I took my daughter to the store today to buy her a push bike. The kind with no pedals. I don't think they had them when I was young. We had training wheels that were difficult to transition from without being too scared. Today I didn't really have the money but she emphatically points out every bike she sees and so I decided to take the opportunity of my trip to the city. As we entered the extensive bike section I knew it was an excellent idea. She was truly in heaven.
"That's a lot of bikes. That's a lot of bikes. That's a lot of bikes.."
There were people testing a few and she was delighted each time they went by. The best part was after we obtained the run bike and I pushed her all the way across the store to the till. I didn't even make her dismount at the checkout. I just picked up her and her new treasure together. She was very proud. And though no one paid attention, she informed every single person we passed that she was on a bike. For the three hour drive that followed it sat next to her in the truck. Every once in a while she would point it out. She would ask to have it on her lap and I would tell her it was too big.
I can't wait to lower the seat so she can touch the ground and truly give it a try. These push bikes are so simple but they really make sense. The child sits and pushes along with her feet. The more confident she gets the more she lifts her feet. What a great way to learn to ride a bike! And what an easy transition to a regular bike with pedals.
I don't have any early memories of learning to ride. I only remember a few incidents a few years later. Driving into a parked car. Or flying over the handle bars, landing on my face, and knocking out teeth. Usually, though, I enjoyed riding a bicycle. It was fast transportation between my house and my friends.
I know that my daughter will be thrilled. But I don't know what else to expect. I imagine, at 21 months, that the learning process will start slow. I don't know if she will comprehend the braking system. She may just expect mommy and daddy to do the work.
But she'll have fun. On her very own bike.