Christmas is coming early in our house and my present is arriving next weekend and her name is Vita. Her coat may be glossy and her saddle comfy, but sadly due to the confines of our London garden we will be stabling a shiny new bike rather than steed. Yes we are about to become the ‘family that bike’. Mr N’s new wheels were picked up yesterday and Little B’s Hamax seat has been installed and so we will soon be ready to explore the city’s cycle paths with hopefully a few stops for Hot Chocolate along the way. This new found love of getting out and about is all down to Little A passing one of life’s milestones – being able to ride a bike all on his own. Whilst I would like to credit this feat with my amazing parenting skills it is in fact all down to his balance bike.
Father Christmas delivered one last year and 11 months later he has transitioned onto his first proper ‘big boy’ bike (courtesy of a cousin hand-me-down). With not a stabilizer in sight, he is now doing laps of the local park whilst giving me numerous heart attacks on the journey there as he bounces from one lamppost to the next. Forget scooting, walking behind your nearly 4 yr old cycling unaided is another terrifying part of parenthood. Only now though can I really appreciate quite how fabulous a balance bike is and if you are contemplating stabilizers vs. a balance bike then I would definitely opt for the latter. A year spent balancing his way to nursery on his, has meant the transition to learning how to peddle a real bike a simple and intuitive one. Now I just have to dust off my cycling skills in time for Vita to arrive.
All in the detail:
Our balance bike was a red Strider Balance bike
£85 from GLTC, click here to view
Little A is now riding around on a blue Ridgeback bike inherited from his
It is obviously cheaper to attach stabilisers to a bike but definitely worth looking in charity shops or asking to borrow a balance bike as you only use them for about 18 months but it really does make the transition so much easier.
Don’t forget the helmet – Little A wears a punchy Union Jack one from Kiddimoto
Father C is kindly delivering me a Specialized Vita step-through bike