Our new family adventure... and look who learned to ride his big boy bike! Another week in our everyday lives!
My husband and I used to love to ride our bikes together before we had kids, actually I have always loved to ride my bike. When I became pregnant with Ethan, our first born, I quit riding my bike. We got a really nice stroller and we used that all of the time instead of riding bikes. I have great memories with the stroller, but I always missed riding my bike. In the meantime, the bikes sat in our garage... for almost ten years! How did that happen? How did I give up something I loved to do so much for almost a whole decade? Last year around this time, I bought these awesome child seats that I saw at Wal-Mart that attach to the front of the bike instead of the back. I never thought the ones in the back of you looked very safe, and the bike trailers? Forget it, they looked so big and awkward to maneuver. But sadly, they sat in our garage for another whole year collecting dust. So this past spring, for Father's Day, I decided to take our bikes, which now had flat tires and needed to be checked over to the Newton Bike Shop and get them fixed up. They even picked up the bikes and took them to the shop for free! That is partly why it had taken me so long to fix them because I could never fit the bikes and the kids in our van at the same time so I just never got around to it. They were very fast at fixing them (within a few days I think) and they also attached the kid seats on for us.
This is a picture of me in my parent's back yard the day I rode it (and walked my husband's bike because it was too tall for me) over to their house. I rode around the block a few times and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to ride with Nora in the seat. We often had family bike rides after that all summer, (unfortunately most of these are pics from my phone, so they are terrible quality but it is not very practical to take my big camera around with me so these were as good as we got.) I have a love/hate relationship with my iphone camera.
If you have young kids, I highly recommend skipping the tricycles all together, and moving straight to a balance bike as soon as they can fit one! I bought the one below on Craigslist a few years back for Ethan and all of the kids have used it. You can get similar ones online for a pretty reasonable price. When it came time for him to learn to ride a real bike, it took him less than 15 minutes.
This is Kien on his balance bike this past spring.
Ethan taught Kaia to ride her bike last year at his Grandma's house when she was watching them one day...
And a few months ago... HE TAUGHT KIEN TO RIDE! Kien just turned four in March and is the youngest so far of all of our kids to ride on their own thanks to his big brother. (I think the others could have done it earlier but we just never tried that soon.)
He was a little wobbly at first, but as soon as he got the hang of it...
He LOVED it! You can just see the pride and happiness in his face when he rides... and whenever he is in a bad mood, it is immediately lifted when we go on a bike ride!
Now that the older kids are back in school, Kien, Nora and I ride by ourselves sometimes... Nora was so relaxed the other day that she fell asleep! I had to ride very carefully the rest of the way home. I had Kien take this picture of us so we could have the whole bike in the picture. He did a pretty good job! Sometimes the kids can't make it as far as me, so I will ride to my parents, hang out a while, and then have my Mom watch them while I ride back home and I can go much faster and get more exercise than when I ride with them. Although, Ethan can pretty much hold his own with me. ;)
Here is a close up of the child seat. Nora and Kien both love to ride in them!
The other day, my husband took Ethan to go play tennis about 3 miles away on the bike path, so we decided to ride our bikes to go meet them! I can't believe they made it, but they did! He then drove them home and Kien rode on my bike and we went another 3 miles back home. It is the longest I have went in a long, long time and I felt like my legs might fall off, but it felt so good afterwards! Maybe I will finally lose the rest of my post baby weight now that my baby isn't a baby anymore! Ha! I love that our kids will have memories of us doing something we all love together, and I finally found a way to get some exercise in again. I'm so glad I finally decided to Just do it! :)