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Monday, September 24, 2012

Pip Dog Rides a Bike

You can put your kid in lessons to teach them how to do just about any sport: skating, skiing, swimming...but biking is different. Biking raises the bar on parenting. Biking is something Mom or Dad has to teach. There are no lessons to drop the kid off at and  pick them up from and then one day, they have miraculously learned how to ride. 
If you live on a flat street with a flat drive and put training wheels on your kid's bike--well, maybe you get off a little easy. But that  has not been my experience. My experience involves driving my kids to a flat area and running behind their bikes, back ache be damned!
I've spent late summer teaching our youngest, Pip to ride a 2 wheeled bicycle. We live on a steep hill, so it isn't as easy as saying, "just go and practice on our drive way." Either her dad or I drive Pip and bike to flat parks to practice.
 I never learned with training wheels--I learned with my dad running behind the bike and letting go once I had balance. This is how I've taught my children. It is hard on the back though... 

Did I mention the wee reward we offered each of our kids once they could balance on their own and ride for 1 minute without falling? We offered them a trip to Seven-Eleven to choose a small slurpee. It worked like a charm. I remember my eldest daughter seemed unmotivated to concentrate and steer independently. I thought she'd never be ready for me to let go of the bike. Then I mentioned the slurpee reward. That was it, she told me to let go immediately and she biked along as straight as an arrow, as though she'd been biking for years! Sometimes a little motivational reward goes a long way...

The Pip Dog has done it! She is able to ride a bike on her own.
The pictures are of Pip Dog practicing on a ball diamond--the very best place to practice: smooth, flat and not as hard to fall on as pavement. 

Pip's soccer coach informed me on Saturday that Pip is no longer to be called Pip, but that she only responds to "Pip Dog" (Pip had told her coach this). Pip Dog it is.
 Go Pip Dog Go!

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