the monday after easter we gave sterling a bike. the timing wasn’t so much about it being an easter gift (as he doesn’t know that other children receive gifts and candy on easter) but more about the fact that he had shown increased interest in them and it was finally warming up enough to actually enjoy being outside. naturally, it seemed the perfect time to introduce sterling to the joy of mobile transportation. so a few days before easter sterling accompanied us to the store to “try one on for size” not knowing that we had every intention of making the one that fit his very own bike.
after some finagling, which cost us a couple of days, jarod bought the bike the morning of our family trip out of town. when we arrived jarod unloaded the bike out of the back of the van. it was so fun to see sterling’s surprised expression. sadly we weren’t quick enough with the camera so we weren’t able to capture the moment of shock on video… but it truly was worth the multiple trips to walmart and the cover up to make it a surprise.
unfortunately, beyond sitting on it, sterling didn’t know what to do with his new wheels.
thankfully jarod was available to get sterling started off on the right foot.
we didn’t get much use out of or practice on the bike that week as the weather was still quite chilly and well, i was having a hard enough time keeping up with sterling… so upon our return home the bike hung out in the hallway of our complex until the weather warmed up enough for us to spend an extended amount of time outside.
in late may we gave the bike another spin try. it was then that sterling began to truly appreciate his new wheels.
at first, his appreciation looked quite differently than we expected. in the beginning he pushed his bike everywhere. not exactly what we had in mind. later i was able to finally convince him that pulling it might actually be more enjoyable.
eventually he did climb on…
and before i knew it he was getting the idea. at first he only knew how to peddle with his right foot…
but the next bike outing he was able to master peddling with both feet.
i was amazed at how persistent he was and how quickly he developed the strength to peddle so well.
next up: steering… while peddling. a feat that’s not as simple at one would think. so to give him the best advantage i took him to the basketball court and had him follow me with his eyes… which in turn taught him how to follow and steer his bike. once again i was amazed at how quickly he caught on.
the best part was not so much that he caught on so quickly, though that was pretty awesome to watch… the best part was watching him have fun in the midst of learning. he truly inspired me as his patient persistence and joyful attitude constantly amazed me.
by early june sterling was riding his bike like an old pro.
when he’s not speed racer-ing it around the complex he likes to go round and round the basketball court.
in addition to adding sterling’s own set of wheels to our family we were also able to add two bike seats (one to my bike & one to jarod’s) for sterling.
i think he was just as excited about his new bike seat as he was his new bike… even though it meant he went from the cool front riding position to the rear riding position.
i was pretty excited too as the multiple bike seats mean we can travel around town open-air style as a family of 4…
or 3 (ie. mommy & sprout style), should the need arise!
as an aside we’ve since enjoyed our first bike outing as a family of 4. for the most part i let jarod lead while i trailed behind, keeping my eye on entertaining sterling. the entire ride he kept telling me, “good job mommy!” funny how you can be encouraged by your child repeating your own words of affirmation!
so thankful for wheels!