Friday, November 5, 2010

To Ride or Not To Ride... That is the Question!

Oh, to have my little man riding a bike... isn't that the quintessential "boy in the summer" thing to do?

When I was pregnant and we found out we were having a boy, my mind went on quite the adventure! Having only raised a girl before (where badminton was the sport of choice) and not living with a sports oriented husband (art, movies and research on the latest cameras vs the latest quarterback of the season was his focus) I had no idea what to expect from a boy being brought into our household.

Now, I do have a brother in law and nephew that would surface in the dictionary under the standard definition of testosterone. They watch the weekend sports, whatever that may be at the moment; they work on cars in the garage, a lifelong adventure; and they talk about "man-food" like it's the second coming... so yes, I have had some exposure to the Man Cave, Guys World kind of atmosphere. However, how is that incorporated into our world... one of eccentric, crazy, fun-filled adventures, with a non-gender passionate lifestyle amongst us all.

Noah is the epitome of all of us combined... funny, creative, seeks his solitude, interested in movies, books, numbers, order and reading. The physical aspect of his lifestyle has come along as a secondary reflux. His peers are into soccer, soccer, and more soccer. Noah is into running, the feel of the wind on his face, the shadow that follows him and the smiles from those lucky enough to come across his path. The kicking of the ball to watch it fly through the air, fascinating! However, having to kick that ball to reach a specific person or make a goal... boring!

I recognize Noah's drives and desires, yet I still have this unrelenting compulsion to have Noah ride a bike. And not just ride the bike, but ENJOY it! How deranged is that!?! For some reason, I believe, that once he masters the peddling and maneuvering of the bicycle, he will want nothing more than to explore the world from this rubber wheeled contraption!

We began our bike adventure with the infamous push-trike.

This bike worked well for quite a while. We attached Velcro strips around the peddles to keep Noah's feet in place while riding. The wheels turned on rotation as the bike was being pushed, therefore moving Noah's legs in the proper pattern of riding his bike both for memory and brain development. Also, the push handle allowed the parent to steer the trike as well. This bike met every need possible, and Noah LOVED going out on his bike. The problem arose when he outgrew the little trike. (Growth pattern has never been a challenge for Noah).

So, on to bike number 2...

This past summer I purchased a two wheel bike with training wheels from Target. We put it together, then we took it to the local bike shop for some "modifications". Well, the modifications ended up costing us more than the bike itself! What we did was we changed out the peddles of the bike and added peddles that could accommodate the toe stoppers. This way, we figured it was a good transition for Noah to learn to peddle the bike by himself, and keep his feet on the peddle. The toe stoppers were there for additional support.

Well, needless to say, this was not a big winner! He would put his helmet on, get on the bike, and (with my assistance, poor lower back) would peddle about three or four spins, then he was "all done". All done - seriously... we only went half way to the neighbors! Ugh! But, I want him to love it, so... we turn the bike around, and I "negotiate" with my 4 yr. old son, to try to ride his bike back to our house - all 20 feet! (It's amazing that I negotiate for a living... yet my four year old son can really throw me under the bus)!!!

So, failure with bike #2 has led me on the search for a larger trike that had the capability of assistance (push bar) yet allowed Noah the independence to learn to peddle and ride a bike on his own.

After a lot of research, I ordered the Radio Flyer, 10" trike with a push bar. It arrived today.

The nice thing about this bike is that it is larger than his last trike. The peddles move in rotation when the bike is moving. There is a push handle, however it does not "steer" the bike. It fits Noah well, and I figured that once he has mastered this trike, his little bike will be a piece of cake!

I was all excited when this arrived today! I put it together and then woke Noah up from his nap... "Come on bug (love bug) wake up and lets go ride your new bike"! Ha! He was so not interested! Once I finally got him on the bike, with his shoes tied to the peddles (need to get more Velcro straps) he rode about three rotations and then said and signed... "All Done"!

So, my question for the weekend... Do I wait a while and try again or do I prove to him how much fun the peddling of a bike with the wind blowing in your hair truly is to all! The fact that there is nothing more satisfying than flying down the street, riding on rubber wheels and smiling so wide you can only hope to catch the bugs flying through the evening!

Hmmm, is this my passion or my little man's? Only time will tell :-)


  1. I think you should wait a while because he seems not enjoying it. I think the reason may be he tiers easily because the hypotonia (low muscle tone). I do believe nutrition plays a very important role in help our kids overcome the hypotonia, so maybe if you giving food that provide energy before he does sports may help his body to be more physically active to ride his trike. My son is about 2 years younger than Noah and he loves to ride a trike, but he cannot pedal yet. But he has the desire, so every time we go to Walmart, Target or Babies' R Us we go to the bike section and he rides there. So we are starting slowly on this process. Maybe, if you give Noah the opportunity to go to store and chose his own bike he may get the feeling of riding a bike. Here is some information about how nutrition impact low muscle tone.

    I hope this can help you. I am glad I found your blog because I has a lot of things that will help me. By the way, Noah is very cute!

  2. Hi Rosa,
    Thank you for your feedback - the article you provided was very interesting! I need to check Noah's current vitamins and verify that enough is provided for stamina as well.
    I look forward to our getting to know one another! We seem to be on the same track with our little ones ;-)

    In peace, Raquel