My little girl and I’ve gone bike riding quite frequently, either on her bike
with training wheels or her trailer bike
attached behind my bike. But yesterday was a major milestone. We went out for her first practice ride with one missing training wheel and then with both taken off. Quinn told me, “I’m excited but nervous, Mommy. Do you have any advice?” I immediately said, “A big part of riding a bike without training wheels is having the confidence that you can do it, and another part is being able to balance!”
We spent about an hour at the neighborhood park’s lot for a flat surface: a half hour with just one training wheel attached and the other half with no training wheels attached. Without me coaching her, she repeatedly said, “I am confident, I am confident…” as she tried to balance, pedal, steer and look where she was going. There were times when her father or I was along the side or in the back and even a few instances when she was able to ride with minimal assistance.
While she managed to get accustomed to just the one training wheel, no training wheels definitely proved to be more arduous. I could see the frustration starting to seep in as she tipped to the side when she pedaled a short distance, and I didn’t want her to feel defeated. I shared with her that I didn’t learn to ride a bike in just one day and that it may take some time.
Right next to the park’s lot we could see a couple of teens practicing tricks at the skate park, and I asked, “Do you think they learned how to skate board or do those tricks in one day?” Quinn said, “No.” I responded, “Exactly! They probably practice a lot, and the more you practice the better you will get at riding your bike with no training wheels.”
This made me think about how so many tasks and activities in life require confidence and some level of balance in order to succeed. Everything from bike riding to skate boarding to roller skating and even walking needs these features. If you think about it, the people who lead the most successful lives tend to be confident and well-balanced.
I also feel confident in saying that most would say this isn’t something that happens over night. Parents, teachers, mentors and many other people and “helpers” may be our “training wheels” in the early stages of life. Sometimes, people don’t need them at all, others need them for a little while, and some need them longer than others. I’m not sure how long it will take my daughter to confidently balance without training wheels, but I plan to be right by her side encouraging her that she can do it not just with riding a bike but with anything in life.
If you have any tips for riding without training wheels, please feel free to share.
All the best,