The Bike Training Trials


As far back as I can remember, I’ve known how to ride a bike. I have quick memory flashes of learning how to ride when a neighbor girl pushes the yellow bike (I can’t even remember whose bike it was) that I’m sitting on and I start pedaling and begin my riding career. Ever since then I’ve been able to ride a bike. I can go years without being on a bike and as soon as I hop on a bike, I can ride it. So how hard can it be to teach Ean to finally ride his bike without training wheels.

Yesterday was my first attempt and it didn’t go nearly as well as I had planned.

My first attempt ending miserably with me getting more upset than I needed to and Ean in tears. I felt bad because I feel like I somehow failed him in my teaching methods. I’m not sure if it was my fear of him falling or his fear of falling that kept me from just pushing the bike and letting go in the traditional teaching method. I felt like a failed parent because I kept thinking I shouldn’t have let him have training wheels so long, I should have pushed him to learn sooner, I should have taken him to a bike training course.

I was/am utterly clueless as how I can teach my boy, who picks up on everything so fast yet struggles on a rite of passage that every kid goes through. As we walked together with him trying to pedal, I’m holding his bike by the handle bars and asking him to balance himself so I can let go, but he never quite does it. He looks up with those puppy dog eyes and says “I don’t know how to balance myself, how do you do it?” Uhhhhhh….. I don’t know how to explain that.

April helped and had Ean stand on one foot and told him that he was balancing, but I don’t think he related that to being on a bike. So I tried the one training wheel method and I wish I would have gotten a picture of him leaning completely to one side to not fall over. Scratch that idea.

We tried the holding the bike without training wheels and I never had the confidence to let go as he wobbled from side to side and never could hold the bike steady. In the end, I took off the pedals and just explained to Ean to push the bike with his feet and try and go as long as he could without touching the ground. He seemed to pick that up and make some small improvements on his balancing on his bike. I’m going to go with that method by having him practice that going and just lifting his feet. Once we see his balance become a bit more stable, I’ll put the pedals back on and try again.

Any hints you can give me in trying to complete this rite of passage for Ean would be greatly appreciated before I end up pulling out what little hair I do have on top of my head.