I mostly just wanted to post this for posterity, but Calvin is riding a bike! Yay!
I suggested it to him a few weeks ago, that we could go up to Meg’s old elementary school asphalt and he could ride around in circles, getting some practice in. We tried doing something similar last year at his old school, and while he was able to do some light biking, he didn’t have much control, confidence, and couldn’t really start the bike by himself.
What a difference a year makes! This time, I think I held the bike once to get him started. After that, he listened to my instructions (“Start with your right foot down, and put your left foot on the pedal so you can push down with it and get yourself started”…stuff like that…) and just kinda did it! To be fair, he also had his knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist pads on this time, so maybe he just felt invincible?
After a few times around the black top, he took off the pads to get a bit more flexibility and, again, he just kinda did it! He really didn’t struggle at all, except for the occasional pause when he’s trying to get his feet in the right position to get started.
That first day, he wasn’t great at using his brakes, but he asked to go again later that week (“Well, of course we can go biking again!!!” said the very proud father), so that time, he focused on gradually pushing backwards on the pedals to slow down a bit, rather than coming to a complete stop.
That day, he also went down the hill on the road a bit, so that’s probably the fastest he’s gone. We went again yesterday and he did the hill one more time. We also brought Brooke along so she could see him in action.
We’re talking about getting another bike now, as this one is a little on the small side for Calvin, and it most definitely won’t fit him next Summer. We’re still working on convincing Meg to actually put forth an effort on riding a bike (she’s pretty stubborn about it….wonder where she gets that from?), but I think seeing Calvin doing it so easily and having fun makes her think that she could probably do it without falling and hurting herself.
Regardless, I’m not officially not a failure as a parent. I’ve got at least one kid riding a bike, and enjoying it. 🙂