Lana and I haven’t quite arrived at the ‘bike without training wheels’ phase yet, but it looms in the horizon. So far, it’s all training wheels and feet slipping off the pedals, but by next summer — the real deal.
My co-worker (our morning anchor) and friend, Kris Gutierrez, has already arrived at that momentous ‘big girl bike’ stage with his little mini-me. Kris and his gorgeous wife Krystle have two adorable kiddos — Katelyn, 5 and Kristopher, 3. Lana loves them both dearly, and really looks up to Katelyn, who is already swimming, has been in school for a while, AND, is now riding her big girl bike. I ask Kris for advice on the kids kinda often, because wherever I’m going, he and Krystle have already been. This bike story, however, is both hysterical and insightful, so I asked Kris to do a guest post on his super quick, easy, big kid bike riding primer. Here it is, in his words.
By: Kris Gutierrez / Guest contributor to Weather Mommy blog / News anchor and Megan’s favorite (I see this Kris!) colleague at WBBM-TV
My daughter turned 5 in July. She REALLY wanted a bike for her birthday. She got one. It’s pink… with white tires and streamers dangling from the handle bars. She loves it. It’s a “Big Girl” bike… because it doesn’t have training wheels. We set out that day to learn how to ride. One word: FRUSTRATING! Notice the all caps. We were both afraid of “crashing”… my back hurt from bending over to help her and I was downright tired from all of the running! A stranger at the park noticed it wasn’t going well. He suggested we remove the pedals. Remove the pedals??? He explained that half of riding a bike is just maintaining your balance — so if you teach your child to coast along with his/her feet up, then they will be ready to actually ride. Makes sense, right? My wife googled “how to teach your kids to ride a bike” and found an article suggesting the same principle. We tried it…. and…. it worked! Once my daughter got comfortable running and then picking up her feet to glide while seated on the bike, we graduated to me actually pushing her. We started slowly, I ran next to her after giving her a soft push. By the end of the day I was pushing her as hard as I could and would stand back and watch her coast until the bike eventually came to a stop or she applied the brakes. That night my wife said we should put the pedals back on. My daughter was beaming with excitement. The next day she was determined to ride her big girl bike solo. I gave her one push… that’s it… and she was off and running — and hasn’t looked back. The only problem now: she wants to ride her bike every day. It’s my fault and I’m okay with that!