Family,

Matthew’s First Bike

My dream is to one day go mountain biking with my son. And now, we are one step closer to that dream as Matthew is now riding his first bike.

We bought this bike as an early Christmas present. It’s basically the one big item that he would get him Christmas. We didn’t get one for his birthday because he wasn’t really ready for it, and we figure now he’s ready.

Claire’s a lot of fun to push because she looks back and gives that cute smile to show that she’s really enjoying the ride. She doesn’t care for the helmet so much though. We eventually just decided to let her ride without it since the seat has straps that keep her from falling.

At first, helping Matthew ride is a little hard on our backs. You can see Jenn reaching over and holding the handlebars. Matthew was having a mild panic if we let go. I think he was mainly panicked because he realized that he didn’t know how to use the breaks. So we focused on helping him learn to use the breaks. Which basically amounted to me pushing him to experience going fast. I would then encourage and later yell at him to stop, peddle backwards. Then I would reach down and manually push his foot backwards so that he associated and experienced stopping with the backwards peddle motion. He somewhat understood during our training sessions, but was still mostly panicking. Suddenly, one day without my coaching, he pushed the peddles backwards hard, stopping on a dime. And I’ve seen him use the breaks several times to avoid running into things. Now he loves using the breaks so much that we have to ask him to stop using the breaks! smile

When I first bought the bike it needed some minor adjustments to the seat height and the training wheels. In the photo above, Matthew is stopping to “pretend” fix things. I think on this adventure we even brought the wrench because Matthew wanted to be prepared to fix the bike along the way. Don’t tell him, but actually, there was nothing wrong with it. Ssshhh! wink

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