Thursday, April 7, 2011
As I sit here this morning with sore buttocks and shins the memories of a warm wonderful Sunday will hopefully remain fresh in my mind even as a cold Spring breeze blows everything else away. Somehow until yesterday I had not managed to teach my 7 year old son to ride a bike without training wheels. It seems like we took the training wheels off years ago, but a few quick lessons had gone unfinished. As I watched him play his DS yesterday morning something made me decide that today was the day. I asked Eli if he wanted to learn to ride his bike today to which he unenthusiastically replied sure, and off we went. Part of the reason I have been reluctant to teach him to ride is our lack of a good smooth surface on which to learn. This day we started on the gravel road in front of the campground and then progressed to the slight downward grade in front of the log cabin. This spot is on packed grass and is quite bumpy, but provided a soft landing for crashes, while the downhill start provided increased speed for easier balancing. Amazingly, within 10-15 minutes of me helping him to balance he was off and riding. We continued to walk to the base of the hill for easier starts, and within and hour or so he was taking off on his own, and swirving up and down the campground running into the fence twice, the truck once, and the four wheeler several times. The art of breaking still has not been mastered, but I have witnessed good form when bailing off the back of the bike just before big downhill crashes were to occur. Surprisingly I think I feel more beat up today than Eli does from bending over to help him balance and running along side him on those first solo flights. Looks like he may be more coordinated than his old man, seems like I remember more blood, tears, and frustration when I was discovering my freedom.