We got Joselin a bicycle for her birthday in July. Nothing fancy, just a yardsale find that she can sit on and still touch the ground. Thing is, though, that it sat around our shed and yard for a month because there is nowhere to ride around here that I don't have to pack the bike and everyone else up and drive to.
Last week, however, Jimmy's boss and his family were out of town and we were house sitting for them while they were gone. Jimmy and Mirian were still working in the basement of the house, but the rest of the house was empty, so we took full advantage of that and brought over some groceries and goodies and stayed all morning there and ate lunch with Jimmy and then either came home for quiet time or hung out there til the day was done.
On Tuesday, the idea hit me to take Jo's bike to their house because they live in a culdesac and there are nice flat sidewalks to ride on. So, we packed up Jo's bike and Gabriel's trike and headed over there. By Saturday, Jo could ride her bike with no training wheels and no assistance at all. Wanna know how we did it? I'll tell you.
First, on Monday, I lowered the seat all the way down so that Jo's feet could sit flat on the ground and I removed the pedals off the bike. I left on the chain and everything else, I just removed the pedals. Jo sat on the seat and walked the bike around just walking, one foot in front of the other.
Then, on Tuesday, I encouraged her to glide a bit, and she would push off a bit and pick her feet up off the ground and coast. She also learned to use the hand brake this day since this bike has coaster brakes and one rear hand brake.
Wednesday, more of the same, but now she could really get going and get a good push and coast quite a distance.
Thursday I raised the seat so it was at the correct level of just her toes touching the ground and she worked more on balance and braking.
Friday it rained, so we didn't really go out.
On Saturday, I put the pedals on the bike and showed her how to position the pedals for a good starting position and I held her arm a bit while she got started and then let go.
By the afternoon, she was cruising around and around the neighborhood all by herself, stopping and starting all on her own.
This was the most painless way to teach her to ride and it cost nothing extra! I didn't have to buy her a coaster bike first and then a pedal bike, I just removed the pedals. Much easier than running along behind her and much faster than training wheels.
Jo is so proud and so am I!
Now, for a little bike for Gabriel....