Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kai’s New Bicycle

We had gotten new bicycles for my wife and son last weekend. My wife and I were very eager to get out and try them out. Kai? Not so much.

It was the day after our successful first canoe outing. We were looking forward to getting out on another beautiful fall day.

My wife suggested that we should start out at the parking lot of our neighborhood school. They have a nice wide-open area on weekends, and she thought it would be a good place for Kai to try out his new bike.

I scoffed off the suggestion. After all, it is just a new bicycle. It is not like he is a complete beginner. Why does he need a special place to practice?

And so I loaded all of our bikes on our carrier and we drove to our favorite forest preserve.

Kai nervously got on his new bike. It was a lot bigger than his old bike. But it was not so tall that he couldn’t still touch the ground as I had set his seat height as low as it could go.

He started peddling, wobbled around for a second or two, and then jumped off.


I told him that he needs to peddle, that the bike would not wobble so much if he moved faster.

He did not want to get back on, but I ordered him to do so.

Again, he barely moved, wobbled, and stopped.


I told him that the bike was not the problem. He was just scared but if he rode like he always did it would be fine.


What? That doesn’t even make sense.

My wife gave me the ‘I told you so’ look. Actually, it was more than a look.

But she also tried to instruct Kai to steer, and was as successful as I was.


After a few more attempts, I decided that this was not going to be productive.

I grimly loaded the bikes back onto our carrier and we drove away.

But I did not drive home. We drove over to our neighborhood school.

There was a lot of room in the empty parking lot. There were virtually no cars or bikes or other people to worry about.

Kai nervously got on the bike. But this time my wife and I held his seat so he wouldn’t wobble and ran behind him giving him a bit of a push until he got going on his own.

And once he got going, he was fine.

He peddled around the parking lot, counting laps, and was a happy kid.

Now why didn’t somebody suggest starting out here before? Oh, wait.

My wife and I got on our bikes and rode along with Kai in the parking lot. It wasn’t exactly the fall bike outing I had envisioned.

But, it turned out to be a good one, such as it was.

And next time we’ll be able to ride on a nice trail.

I hope.


  1. And he's wearing those snazzy biking shorts! :)

    Looking at the first photo, he looks uncomfortable with his arms so high. Should his seat be raised? Maybe not...but it just seems that way to me.

    I'm glad he got back on! ha.

    1. when he said the pedals were too tall, I think he meant too high...(or he was too low). See how high his left knee is when the peddle is up? I'm pretty sure your knees aren't supposed to go higher than your waist.

    2. Hi Betsy, I think it was after I snapped that top picture that I did raise the seat up a little bit. I was initially afraid to put him up too high, but I think you are right that he needed to be higher up. I'll have to check to see if there is room to raise it even more next time.

    3. I'm sure that helped. It sure is a nice bike! Makes me want one for myself! :)

    4. I can't exactly picture you doing wheelies or other tricks on that BMX-style bike. ;)

    5. Ha! No, mine would be an old lady bike. lol....

  2. A good start. Once Kai hits the trail...I am sure he will love it. My son started in a neighborhood parking lot also (I listened to my wife's suggestion :) Pretty soon, your family will love going on regular long rides in nature. I am waiting to see that outdoors bike trail.

    1. Ha, you are a wise man for following your wife's suggestion. We're hoping to ride on a nice outdoors trail this weekend.

  3. Love the pictures
    He is such a great rider - your wife's suggestion was great and you are a great hubby for acknowledging it !!

    1. I often forget that with a child like Kai, we have to take small steps, or even take a step backward before we move forward. It helps to have a partner who can remind you of things like that. Thanks, K.


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