Tuesday, August 19, 2008

two wheels

"Daddy, can we take my training wheels off today?" "Today?" "Can you take off my training wheels today?" "Will you take my training wheels off?"

CD finally did it. Pook had given up his training wheels in June, after turning seven, and Bug is just four (and a half). We didn't really think he was ready, but the Aklympics were calling to him and the cycling he watched online fascinated him. We had to watch the crash in the women's road race again and again. So, with a whopping 15 minutes of bike time on Sunday, CD pulled out the tools and took them off. Bug's bike (given to Pook at his 3rd birthday and overshadowed by a pair of scissors) is small, a substitute for a tricycle. The tires are less than 12". The good thing about learning now, on a small bike, is that the ground isn't far away.

He was psyched. And he biked. By himself. CD got him started each time and then let go. Off he went. He only lost his courage when presented with a slope. But Monday afternoon he couldn't wait to go back outside. I let him practice in the noon sun for as long as I could stand it. I showed him how to put one pedal at the top, ready to push down quickly and he worked on starting alone until he had it. In the afternoon he and Pook went out biking together in the parking lot across the street. (With the pool already closed, it might as well be useful in other ways.) He was doing laps around the lot at high speeds, up and down a small slope, starting and stopping independently.

I had reminded him at the start of the activity about the Olympic racer who fell. I told him that big kids who ride two wheelers also have big crashes. I said I expected him to be brave if he fell and to not scare the entire neighborhood with screams. What I forgot to do was remind Pook. He was needing to do better than Bug. I'm sure it was important to be able to do things that little brother couldn't. He was cruising fast, taking sharp corners and trying too hard. And he wiped out. Scrapes on knees, thigh, elbow, chin and cheek.

1 comment:

  1. That was a really sweet story. My little girl is six, and just lost her training wheels this last weekend. It all happens way, way too fast for me.