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Lynda Loveland: Wheels up!

Posted May 4, 2011

Lynda Loveland

We’re in the process of hitting another one of those kid milestones. My six-year-old son finally decided he wants to take off the training wheels and ride his bike like a big boy.

Personally, I think he’d just as soon keep the extra wheels on indefinitely. But I have an inkling he’s feeling a little pressure from his neighborhood buds. You see, he’s the last of his friends to need extra appendages on his bike.

The training commences. Caiden straddles his bike and I grab hold of the back of his seat. I barely give him a little push, while still holding on, and he practically screams, “not sooo fast!” We were barely moving! I told him you can’t ride sitting still, you have to move to balance. I said start peddling. He says I am peddling. I said, well that’s funny because your feet aren’t moving! He said, I want to go slow. I say you can’t go any slower than still, cause that’s what you are, still.

I take a deep breath and try to give him a little push again. He yells “slow down!” I go through the whole thing again about having to move to be able to balance. It pretty much feels like that movie "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray.

He finally lays the bike on its side and says, “just sell it!” I said fine, put it in the garage. And I walk into the house. If he’s not going to be receptive, I’m not going to help. I can’t force him, right?

After just three minutes and 29 seconds, the first day of bike training is over.

Lynda is the mom of three and co-host of Bill & Lynda in the Morning on Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM. Find her here on Thursdays.


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  • pisgah2005 May 5, 2011

    Try a gently sloping grassy hill, and hold on to him the first couple of times down...It does work like a charm. My son, when he was ready (and not one minute sooner!), learned in one afternoon.

  • snowl May 5, 2011

    That is easy compared with teaching your teenager to drive an automobile. I've been there and done all that! Have fun Lynda! They do grow up fast. I'd advise having him coast down a small slope using his brake to control speed and soon he will get his balance enough to petal forward when he feels more confident. A grassy slope would work as mentioned.

  • missparrothead May 5, 2011

    Try it again on a hard, grassy area, maybe at a nearby park. Have him ride from you to your husband and gradually increase the distance. Worked like a charm for us. He'll get there soon!

  • Bklyn2Raleigh May 5, 2011

    I just had this same fight with my son yesterday. We didn't even get to practice because he got belligerant when I suggested trying without the training wheels. I am going to try the grass suggestion. I told him if I can do it...anyone can. Glad to see I am not the only one struggling with this. Thanks for all the suggestions.

  • jonnraleigh May 5, 2011


    Do you like all-inclusive sexist comments being thrown at women?

  • elliesmom May 5, 2011

    I agree with Kittiboo, I taught my daughter to ride her bike on a grassy field and it worked like a charm. A) they can't ride quite as fast as they do on pavement B) the grass takes some of the apprehension about falling out of the picture and C) when they first start, they are very wobbly and for some reason my daughter was so concerned about "falling off" the sidewalk that she over-corrected her steering and--ta da!--fell off the sidewalk. Being in an open field, you can't "fall off" anything while trying to get your bearings. Good luck! It's frustrating, but he will get it when he's ready!

  • moppie May 5, 2011

    My 8 year old daughter still refuses to give up her training wheels. They are up as high as they will go, and even bent up higher so she truly, doesn't need them. However, she has almost outgrown this bike, and I have already told her that the next bike will not come with training wheels!

  • hodgesfour May 5, 2011

    Our 8 year old fought losing her training wheels but before taking a beach trip at Easter, we told her it was time. I was prepared for a battle, as this drama queen can make ANYTHING a battle. We were in my MIL's flat yard and I pushed her once, she took off and was gone! It was amazing. I guess she was really ready to do it! Good luck!!

  • hihuwatlu May 5, 2011

    Most training wheels are adjustable so I started my daughter off by raising the training wheels as high as they would go. That way when she was riding, the training wheels really weren't doing anything but they would catch her if she started to tip over. A few weeks like that and we took them off altogether and she had no problems.

  • klcmomof2 May 5, 2011

    when my kids were mentally ready, it took them about 15 minutes to figure it out. Until they were mentally ready, it was a struggle!