So we took the no balance bike approach to teaching a five year old to ride a two wheeler. I would not recommend it. It was not easy. Lexi never took to her balance bike. She loved riding her scooter so much she just never had any interest in the balance bike and unfortunately I never pushed it. Big mistake.
When we gave her her two wheel bike for Christmas I kind of thought she would just hop on it the way Declan did (who rode his balance bike all of the time). The first time I took her out, I knew we had a long road ahead of us. Throughout the winter, we would sporadically head out to the park and practice. Someone even gave me the tip of practicing on the grass and letting her roll down grassy hills to find her balance. We did it all and nothing ever took. I knew it would be an all out push of practicing every day, which would have to wait until summer.
So, the day we came home from Palm Springs I started our mission. The plan was to practice 20 minutes every day in an open flat area. And we did - 10 days in a row. Every day before leaving for the gym, we would throw the bike and the skateboard in the car, drive to the school where there is plenty of open, flat space and get in our practice time before we did anything else.
I thought I was going to die. Holding her bike seat with one hand, trying to keep it balanced for her as she rode was hard. She was all over the place. I had to play so many mind games with myself to keep my patience.
Finally, it paid off and it was the sweetest victory! (June 21st to be exact) She worked so hard. I worked so hard. I seriously wanted to cry with relief when she took off. Dramatic, I know.
video from her very first ride -
We still practice every day. She can easily go on flat ground or when there is a slight down hill, but her balance still is not strong enough to go up slight hills.
Three days after she learned how to ride her bike, we headed up to Newport with the Jones's to ride around Balboa Island and take the Ferry boat across. She rode about three miles that day! I definitely helped her during the first part, as she learned how to maneuver between people, but eventually she was doing it on her own. I was so proud of her!
Of course we had to celebrate her hard work with celebratory slurpees!
I'm so happy for her! And proud - she worked so hard for it!