Monday, June 29, 2009

Bicycle! Bicycle! I Want to Ride My Bicycle!

For her third birthday, Little Abbey got a bicycle similar to the one shown above from her grandparents. At first when I saw it, I thought that her grandparents would be very disappointed when Little Abbey would be too scared to ride on it. I'm her father and I obviously know her better than anyone else. I was wrong for the most part.

When we first hooked it up to Grandpa's bicycle on the farm, she didn't want to get on it at first but with me holding onto her, she finally relented. Grandpa started riding slowly with me holding on to her and walking alongside while she gripped the handlebars tightly. After the first 50 yards, I slowly took my hands off but Little Abbey insisted I keep walking beside her. After 100 yards, I eased behind her and stopped and they kept on riding. Two miles later they returned and Little Abbey was breathless with excitement and chattering away.

Since then, she's ridden well over twenty miles behind my bicycle and loving it. She has gotten so confident that I hear her ringing the bell on her handle bar when we are going down hill and I think she should be hanging on with both hands. I still brake so that we don't get going too terribly fast, she always has her helmet on and even a pair of bicycling gloves and shorts to protect her but I still worry that she may fall off so I scold her to hang on with both hands. Sometimes she says "ok daddy" and other times she just rings the bell in answer. I can't help but smile.

She has blocks attached to the pedals so that she can reach them but she still isn't too much into pedaling just yet. Mostly she just coasts along checking out the scenery and saying "wheeeeee" every time we go downhill. We've been working up on the amount of time and distance we are out so not to overtire her. At first we just picked her up from daycare and rode home but now we are up to last night where we road four miles of trail around the perimeter of town. She has enjoyed it so much and asks to go riding so often that I have a feeling that her own bicycle with training wheels won't be as far off as I thought it might.


Murf said...

How cute. I'm sure she will always surprise you, Ed. She is a Gemini...and female. :-)

Woody said...

Cool..I would imagine that her sense of balance will develop so that when she gets on a bike it will be almost second nature for her. What a great gift.

Beau said...

That's awesome- so much fun. The little accomplishments mean so much to them.

geri said...

What a neat birthday gift! You know, I haven't seen any small kids riding that in here. Lucky Little Abbey!

Murf said...

By the way...I'm envious of your 4 miles. You must know what all the gears are for and how to change them and when. :-)

The Real Mother Hen said...

Wheeeeeeeee! The feeling of rushing down the hills will imprint in her memories forever.
The ride will always be great because you have her riding along.

Sage said...

Sounds like she's having fun! I remember blocks on the peddles of my first bike. My daughter begin riding her own bike, without training wheels, at 4. She still loves to bike.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

I had never seen a bike like that. Neat. I'm glad she's having fun (And you are getting all that good exercise-- I think I "remember" exercise)

Ed Abbey said...

Murf - Every single day.

Woody - Her balance has improved dramatically. When I first rode with her, I could feel her leaning all the time. Now I rarely do.

Beau - They mean a lot to me too!

Geri - I haven't here either. I mostly see those two wheel carts with mesh tents on them. They look so hot to me and not much fun for the kid.

Murf - I used to put on a thousand miles a year up until I hurt my knee. It is true, once you learn to ride a bike, you don't forget.

Mother Hen - We've slowed down with our riding due to the heat but she still loves it.

Sage - At age 4! I was thinking we had a few more years before those scrapes arrived.

3 Score - I've seen a few around but mostly on RAGBRAI which is the annual bicycle ride across Iowa. I've never seen one here in town and apparently others haven't either judging by the comments and stares we get when riding.

TC said...

Awww, how precious! :)

I love the LA stories.