Categories

Pedal, Pedal, Pedal! The Magic of Learning to Ride a Bike (PHOTOS)

This past Christmas, Santa brought my kids something I’d been waiting for for a long time.

Henry, 2, got his first Big Wheel, complete with a big old push-handle for dad to help scoot him around. And Violet, 4, got her first balance bike so she can learn the ropes of doing it herself.

And now that the sun has finally shown up in our neck of the woods, the time has come for us to venture out in the church parking lot down the road and start learning to ride!

As a parent, teaching my kids to be able to ride a bike is probably one of the things I have been most looking forward too AND dreading at the same time. I love bikes and some of the most powerful lingering memories I have from my own childhood are the ones when I recall the feeling of sweet summer evening air blowing through my bowl cut as I pedaled my Mongoose  faster and faster up and down the streets around my neighborhood.

Riding a bike is a rite of passage for every kid and I feel  bad for any child anywhere who can’t experience that for whatever reason.

Still, as a parent now, I somewhat dread the nerve-wracking grip I’m bound to have on my daughter’s shoulder and her handlebars as i try and steer her toward a kind of physical and soulful independence she has never really had before. Being able to ride a bike on your own is a huge step toward growing up, huh? And, of course, as much as I want my kids to be able to do that, I also understand that it is symbolic of the fact that they are moving away from me, even as I teach them stuff.

I can’t wait though. I cannot wait until the moment, after all of the tears and scraped elbows have faded away, when I let go of each of my kids and they pedal their little legs so hard in a herky jerky line down the road all by themselves.

I just cannot wait.

  • . 1 of 20
    PicMonkey-Collage-21

    Click though to see them all!

  • First Bike 2 of 20
    dad-065

    It usually starts with a Christmas gift or a birthday gift...the first bike. All shiny and colorful, kids simply cannot wait to get it outside.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/26913594@N07

  • All You Need 3 of 20
    dad-18

    All you need to get started learning to ride a bike these days is a bicycle, a helmet, and a big old smile.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/dmatos

  • Nervous Daddy 4 of 20
    dad-031

    You would think that the new bike rider would be the more nervous of the two when it comes to the teacher and the pupil. But you would probably be wrong.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/sahdblunders

  • The Good… 5 of 20
    dad-042

    Every parent has their own vision of how they really hope these bike riding lessons will go.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/dottiemae

  • The Bad… 6 of 20
    dad-111

    Sometimes balance is fleeting for young riders-to-be. It's only natural, really. What goes up come down.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/fearless_craig

     

  • …And the Ugly 7 of 20
    dad-14

    It hurts our hearts to watch our son or daughter hit the deck, but we know it has to happen at some point. And we know that they'll be okay.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/majorvols

  • Climb Back Up 8 of 20
    dad-151

    Even though there might be some tears shed along the way to biking glory, kids are usually so cool about their spills. They climb back up on the horse ready to do it all again. I suspect that it's us moms and dads who feel the falls the most.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/majorvols

  • Moment of Truth 9 of 20
    dad-17

    Before long, we're going to find ourselves letting go completely. It's such a nerve-racking move; I honestly don't know how I'm going to be able to do it. But I will.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/lorda

  • Get Ready! 10 of 20
    dad-202

    First, we hold them safe and tight. But then, we loosen our grip.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/neontommy

  • Get Set! 11 of 20
    dad-091

    We loosened our grip on the seat or their arm and we take in a very deep gasp of air!

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/eyeliam

  • GO! 12 of 20
    dad-192

    We do it! We set them free! And away they go...

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/4merbx

  • Side Car 13 of 20
    dad-211

    Then, of course, we race to catch up, jogging beside them 'just in case'. But they don't even see us anymore. They are free.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/bobnrenee

  • Just Watch 14 of 20
    dad-221

    Sooner or later, though, we know we have to stand back and let them do their thing. So we stand back and just watch, prouder than we ever thought possible.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/mujitra

  • Hungry Eyes 15 of 20
    dad-051

    Once they're up and running, the look of determination on our child's face as they pedal right by us without even a nod or a wave is such an awesome thing.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo

  • Our Little Big Kid 16 of 20
    dad-131

    As much as parents sometimes get a little jittery about the future for our kiddos, they usually prove to us that they've got things under control.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/cookiecrumbkids

  • Part of the Gang 17 of 20
    dad-121

    And just like that, just like we did when we were their age long ago: our own sons and daughters join the local bicycle gang. Summer will never be the same.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/sarahrosenau

  • Anything is Possible 18 of 20
    dad-081

    Once our kids start messing around on a bike, it suddenly dawns on us that anything is possible for them in this world.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/softestthing

  • Bikes 19 of 20
    dad-071

    Bikes need kids to ride them until their wheels fall off. And once mom or dad teaches them to stay up and pedal,  kids will happily oblige. It's such a cool relationship that can last a lifetime.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/fernando

     

  • Ride On, Rider 20 of 20
    dad-161

    So ride on, rider. You've earned your stripes and there are a million miles of possibility out there just waiting for you.

    Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/draxus

 

You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.

And on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep up with Babble.com on Facebook.

More from Serge:

Play Ball! Cool Pictures of Kids Playing Baseball

Tuesday Night Lights:  Playing Catch with My Son for the Very First Time

Strange, Hilarious, and Awesome Ways To Transport Kids (PHOTOS)

Cool Pictures of Kids with Mohawks

Why Do My Kids Fight Bedtime?!

 

Tagged as: , , , ,

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Learn More.