Out on the Old Town
Hot (or Not) Dogs

The Biker Family

(Mah Innernetz went down on Tuesday morning and was finally restored late last night. No work, no play, just futile router rebooting every hour on the hour and racking up massive data overages from Verizon Mobile while waiting on Verizon FIOS to get its shit together, trapped in a super frustrating ouroboros of corporate bullshit.)

First of all, happy birthday to this guy:


Here he is with his birthday present, which I 100% had nothing to do with:


In addition to Friday night soccer*, Jason's newfound return to outdoorsy-sportsy-ness now includes bike riding. Like on trails and dirt and stuff. He is currently scouring Craigslist for a bike for me, which is adorably misguided. To give you an idea of the last time I rode a bike, please consult this terrible blog post from 2003, only the fourth post ever published on this site, back when I had no clue what I was doing and wrote a lot of angry Open Letters to strangers and stores and the Oxygen Network. 

I do not particularly want a new bike. I'd really rather get a new dishwasher, as our current one is barely functioning and I am like five minutes away from writing an Open Letter about it. 

But there's been a lot of bike-type action going on, as we recently celebrated the Passing On Of  The Hand-Me-Down Bikes with all the boys. Noah got a new (used) bike...


...and promptly crashed on his first ride out.


(He's fine. Just needed to apply some band aids, ice packs and extra computer time.)

Ezra moved up to Noah's old bike and went training wheels free...


...and promptly crashed 15 seconds after I took this photo. 


(He's also fine. I believe the only real injury was pride-related.)

Ike inherited the smallest bike, and originally wanted to skip the training wheels altogether...


...but then quickly reconsidered. 


He is now riding all over the place like some giant actual child, rather than the tiny baby we all know deep in our hearts that he really is. 




I should probably get a bike, I guess. 

*So about the soccer thing: Almost immediately after I wrote about Jason getting back into soccer he injured himself, tearing his hip flexor. He's been attending physical therapy three times a week ever since, while also still going to soccer and bike riding and running 5Ks on our treadmill. Meanwhile, I skipped my workout yesterday because the Internet was out and I couldn't watch Netflix. 




Awesome! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one doing the handmedowns all around. I just couldn't see buying everyone new bikes! I suppose I'll have to get one myself, but I'm sticking to my guns this time and getting a super basic one. The last time (in like 2004?) the bike shop guy pressed me into a "better" bike, which whatever, and it ended up being stolen anyway (from my backyard!). So yeah, thrift store bikes all around!


I realize that this is third kid in so you may be set in your Bike Teaching Ways, but here goes anyway: take the pedals (and training wheels) of off Ike's bike. Get the seat high enough so he can toe down/get his feet down, but still close to proper seat height. And then get him pushing off and balancing with just that. Once he is stable at that speed, figuring out how to get his balance with some but not tons of momentum, he should pretty easily transition to having the pedals back sans training wheels. Training wheels give you the chance to pick up lots of speed without having a good sense of balance -- the pedals-off method makes you learn the balance to then earn the speed. Or just ignore this completely, no harm, no foul :)


But what happened with the dog! The pupper! Pins and needles here!

Side note: does beau shed? We too are looking at puppers and was curious if ones with chihuahua shed?


We are about to do the bicycle shuffle with me trading my (always been too big for me) bike for my son's (bought it a little too big for him a couple of years ago, now he's eying his dad's bike, but he's gonna have to settle for mine). My bike is identical to my husband's, it's just smaller. I am so excited about this trade! I can not WAIT to ride a bike my size.


Seconding the suggestion to take off the pedals rather than putting on training wheels. Makes learning to ride much quicker and easier!

And for you something to consider for you might be a learn to rider refresher type course for adults. Bike co-ops and bike shops usually host them. Think of it more like coaching than lessons. They can be great for getting your confidence up and helping you remember all the rules of the road for bikes.

Good luck! Yay bikes!


Hear, hear! Remove his pedals and it'll be so great for him to balance. That's the hard part!
Just got a Taga stroller bike for me and baby, to keep up with my newly pedaling 4 yr old, who's a speed demon on 20 inch wheels. He's faster than I am!


Seconding (thirding, fourthing, chiming in?) on the no pedals no training wheels method. I learnt the way you guys are using (training wheels and then one big aha! fearful moment when they get taken away) and didn't actually learn to ride until I was 7/8. My five year old got her first proper bike age 4 and straight away she was pedaling and balancing and riding her ass off without training wheels. She never saw them. The trick is that in Barcelona every kid starts out on push bikes, without pedals, from age 2. They learn to balance. Then by age 4 the pedaling is a new wrinkle, but it's much easier to learn to pedal once you already know how to balance, then vice verse.


Another vote for no pedals!


I am with you on the skipping a workout because of no Netflix. Have done it before! What are you supposed to do, just walk on the treadmill without anything to do?!?! I mean, sure, I guess I could go outside, but whatever. So much easier to walk and watch tv!


So Ike has has ridden a no-pedal balance bike for years. Probably since he was two. But once we put him on this bike balance wasn't the problem. He didn't know how to pedal!!! He'd pedal too slowly (or backwards). Once he gets pedaling I think we can take the training wheels off.


My husband likes to ride his bike and so does my son. I have a bike but I don't particularly like to ride it so it sits at the top of the rack untouched (it's a hand-me-down too). I prefer to let bike riding be their thing to do together and I'll happily do my thing. I like things that don't involve humidity and bugs. To each their own. :)

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