Reece was 20 months when we bought him a yellow Strider. At first, the use was limited to walks around the block, or the park. What started out as a slow walk while straddling the bar, quickly turned into sitting on the seat. Once he figured out the “stride”, it was hard to keep up with him on our walks. We spent many hours downstairs when the weather was bad (with countless trips up and down the stairs when it was nice) trying to make it from one side of the basement to the other without putting his feet down. When he was 4 ½, we bought him a pedal bike. His exposure to pedals was limited to the test ride in the store. As soon as we got home, his dad took off the training wheels while Reece put on his helmet as well as some knee and elbow pads – he was ready to go! Before he made a turn of the pedals, he told his dad to let go – he had it. Had it, he did. He took off and didn’t look back. While the handle bars were a little shaky as he figured out the pedals, he stayed upright without any problems. Initially, there was a lot of coasting to a stop and instances of feet going down to drag the bike to a stop, but he is now a riding pro!
Reece’s little sister, Lily was 18 months when we bought her a pink Strider, but that was only after she had already been using her brother’s. For her, if her older brother is doing it, she is too. She was quick to actually start using her balance and coast between strides. Rides around the block began to include more riding than walking. If she couldn’t be outside, a lot of time was spent riding around in the basement. Once she began riding down the neighbor’s steep driveway, trying her best to coast the rest of the way across the cul-de-sac, it was evident she was ready for something more. When she was 3 ½, we bought her a pedal bike. She struggled with the pedaling and didn’t want to ride the pedal bike. She continued to ride her Strider. A few weeks later, she told me she was ready to ride her bike. She must have just needed that extra time practicing balance to gain the confidence and coordination for pedaling. I went into the garage to get her bike ready, but she hopped on her brother’s bike and took off. She didn’t even need me to start her off. While she did still struggle with the pedals, she had built more confidence, and it didn’t take long for her to get the hang of it. With both kids riding, it has brought our family even closer together. We now go on group rides and get outdoors whenever we can.
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