A year and a half ago, Belle received her first bike with training wheels for her birthday from Jason’s parents.  It was in November and by the time spring arrived, my dad had told us about these “Strider” bikes that come with no pedals or training wheels.  The basic idea is that the kiddo uses their feet to propel themselves and they learn how to balance that way.  Then later, they transition to a “big kid bike”.  We liked the idea, so my dad made some changes to Belle’s Walmart bike to look like this:

My child was not super excited about this new “addition/subtraction” to her bike.  She would ride it some, but she still preferred riding  the trike or the neighbor girl’s bike with training wheels.  She is not a very adventurous person in any sort of way and it takes her a long time to warm up to new ideas.  I was not convinced that this way of her learning how to balance/ride a bike was going to work for her.  John Boy on the other hand… I’m fairly certain he will be riding a big boy bike before he is 3 years old… the kid is not afraid of anything and loves his Strider.  Here is a picture of the real deal… he got for his birthday last year.  It is super small and light so he can pick it up and carry it himself. So cute!

Anyhow, last week Belle fell off her trike 3 times in a matter of 15 min.  I think she is just getting too big and too top heavy.  She likes to go fast and turn on a dime.  So I simply stated that she was not going to ride the trike anymore and she had a big girl bike (with no pedals or training wheels) that she could ride.  There were tears, but we pushed forward in in a matter of a day or two… she was really making progress.  In fact, my parents were here the few days before and my dad mentioned to have her ride on the grass (and part way down the hill in our backyard) to get used to bumps and momentum without the fear of falling on the cement.  Another new idea… that took some getting used to.  But eventually she tried it and loved it. She was doing a great job with the hill and would go several yards without putting her feet down.  We were at the Meyers a day or two later and Elijah Boy had his smaller bike (with pedals and no training wheels) that he was no longer using.  I had Belle try it in there driveway and by the 3rd time down the drive… she was definitely getting it.  We are borrowing that bike for a bit until Poppi can put her pedals back on… but the entire drive home she was crying that she didn’t want a boy’s bike.  Geesh.  I told her over and over again that we were just ‘borrowing’ it so she could practice some more.  By the time we got home, she was asking if she could try it out.  I took her into the street so we could get some distance and she got it!  She has been back and forth on the street about 30 times in a matter of 24 hours.  Still pretty wobbly at times and she does not quite get the concept of the brakes (the only downer that I’ve seen from the Strider method) but overall she is doing great!  I was so proud and so sad that my baby is growing up at the same time!  We love you Belle!

Belle riding her bike!

(Ps. I’m pretty stoked that I figured out how to load my video on You Tube all by myself. 🙂 )