Riding a bicycle “on two wheels”

You don’t need me to tell you this but kids are amazing things! Up until now Zosia has regarded bicycles as evil machines she wishes to have nothing whatsoever to do with. We have tried each year since buying the bike 4 years ago to get her two-wheel -cycle-spark ignited but after a few lame attempts she has always given up. In the hope that “one day it will just happen” we have never forced her into learning. Furthermore, she has never been in a position where she was missing out on something by being unable to ride a bike. She doesn’t have a lot of local friends who go our riding together.

Spurred on by her miracle overnight learning of rollerblades, we were hopeful that this year was the year and were determined to make a big effort with the last remaining important skill – she can already swim, ride a horse, use a tennis racket, throw and catch, dance, trampoline and other assorted physical things.

Two days ago she could not ride a bike, was frightened by it in fact and had no desire to ride one. Today, it is hard to get her off the thing!

M & I would like to lay claim to being hero parents who struggled for weeks and applied great effort to the task of teaching our offspring to balance, pedal and steer all at the same time, but we can’t. M took the bike out the day before yesterday and encouraged her to have a go. There followed a realization that it wasn’t all that dangerous, especially as she has now grown considerably. We bought the bike when she was 3. Then followed a short period, perhaps an hour, of wobbling around with parents holding handlebars and then with a big stick shoved behind the saddle. None of this was working, as usual, so we just left it alone.

She had obviously been thinking about it overnight and said to mummy the next morning that she knew how to do it. Sure enough, out she went and POW she started riding a bike for the very first time. She wanted to do everything all at once of course so some frustration built up when she hit the inevitable trough after the initial euphoria. Her aim was to ride up the hill, around the roundabout (in the distance mid-left side of the photo) and then back again without stopping. She didn’t achieve that yesterday and she was very angry about that.

Today she came out with fresh energy and determination and has managed to do what she wanted, well near enough for me anyway. Tomorrow for sure she will achieve it 100% and probably more besides. I’ve promised a new and better bike when she’s really got this one under control.

Three cheers for Zosia! We can look forward to family cycling around Młociny park this summer I think!

NOW (April 2010)

THEN (May 2006)


10 thoughts on “Riding a bicycle “on two wheels”

  1. I am not sure if the white basket is a good idea. It would make me nervous because you can not really see the front wheel and this is quite dangerous IMO.

  2. Cycling is a great leisure activity. I’m sure Zosia will take to it soon. In her age I was a cycling freak – I could spend six or seven hours a day riding around, then at the age of eleven I went off it, for no apparent reason, then I bought a bike in 2004, this year I’m going to use it for getting to P&R Ursynów, to avoid riding buses.

    Have a nice Easter Scatts!

  3. How Eddie learnt to ride (aged 5)

    Bicycle taken in car to the other side of Las Kabacki from home.

    Eddie and I are dropped off. “Eddie” I say. “You have two options. One. Push the bike home. Two. Ride it home. No mummy in her car any more”. So struggling along, with me running, holding, lifting, etc, we did it. By the time we returned to Pyry, he’d cracked it.

  4. Good for Zosia. I remember my time on a bike when I was her age. No hands, stood on the seat with one foot up in the air. Wouldn’t try that now though. :)

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