I'm going to get right to it- Keira learned to ride her bike with no training wheels last night! Whoo Hoo!
I have never been so proud. She has been struggling with her bike for a while. She had a hotwalk when she was 3, and pretty much unstoppable on it. She outgrew it, and we got her a red Hotrock last spring, with pedals. She HATED it. I know she didn't like that it was different, but she also didn't like that it was not PINK! She was so bummed to give up her pink fairy bike for a RED boy bike that matched Soren's red new hotwalk. Soren learned how to use the hotwalk quickly, and soon was faster than she was. Bike riding had become such a bummer last year! At the beginning of this summer, we realized that Keira had outgrown the red bike already. Ugh! She had barely used it! Soren wasn't quite ready for pedal yet, and here we had this expensive child's bike that was going unused. At least it was red, and Soren could use it eventually. I made the executive decision to buy Keira a pink bike, the next size up, for her birthday. Since it was a quality gear purchase, Ryan actually hardly batted an eye when we dropped $180 on her bike, which was purchased through Town and Country in MI, at a discount. It is amazing where I am allowed and not allowed to spend money on the kids sometimes :) She wasn't as thrilled with it as I hoped, but she was happy. Our neighborhood is a bit hilly, and hard to ride in, but she plugged along. My last post went through how rough our summer was in terms of my training, and there were many times where I felt like I had robbed the kids of a normal summer. We only went to the pool 2 times outside of swimming lessons, the beach once, and work on biking? What?? I was too tired most of the time to work with the kids on biking. My helping them bike pretty much consisted of me sitting on the porch watching them in the court. Ryan wasn't around much, and I had been frustrated not being able to motivate Keira. Soren just started to use the bike with pedals after one of his grips tore (making it non USAT legal for end caps, but otherwise fine, but Soren was unhappy with it). He was just starting to get the hang of it. He was great at the balance bike, though. Well, this past weekend, everything changed. I went on a run in the afternoon on Saturday, and when I got back, both kids were inside, and the training wheels were off of both bikes. Turns out they lasted all of about 12 seconds each before getting frustrated. So what else is new? Here they are "fat and happy" on their training wheels.
Sunday, after church, Ryan paired up with Soren, and I paired up with Keira. I worked with her quite a bit, just running and holding her up. I could let go for a few seconds, but she would realize it and then veer into the grass. I was trying my best to keep her spirits up. We went back and forth on a flatter section several times before she wanted to go in. Ryan caved and put the training wheels back on Soren's bike.
Mondays are crazy at our house. Keira had ballet, and then we went to a fundraiser at a local restaurant. No time for biking. Yesterday, I urged Keira to try again. She seemed afraid. She had gotten the feeling of riding on her own, but wasn't sure she liked it. Enter the incentive. As we left the house to go to cub scouts, I annouced that she could have a prize if she learned to ride her bike herself, meaning starting and stopping all by herself. Giving her that carrot was all she needed. After scouts, she wanted that prize (which I honestly had no clue what it would be; a trip to Graeters? a toy? I didn't know). After a few attempts, she had it DOWN! Boo Yah! She was so excited! That was the best part! She told me that it was so fun, and kept asking to do it again and again. She said, "it is just like riding with training wheels". I was so excited and proud of her. I was so happy that she wanted to do it herself and that we didn't argue or anything. It made me feel so happy, and less bad about the kids being "robbed of their summer". It made those times I rode the trainer on the patio worth it. The kids would see me riding my bike, and know how much I liked it. I almost cried I was so happy for her, and I couldn't sleep last night because I was excited, just like after I did the IM. I thought about it, and I think I was just about as excited for her as I was for me when I finished it. I didn't cry as much, but I am so happy that she was able to do it and have fun.
Today, it was Soren's turn. I went to pick up Keira's prize, and Soren was devastated that he didn't get to pick a prize too. It is hard to reason with a 3 almost 4 year old, but I did my best to explain if he rode his bike with pedals, without training wheels, he could get a prize too. There was all sorts of whining and complaining going on, but we finally made it out of the store and home. Soren stopped whining, and said he wanted to do it. I took the training wheels off, and promised I wouldn't let him fall. It was almost eaiser to help Soren than Keira, because he had just come off the balance bike about a week ago so the balance was the easier part. Pedaling and generating enough speed was more the issue. We played games to make me run after him, and he was able to get the hang of it. He is still a bit wobbly, and needs a bit more help to get going, but I'd say he has it! We just need to keep practicing. I'll work with him more tomorrow while Keira is at school. It will be tricky to work with them both at the same time. Keira still needs a little help getting started, but hopefully that will come quickly too. In no time we will be able to go on bike rides around the neighborhood.