Pedal, Brake and Balance: My Boy Can Ride!

My boy learned to ride a bike this week! He did it the "old fashion" way with training wheels.  He started riding a bike around his second birthday on a crappy hand-me down bike (training wheels) with rust on it.  He received a balance bike as a birthday present but he wasn't tall enough to ride the balance bike right away, so he continued riding on his rusty bike.

We tried and tried the balance bike once he was tall enough but my son really likes to "be like daddy" and wanted to pedal.  Frankly, I just wanted him to burn energy so we let him learn to ride a bike the old fashion with training wheels.  First he learned to pedal then steer, then a few months ago he learned braking as well as riding fast!

Two years later on his bigger new Giant Animator Bike, on a sunny afternoon he decided to ride his bike.  2.5 hours of crashing in the bushes and falling off his bike, my determined little boy learned to ride a bike with no training wheels.  He turned to me and said, "Mommy! Now I can Pedal, Brake and Balance!!".  Lots of joyous yelling, double high-fives ensued and we even had a cake later in the day.

This isn't a pro-training wheels nor a pro-balance bike post but a "have fun learning how to ride a bike" post!  I never thought I'd have the same feeling of excitement as when I saw my baby boy take his first steps, but this is as exciting as his walking milestone except that he joined in the celebration!

Pedal, brake and balance! How did you feel when your little ones learned to ride?

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Family Road Biking Added to the Mix

I'm a hiker and I will always be a hiker at heart, but my husband has been road biking for a few years now and has really wanted to add biking to to our family outdoor activities so this summer we decided to take the plunge!  It's been almost four months of family cycling and I'm having a great time and have rekindled the joy of riding a bike.

Family Road Gear

Since my husband was all set with his bicycle gear, we needed to get the rest of us outfitted! First of all, we needed to purchase two major items a bike trailer and a road bicycle for myself:

I haven't been riding consistently since I road around the training base camp in Georgia on a "Cruiser" type bike in 2004.  Even back then I was very spastic and clumsy (which I still am), so I had some hesitations to start road biking.  After a few visits to local bicycle stores I decided on the Giant Avail 5 Women's Road Bike.  I tested out a few fancier road bikes but as a beginner road biker I really couldn't tell the difference so I decided on the Avail 5.  Review will be coming soon...


Our three year old son absolutely refused to learn to ride a bike with a balance bike because it didn't have pedals like "Daddy's Bike", so we ended up buying him, 

Giant Jr. Animator.  If you can't tell we kind of like Giant bikes! Our son still does not understand the mechanics of riding a bike yet so when he rides his bike we are usually walking or running along side him.

Riding So Far....

Family riding so far has been a learning experience, as any new activity normally is!  My kids are slowly building up their "Time Limit" in the double trailer.  I'm learning what activities, snacks and toys to bring along so they can keep entertained in the trailer.  Our daughter has a terrible time with wearing a helmet, she absolutely hates it so of course she has a somewhat dislike to the trailer BUT every time she is having a better and longer experience with the helmet so OVERALL it's getting better!

I'm trying to keep the same principles as Chasqui Mom's Toddler Hiking Cycle when we are riding and taking breaks when needed, stopping and letting the kids burn their energy, etc.  A few other things we are learning are:

  • The kids love riding FAST and going over bumps.
  • I'm re-learning how to ride a bike! Not that I forgot how but just its different now as an adult!
  • Bike paths that are family and beginner friendly in the East Bay.
  • Learning that I'm a "Freddy" (a novice rider)! A mountain biker explained that to me recently....
  • How to dress when riding, what not to bring and what to bring...
  • My husband and I are learning to ride while towing our kids in a trailer! It's heavy!

Our routes so far have been close to home due to fact that we don't have a way to transport our bikes...yet! Looking into bike racks so we can start exploring other routes in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I'm really glad my husband convinced me to start riding again because I had forgotten how much fun it is to ride and it is another great way to get the family exercising!

A big "Shout Out" to +CentriPEDAL Bikes LLC, our local East Bay bicycle store, where we purchased our Giant Bicycles.  We are now loyal customers of CentriPEDAL Bikes.  You can also follow them on Facebook.

Related Posts and Links:

  1. The Inspirational Ride to Defeat ALS, Napa Valley
  2. Training for a Cause - Ride to Defeat ALS
  3. Chasqui Mom's Toddler Hiking Cycle