Sunday, January 17, 2010


Have you ever seen the joke email which details the sad decline in the amount of parenting effort from firstborn to third born? It's one of those funny because it's close to the truth type jokes. Eg, with your firstborn you can't wait to get out of your ordinary clothes and into your maternity clothes, with your second child you try to stay in your everyday clothes as long as possible and by your third child your maternity clothes are your everyday clothes. You take your firstborn to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour, the 2nd baby to Baby Gymnastics and your third child to the supermarket and school pick-up.

(Mister Fixit, a third child)

So I'm pretty sure that our firstborn, aka The Climber, was taught to ride his bike without training wheels sometime between Kinder ending and School starting, because we would have been right on to all the developmental agendas for him, and maybe slightly worried that he'd feel bad if other kids could do it and he couldn't.

Of course, by the second child you are more relaxed and can send them off to school without really worrying about their bike-riding skills, fully realising that in fact bike-riding skills don't count for much in the scheme of school-readiness.

But despite being more relaxed about it, I have heard a little nag at the back of my brain for a good 6 months now: I really MUST teach that poor Cherub how to ride his bike without training wheels.

And finally, I got my act together and today was the day:


He didn't quite get it, but nearly.


The poor kid has been riding at an angle for the last year, due to the tilt of the bike on training wheels. Also, when I pull him along behind my bike, the Tail-gator system we use has a real tendency to work loose, which eventually puts the Cherub on a terrible angle. So this is what we were dealing with at first...


The trick today was getting him to sit up straight and by holding the back of his neck rather than the back of his seat we had some success.

learning toride80

(But we think this needs more reinforcement so when we got home Fixit prepped a spare bike for him to practice on by taking off the pedals so he can scoot - this helps them learn balance and steering.)


Once we realised what it was that he needed to get it right, the improvement was noticeable and there were a couple of brief moments when we were able to let go and he rode on his own.



  1. Geeze he is a gorgeous child. I don't believe I have said that yet his year.

  2. Oh gawd, none of mine can ride bikes and me such a bike lover. Keep vowing next holidays, next holidays but the days go by....


  3. Hah! My nephew, the firstborn child of two firstborn parents, apparently found a spanner and removed his own training wheels last week. He's four and five months. My brother and sister in law convinced him it would be a good idea to put one back on for a couple of days.

    Go Cherub!

  4. There really is that second child thing - when we were busy teaching Princess Curly-Wurly how to ride her bike at a developmentally appropriate age destructoBoy just got on with it and taught himself how despite being two years younger!

  5. Yay Cherub. He really is a gorgeous boy.

  6. HURRAY!

    Look at him, all concentrating and stuff - was he proud of himself??

  7. I'll second Aunty's comment. Good DNA there.

  8. I remember distinctly that training wheel lean that my kids had ...
    The boys will have so much fun when they are both free-wheeling !

  9. So true. You should see the notebook in which I detailed my three offspring's developmental accomplishments. I stopped when the oldest was five and a half, the second three and a half and the youngest five months. Well, I was busy.

    I remember teaching the first two to go without training wheels but the youngest? I think he must have taught himself. Poor child. He seems ok, though.

  10. Oh yes. I remember the man in the bike shop telling us to only use the training wheels for 3 months, or they become dependent on them. We dutifully followed that advice with the first child. The second had his trainers on for at least a year and the third, well I'm embarrassed to say. I think the eldest child ended up removing them and teaching him cos we were too busy.

    I remember that lean oh so well.

  11. Teaching a kid to ride without training wheels has to go down as one of life's most painful experiences.
    I am so pleased I will never have to do it again.
    Love that last photo of the Cherub.

  12. *snap*

    I just did a post over at mine about MissM bike riding with no training wheels!

    *yay* for Cherub, *yay* for MissM!


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