Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Riding Her Bike

A while ago we received a hand me down bike from the lady that cuts Alyce's hair. It was in decent shape but needed a little maintenance before it was ready to be ridden. Specifically the chain needed to be oiled, tires inflated, and training wheels put on. Since we received it I've been dragging my feet getting to it (much to Alyce's dismay). Dragging partly because I was lazy, part because the garage was a mess, and mostly because I wasn't ready for my little girl to start riding a bike. We live on a hill and while it isn't very steep it is long. If you were to coast the entire way down you'd pick up some serious speed. Having a bike makes you much more mobile and is another step away from the protection of your parents.

My fears aside I needed to get the bike ready because this past weekend on Sunday was going to be a neighborhood bike rodeo! There was going to be lots of stations to teach kids proper bike handling and safety. The only requirement needed was a bike and a helmet. I didn't want Alyce to feel left out and I figure there was a lot to learn so I took the plunge and got the bike ready.  I spent a good portion of Saturday getting the bike ready. When it was all said and done the bike was in great shape. Well as good as I could make it without sending it to a bike shop.

When finished we went inside and asked Alyce if she wanted to ride her bike (we hadn't told her we were fixing it up). She responded with a resounding "yes"! I stuck around the house with Luke and Mom took her up the street to the cul-de-sac where it is flat and without cars. Upon their return I got the full report. Alyce did good on the bicycle but was running a bit too heavy on the breaks. Mom cut it short because they went up there without a helmet and a brand new cyclist could use a helmet.

I took the next round. Alyce with helmet brought her bike and I brought mine too. Together we rode in circles around the cul-de-sac.  She did much better with me. Never once did she fall off her bike but she did run into the curb a few times. She didn't lean into the turns like she's supposed to but she did have good balance when going straight. I think she could have ridden in a circle the entire day if would have let her but sadly it was time for lunch.  We brought her bike back and gave it a special parking spot in the garage. I think she's going to like riding her bike. I'm just not too sure about our hill.

When Sunday came the bike rodeo was cancelled on account of rain which was a disappointment. But it got me to let go of Alyce just a bit more even if I didn't want to. Next up will be to get her a bigger bike. The one she's got seems a bit too small for her frame. I'm thinking a bike will make a perfect birthday present. Maybe a new helmet too. Do they make airbags for bicycles?

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