The Ups & Downs of Balance Biking

Christmas 2014. 2 years 5 months old. 2 presents received (well loads of presents received but the two most notable):

1. Baby Brother
2. Bike

In isolation, these are arguably the two greatest presents you could ever receive. Together, not so good!

By the end of summer, the bike had been from one end of the patio to the other quite a few times but further than that? Not so much! Enough was enough. Baby brother strapped to mummy in the baby carrier, the bike went round the block. Again and again and again. It was slow going. Hills especially so. But, it was without trauma.

No… ‘I don’t want to ride the bike’. No… ‘I can’t do it’. Not one complaint from the rider was received. Mummy meanwhile was getting pretty agitated. ‘Why not try lifting your feet up Seth?’ ‘Why not push and see if you can glide?’ ‘Why not practice balancing?’ But no, the footpaths were worn out from the endless walking round the block with a bike between the legs.

Perseverance was the key. The bike went to nursery to be ridden home. A way of carrying the bike on the baby’s pram was discovered. The bike went to the park and was ridden round the paths.

Something clicked and the balance bike was mastered.

Thank goodness for that! It is now an essential piece of kit. It allows the boy to get from a to b quickly without complaint and without the need of a buggy board. It is character building (although I’m not sure his Dad would agree) – he falls off, he cries, he gets back on. In Mummy logic ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’ (Daddy would prefer the wrapping in bubble wrap or cotton wool approach I’m sure!)

At the weekend, we went to visit Grandma at the seaside and took the bike with us. We went the whole way round Fairhaven Lake (near St Anne’s in Lancashire) the furthest his Grandma had ever seen Seth go without the need of either the buggy board or a piggy back. He didn’t bike it the whole way round of course, he had to get off for a run and an explore but he did well. Balance bike finally mastered almost a year after he got it.

Did your children start with a balance bike? How was the transition to pedals and how old were they when they moved on? I’m determined not to bother with stabilisers as this would defeat the object of starting with the balance bike.

Seth is now asking for a skateboard – I think Daddy will have something to say about that! 😂

Life Unexpected
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9 thoughts on “The Ups & Downs of Balance Biking

  1. Oh my teaching them to ride bikes is such a perseverance test for us parents as much as them isn’t it!!! Great that he’s so good on his balance bike now, hopefully riding a big bike will be a piece of cake!! #whatevertheweather

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  2. Friends of mine have raved about their balance bikes, so we definitely plan to get one for Tom when he’s bigger. Well done on him for mastering it! #whatevertheweather

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    1. Thanks Lucy. Only yesterday, a friend of mine was telling me how her son didn’t take to his at all and they feel as though they’ve wasted a year since last Christmas where he could have been learning to ride. I suppose all kids are different! I certainly wasn’t raving about it just a few short months ago! #whatevertheweather

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  3. Alice started on a balance bike. With James being a very keen cyclist, she was given one when she was about 18 months! She mastered it by about 2 and a half, then grew too big for it really, but wouldn’t try on the replacement we got as she didn’t like the look of pedals!! We had lots of tears and tantrums trying her on slight hills on grass but she really wasn’t keen. When she started nursery at 4 and a half she had a fabulous teacher who got her riding the bikes in school without stabilisers and she was away. So she’s been riding without stabilisers for around 2 years now and loves it. She’s now mastered turning round without getting off and takes every opportunity to go out for a ride. Enjoy the transition!!

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    1. Seth’s three and a half. I was thinking maybe by his birthday next summer we might have to look for a pedal bike. But we’ll see how he gets on. We got quite a big size balance bike as Seth’s always been tall so it should last him far longer than he needs it (fingers crossed!)

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  4. Aww, well done Seth! We love balance bikes too, O got his at 2 years old, but refused to use it until 3 years and 4 months, mastered it within a week and we now use it everywhere, which is great as we don’t have a car when daddy’s working! Got a pedal bike for his 4th birthday and although he can pedal and he can balance he hasn’t got the hang of both, I think he’ll be 4.5 before he’s pedalling properly in the other bike, I refuse to use stabilisers!!
    Thanks for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

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  5. Wow, well done Seth for mastering it!!! Oh i’m definitely like his daddy, I definitely wrap my daughter up in cotton wool a bit too much. That’s so good that you all persevered with it and now he has it. Not only is it such a fun thing to play with but it’s going to be so helpful to you going from a to b with two little ones. Balance bikes sound really great. I can’t wait till our daughter has her first go.Thank you so much for linking up to #whatevertheweather x

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