As the first half of the school year drew to a close in December, Kaitlyn brought home an announcement from her PE teacher that starting in January, they would doing a unit on bike safety. Immediately, Kaitlyn was extremely nervous about the unit, because up to that point, she really did not see a need to ride her bike. Sure, she would hop on it occasionally, using the combination of me or Amber, along with her training wheels, to keep her upright; she was not going to have that luxury at school.
We churned through the holidays, and somehow let it slip right by that we had to work with her to get her comfortable riding her bike. Once the calendar had flipped to 2015, time was of the essence; we had about 10 days or so to get Kaitlyn comfortable on her bike, without training wheels.
At first, Kaitlyn was very nervous, and a little scared about falling off of her bike. It was a slow process, most of which took place on our little walkway from the driveway to the front door, so when a fall would happen, she would (hopefully) land in the grass. Kaitlyn took her fair share of spills early on.
Like pretty much everything else she sets her mind to, Amber and I knew that it would not take her long to be steady on her bike. And we were right. In just over a week, and with a few days to spare, Kaitlyn was riding her bike on the road like a seasoned pro.
Now, she rides her bike almost every day. Amber and I have established a loose set of boundaries for her as far as how far she can ride down the road (it’s several houses in either direction from our house; we didn’t want her getting bored riding in circles directly in front of the house.), and she does good staying in her designated area. Sometimes she will see me walking back to the house after I finish my run, and she will ride back next to me, chatting up a storm.
She still has the occasional spill, but she jumps right back on her bike like nothing happened. In a shocking development (at least for Kaitlyn), she talked to our neighbor briefly Sunday after one of her spills; he checked to see if she was ok, and she assured him that she was fine. When he told me that, I was floored because she usually plays quite shy when we talk to him or his wife.
At this point, the speed at which Kaitlyn achieves her goals is not really a surprise to us. We never tell her she can’t do anything, and we always encourage her to do her best and keep trying.