Way back in 2011, I did a Strider PREbike review. Just look at how young Ashlyn was! She was about 2.5 when she started using her Strider and while she really enjoyed it, she was never one of those kids who zoomed around at top speed on them.
One of the many benefits that a lot of parents give when choosing a balance bike is that it helps the children to learn the hardest part of riding a regular bike. Did you think it was pedaling? Oh no, it’s how to balance your weight properly on the bike! Ashlyn started riding a two-wheeler with training wheels last year but she was still very nervous about it and couldn’t seem to keep her balance on it. Patricia from Strider was kind enough to call and gave me a few tips on how to get Ashlyn more comfortable on her bike – turns out that simply lowering the seat so that she could have her feet flat made a world of difference!
Ashlyn really wanted to ditch the training wheels, and I wanted her to as well because she was developing some really bad habits, like leaning to the side to purposely engage the training wheels instead of sitting straight and balancing. Rowan has since taken over the Strider and she’s really good at it – she has even mastered the glide with her feet on the resting bar.
I was trying to teach Ashlyn to balance by holding the back of her bike in the classic ‘learn to ride a two-wheeler’ method so many parents have used. It seemed to make things much worse though and she was relying on me to hold her up. One afternoon last week she was waiting for me to help her and she decided to ‘practice her balance’ by walking, then gliding on her bike like she used to with her Strider. I told her that if she put her feet on the pedals and used them she’d be biking and no word of a lie, she tried it and was off!
In just over one week she’s gone from being scared to go over curbs with her training wheels on because she would slow down and frequently tip over, to zooming around the paths at our local parks all by herself! It’s amazing and we’re so very proud of her. Now I wonder if she would have been better off last summer had we not even bothered with training wheels at all. Her confidence is through the roof and I’m giving a lot of that credit to using a Strider for a couple of years. I have a hunch that next summer, Rowan will be riding a two wheeler with no training wheels too!