Mar 24, 2003

Last year I told Chloe as soon as she could ride a bike without training wheels I’d get her a new one, as the one she has is a Little Mermaid 16″ bike that Beth got for free from somebody. She didn’t seem to have much motivation or much success, and just at the very end of the fall she could pedal around Julie’s backyard a little bit without training wheels, but then it got too cold and we had ten feet of snow. So now that the snow has gone, in the last week or so she’s gotten the bike back out and had to learn all over again how to do it, this time without the benefit of Julie’s backyard. It was amazing to see the transformation from Saturday morning, when she couldn’t get the bike to go forward more than two feet without having to put her foot down and she was practicallly in tears and saying “I hate this bike!”, to yesterday morning, when she was pedalling up and down the flatter section of the street at will and catching herself when she did lose control. Beth was gone for the day with Phil again, so I took the kids to Ghiloni and had them ride from the parking lot all the way to the end of the access road and back. Chloe was happy as a clam, and said, “I love this bike!” So now its off to the bike shop. Even Justin was doing well pedaling on the tricycle, and got the workout of his life going up and down that road, which took about an hour and is probably about half a mile total. Beth also had a 12″ bike she acquired for free for him, but he looks too big for it already. He tried it out a few times, but seemed to prefer being rooted to the ground a little more securely with the tricycle. Last year he couldn’t pedal anything, so that’s a big improvement for him. My next acquisition is to get a bike rack for the car, since I don’t think I could fit a 20″ in the trunk of the Accord, and then Chloe and I could even ride together, since I’m not really that much better on the bike than she is. The older I get the more I try to be at least a little bit active, and would like to see the kids do the same, since I never did that much of it at their age. I used to ride my bike around Virginia in the summer time as a kid, but once I outgrew it I never got another one. Now real bike manufacturers like Trek and Specialized make kids bikes, even in pink, which of course is what Chloe wants. She’ll get a few years use out of it, so it should be worth it.

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