Amanda got her bicycle for Christmas last year (2003) and I decided she could learn to ride without training wheels. I remember when I was learning to ride my bike as a kid...training wheels were my crutch and did not help me learn to ride at all. Well, when I made this decision for Amanda, I never thought about the fact that Amanda had never been on a bicycle before. She did not even know how to pedal! After 10 minutes of saying (ok, maybe yelling) "pedal...pedal...pedal" and running across the church parking lot all hunkered over trying to hold her up so she would not fall over, I decided maybe training wheels would be OK for a while.
Fast forward to Spring Break 2005. Daddy and Amanda talked and decided Amanda could now learn to ride without training wheels. We took the training wheels off on Thursday and spent 20-30 minutes practicing. By the end of our time together, Amanda went 30 feet or so, downhill, by herself. Because the bike is a too small for her now it is hard to pedal enough to keep going even on a slight uphill grade. Today (Friday), Mommy went with us to see how Amanda was doing. I helped Amanda get started (still the hardest part for her) and she went WAY more than the 30 feet from yesterday. We practiced for another 30 minutes today and she is definitely getting the hang of it! She can now ride clear across the church parking lot and is even learning to turn. She has a "never quit" attitude and gets frustrated when she has to stop or "messes up". Her mother says she gets that from her Daddy...but I don't know.
Amanda is excited to get back at it tomorrow, and we are excited about getting her a "big girl bike" soon. I've uploaded a short video clip HERE if you'd like to see it.