

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Thanks for the story..

I am battling the same thing with my six year old daughter. She just does not want to hear about riding a bike without the training wheels. Maybe I should try the pinky promise..
 

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notrelatedtoted said:
I am having the same problems with my five year old who will be six next month. Its kind of frustrating, but he's just not that interested yet. The funny thing is that he gets interested, and actually can do it until he realizes I'm not hanging on anymore. After about 3 trips up and down the sidewalk, he's done and has no interest in the bike for about another month. I've kind of given up for now, but I have taken the training wheels off and told him I'm not putting them back on.

It brings back some funny memories. I remember my dad telling me that it would take about a half an hour to learn to ride a bike. I was all pumped, and then he takes me up to the top of the hill next to our house and sends me down. After a couple of spills at what felt like 30 miles an hour (I was able to bail out into the grass), I learned how to ride in about 20 mins....Dad was a sink or swim kind of guy. The funny thing is he taught one of the other kids in my neighborhood how to ride the same way. His parents were divorced and his mom rarely saw the light of day. I remember my dad pushing this kid on his brand new bike down our driveway which may have been steeper than the hill. Man, that kid rode down the drive way and kept going....I think he thought my dad was trying to kill him.....

Congrats and enjoy! I'm looking forward to it myself.
Whoah That is how I learned to ride, on a big long grassy hill. When my nine year old was 5 he learned that way and my youngest is learning right now. I don't know if he really wants to learn for himself or if he wants to be like his brother and dad. He will get his helmet and brothers pads on and find me. It is a really cool feeling seeing the enthusiasm in both my boys. My wife doesn't quite get it but thats OK.
 

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Ironic that this thread comes now, because I've been telling my 6-1/2 year old daughter for the last few months that by the end of May she will be riding without training wheels. I'm going to miss being with her on the Trail-a-bike, though; on that, she can always keep my pace and I know she's right behind me.

I'm sure there will be some initial boo-hooing when we get down to it. It was the same way with the trail-a-bike. After all the time the clerk spent with us at the LBS, and all the enthusiasm she initially showed, when we brought it home she was so scared to try it she was wailing. I guilted her into trying it (hey, I'm Jewish, it's in my blood!), and within 30 seconds she was stoked. By the end of the ride she was almost crying because we had to stop!

So congratulations to you, and good luck to me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Albee said:
Ironic that this thread comes now, because I've been telling my 6-1/2 year old daughter for the last few months that by the end of May she will be riding without training wheels. I'm going to miss being with her on the Trail-a-bike, though; on that, she can always keep my pace and I know she's right behind me.

I'm sure there will be some initial boo-hooing when we get down to it. It was the same way with the trail-a-bike. After all the time the clerk spent with us at the LBS, and all the enthusiasm she initially showed, when we brought it home she was so scared to try it she was wailing. I guilted her into trying it (hey, I'm Jewish, it's in my blood!), and within 30 seconds she was stoked. By the end of the ride she was almost crying because we had to stop!

So congratulations to you, and good luck to me!
Oh, the trail-a-bike will still get used. It'll be a while before she can keep up on her little purple bike (which weighs a TON, BTW) on family rides.
 

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You've only just begun

For both of mine, it took a lot more work and cajoling to teach them to stop without crashing and start on their own. In retrospect, I should have fashioned some sort of home made armor to eliminate the many boo boos from the learning process in the street. Ever try picking asphalt from a screaming kids knee? Ahhh, good times!

You have a monster in the making (In a good way)
 

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Nice!

My kids were completely opposite, but neither had an issue with me taking their training wheels off. I must have ran three or four miles all total behind my son when he was 5 while holding his seat, it took him forever to get the hang of it. My daughter insisted at 4 that she was done with training wheels. I took them off, she literally pedalled away from me. No learning, no holding the seat. She was starting/stopping and turning within an hour.

BTW - pads are good. I had both my kids wear their rollerblade knee and elbow pads while they learned, it prevented some screaming and scrapes.

John
 
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