Saturday, March 30, 2013

Riker the Biker

While enjoying a rare quiet moment reading a book in the house alone this morning while Brian was outside with the kids, I was startled to hear "Jenn, come outside!" I jumped up and ran out in my pajamas to see Riker riding a bicycle all by himself!

This was only the second time he had tried riding a bike on his own and we couldn't believe how quickly he took to it. The first time he tried was on a bike with very small wheels making it nearly impossible to maintain enough momentum to stay upright. The bike he's riding in the video belongs to the little girl just down the street and you can see Xanthe in the video above shouting "Mummy, look at Riker!" On a bike with larger wheels and proper gearing, it only took one push and off he went.

I'm confident that the major reason he took to riding so easily is not because of a genetic inheritance from his father, but because he learned the preliminary skills on a balance bike. Riker occasionally rode a little bike with training wheels to practice the pedaling aspect of riding, but as he never became reliant on them, he never had to unlearn dependence on them for balance. Instead, what he's been working on all along is his own inherent sense of balance. This video of him on his balance bike was taken three months ago after he'd been using it for only a few weeks.

Another major factor in learning to ride was that all the other kids on the street ride their bikes nearly every evening after dinner and Riker was highly motivated to keep up with the bigger kids. We think that Ari will probably ride even earlier because he's already super keen to keep up with his brother.  While he's too small to get on it yet, he pushes his balance bike around with impressive strength and dexterity. Once he grows a few more inches, look out.

One month shy of three and a half and riding a bicycle. Well done Riker, I'm so proud of you! And you're finally earning your nickname!

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