Friday, December 27, 2013
The holidays are a time for indulgence, so I'm going to indulge in some parental pride here. A couple days ago, out daughter Sequoia took her first unassisted ride on a pedal bike, and at the tender age of three and a half!
She's been gearing up to this for some time now. She got the bike over the summer (a hand-me-down from our friends the Flynns, thank you!), and I've been pushing her around the courtyard on it. Having mastered balance on a balance bike, she was immediately able to coast unassisted for short distances. However, pedaling was something she had to work up to. Part of the challenge was just being able to extend her legs far enough -- the bike was a little big for her, and, as you can see, it still is. When she's on the seat, she can't reach the ground with her toes.
With time, she figured out the pedaling part, and during the last week, it all came together. She did a long unassisted ride on Christmas Eve, but I didn't have my camera with me for that one. So on Christmas Day, we went out to Margit Island and did it again, this time with camera. She rode super well down the sidewalk on the way to the big playground, even dodging around oncoming pedestrians. Later, on the drive in front of the Alfréd Hajós Swimming Pool, she did a sharp turnaround, and then stopped and got off the bike unassisted. That was a first. Prior to that, her only unassisted stops were crash landings.
Admittedly, there are a couple basic things she's yet to master: braking and starting on her own. The bike doesn't have a coaster brake, only hand brakes. Those are difficult to pull for little kids. I can remember struggling with them myself when I was five or six. And because the bike is a little too big for her, she hasn't yet gotten off to an unassisted start. So for the time being, she'll need some supervision when biking. But she's off off to a very precocious start.