….Or not all children are the same.
We bought our daughter a balance bike when she was 2 years old. Was she interested – no! Then when she was about 2 and 3/4 years old, she decided now was the time to ride.
At 3 years old we started going to lessons with In Gear Cycling on the beautiful Otley Chevin. She had things to learn, and learn she did from Jonny. She stated off as the slowest in the group and nearly a year later she became the fastest.
She was ready for a bike around June 2016, so after some investigation, we decided to visit Islabikes on our way back from our summer holiday in Devon. After all, they are lightweight aluminum kids bikes, designed to fit a child rider perfectly. All my research said that a lighter bike is easier to learn on. Supposedly, a move from a balance bike to a pedal bike is a doddle. Many just get on and go.
At our Islabike visit (30 minute session booked in advance), she was measured for the correct bike and taken out on the track to try it. As I had suspected, she did not just get on and go, but we adults liked the bike and decided to buy one. It had to be pink!
Since we got it, we have tried to get her riding it but she just didn’t get pedaling, so in the summer, I even booked her in for a session with Dave Burns of I want to Ride My Bike. He said that in an hour session, he gets kids riding. Ha ha! Not her, she was one of his very few failures. He uses Islabikes in his sessions. (I would still highly recommend him)
In the autumn, Jonny told us only to bring the bike to her cycling lessons. She was getting closer to riding but other things failed her. Firstly being too cold – I then bought her a warmer coast. Next week her feet got wet in her mesh trainers – I bought her some gortex boots. Now lessons for the beginners class are off till spring time.
We have been taking her to the park to practice and at almost 4.5 years old, she is nearly getting the hang of cycling. We can’t let go of her yet though.
I had envisioned the transition from her balance bike to cycling being easy peasy, after all, I kept reading this, and my nephew had shown this to be true. Really I knew it wouldn’t be like this for her. She can be slow to pick up new skills (balance bike) but when she is ready she will be ready. She does things at her own pace. She can be stubborn too, which doesn’t help. Also, she had never used anything with pedals before this bike. I think, If she’d used a tricycle, I’m sure that this would have helped.
She is her own person and will be pedaling all by herself very soon. I keep forgetting that 4 1/2 is still a young age to learn to ride.