Since starting kindergarten and biking the boy on the cargo bike to school, I figured it was only a matter of time before he would generate the interest in learning to ride a bike himself. The weeks and months passed and I couldn’t get him to even sit on his bike.
Other kids on the street, younger than him begin to learn to bike, up and down the sidewalk. Numerous times, I asked if he wanted to get his bike out too to join them. “No” was the response.
The boy truthfully could ‘ride’ a bike, mostly using a pedal bike as a push bike. Really hadn’t mastered the whole “breaking” thang.
Back in the spring, a school parent mentioned a Canadian company that put on small bike clinics (aka camps) in different neighborhoods, throughout the city in the summer. When I found one, near our hood, I signed him up for the first full week after school ended in June.
Naturally, when I informed the boy he would be going to ‘bike camp’, he exclaimed not only no interest but said “I’m not going.” And naturally, I ignored that comment and on the appointed date and start time we showed up a nearby baseball field with bike and helmet in tow. One appealing advantage to this camp, that I as a parent trying to teach him to ride was peer pressure. His class only held three other students and most were younger, 4-5 years old. Now, not only did I have the peer pressure (he thinking if they can learn to ride, guess I can too) working on my side but these fellow pedal heads were younger. That first day, I left him, feeling confident that this experiment was going to work.
The class was only a half day, 3 hours, so I returned at lunch time. And guess what I saw:
The instructors created a small obstacle course with cones and the class was BIKING between the cones. Not only was he pedaling, braking but held a HUGE smile across his face.
Each day, it was fantastic to see him gain confidence in turning, braking, learning some basic rules of the road and also just having fun.