My kids don’t know how to ride bikes without training wheels. We took the training wheels off two summers ago, but they’ve just never turned the proverbial corner and spent the time to figure out how to ride. We spent a couple of afternoons making good attempts last summer, but neither one of them got more than a house or two away without falling.
Cut to today: the kids down the block come over and ask D and Rose to ride to the park with them (and their dad). My kids – “Sure! Can you get our bikes out, Mom?” And I say sure, but quietly remind my kids that they need some practice as they haven’t been on bikes since last summer, and even then not very successfully.
So we get the bikes out, fill the tires, adjust the seats, put on helmets, etc. And my kids REALLY want to do this. So bad. They are determined. But there is no way they are going to learn to ride bikes well enough in a half hour to go to the park with their friends.
I mitigate their expectations: you have to learn to pedal, balance, steer, and brake well enough to get to the corner before I am even going to consider letting you go to the park. And they both get to where they can do two of the things on the list, but not all four. (Dillon had a spectacular wipeout where he rode almost directly into the fire hydrant. I am pleased that no part of him wound up bloody after that one, just very, very muddy and grass-stained.) So we opt to stay home and practice a bit more. But they are really determined, and I think that having kids down the street that ride bikes everywhere is going to be the motivating factor. They are going to figure this out this summer. They got this.