When we first moved here we bought him two used bikes. One had training wheels and one didn't. So Daniel removed the pedals on the one without training wheels so he would have a version of a balance bike to ride around on. Over the last couple of years he has used both. The one with training wheels has been great on our back deck where he has mastered riding fast in circles.
We have also worked with him on basic road riding skills, taking neighborhood rides where he has tackled small hills and learned to stop at stop signs and pay attention to cars and pedestrians. Whenever he rides down a hill, Daniel always encourages him to try to find his balance – that sweet spot where the training wheels would lift off the ground and the speed would allow him to glide.
Fast forward to last Thursday night. Jack was excited about Daniel's new motorcycle (update on that later) and he decided he would pretend to race his motorcycle (aka his bike with no training wheels that now has pedals on it) in the garage.
So he would balance and push forward until he was going fast enough to pick up his feet and pedal.
I should mention that he was doing this on gravel. With no helmet.
Within a short period, he was getting in about 8 pedal strokes as he rode across our driveway – with only a few pointers from Daniel.
Friday morning he wanted to show me his newly acquired skills. So while baby brother napped, Jack practiced his "motorcycle racing" from the garage into the driveway. When he had successfully made it across the flat part of the driveway a few times, I asked him to try to pedal further. He then got it in his head that he was going to go all the way up our steep, gravel driveway.
He surprised me by making it about halfway up. Repeatedly.
Daniel tried to give him input, especially about the curb, and Jack would stubbornly tell his daddy that he could do it. He crashed on the curb. But then he tried again.
Stubbornness and determination run in our family. Maybe it's a firstborn thing?
I have no idea. But at 4.5 years old, Jack is blowing us away with figuring out how to ride with minimal help from us. Daniel and I are excited because this means that taking Jack mountain biking with us isn't that far away.
As for little brother, he is proudly showing off his walking skills and has an interest in wheels as well.