Prior to today, Connor hasn't ever gotten really into the idea of riding a bike. He certainly has lots of fun on the trail-a-bike with Ed, and he was always up for riding in the bike seat when he was younger, but propelling himself didn't grab his attention. This is only a problem because as semi-regular bike commuters, I want Connor to enjoy riding bikes as much as Ed and I do. And I also want to be able to have him bike himself to the beach when we visit Chincoteague, so Ed can put Helen on the trail-a-bike, and I can worry about only myself.
For whatever reason, Connor decided he didn't want Ed to teach him to learn to ride a bike, so I decided I would give it a go. For a few weeks, when Ed and Helen would go to the grocery store, Connor and I would go and practice at the dead end street around the corner from us "in secret". A neighbor of mine gave me an awesome tip when she saw me running behind Connor helping him to balance his bike - which turned out to be the best piece of unsolicited parenting advice I have ever received. She showed me how to grab the back of Connor's shirt so that now Connor was controlling the bike, but I was aiding him enough in his balance that he didn't crash.
Connor is exceedingly concerned about crashing. I continue to assure him that crashing is inevitable, and that he's lucky he's a kid now, when kids get bike helmets. Because in my day? Not so much.
A month or so ago, Connor requested that I remove his training wheels, so I told Ed to remove his training wheels and pretend he knew nothing about it. Because bike maintenance? That is not my department. This all, for the record, was killing Ed because Ed really wanted to see Connor learn to ride a bike.
A couple of weeks ago, Connor finally showed Ed his stuff, and yesterday, he coasted down our street with Ed trotting behind.
Today? He is officially a bike rider. He cruised around the parking lot with ease, and then went around our block a few times. He loves riding too fast and in the span of a few minutes, I went from being super happy about Connor's new skills to super terrified. Can't win for trying, sometimes.
I present to you in video form Connor's bike riding, with interludes of Helen skating and cruising around on her Radio Flyer.
Music by Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers - Gravity