The Daughter Chronicles

Monday, December 10, 2012

Norah rides a bike!

Yes, it's true. A few years ago, you might recall, I started teaching Norah how to ride a bicycle. She got her training wheels off and figured out to ride and stay upright pretty well, but she could not stop very well, or, more importantly, start. She had figured out that if she just stopped pedaling, she'd eventually stop, which isn't the best way, but it works for her. Starting, however, is pretty important, and Norah couldn't figure it out. Her problem is that she does not like feeling out of control, even for a second, so the fact that she needed to push off and move for an instant without pedaling or even having her feet on the pedal didn't sit well with her. It's for less than a second, true, but she couldn't convince herself that it would be okay. I told her last year that I had really explained it as well as I could, and it would be up to her to overcome that nervousness. (This is the reason she can swim quite well but can't dive. She doesn't want to leave the ground for long enough to get a good dive, because for those few moments, she's not in control. We hope she'll figure it out one day.)

So this year, she had outgrown her first bike, and I bought her a new one. I told her that this one would probably be her size for this year and at least two more, and if she couldn't learn to ride the bike by then, I wasn't buying her another one. I really didn't think it would take that long, but with Norah - who wants to do everything perfectly the first time she does something and gets in a bit of a snit if she doesn't succeed immediately - that was a possibility. She couldn't get it for a few weeks, but she kept trying. When she can get over being in a snit, she can often will herself to do something, and that's what happened here. Once she realized that being in a snit didn't do her any good, I heard her talking to herself when she was trying to get on the bike and telling herself what to do and not to be afraid. After that, it was pretty easy for her. So, of course, I had to film her ... well, get Krys to film her:

Here she is getting started:

Here she is stopping. She still kind of drifts to a stop, but she's getting better at it.

So there you have it. She was 7 years and a little bit over 5 months when she mastered the bike riding. I don't know if that's a typical age to get bike riding. I know some kids at her school were much younger, but I also know that some kids she knows haven't learned yet, but of course it's very possible their parents haven't taught them. She's really enjoying it, too - we go out almost every day. Soon she'll be able to cross the big streets, and then ... look out!


  • my daughter is 8.5 and only now wants her training wheels off. she is risk averse in the extreme.

    By Blogger Roger Owen Green, at 10/12/12 7:20 PM  

  • It's frustrating, isn't it? I mean, I understand it, and I have no idea when I started riding my own bike, but it's tough when you explain something and that's all you can do. They have to do the rest!

    By Blogger Greg, at 11/12/12 6:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home