Monday, October 28, 2013

Back on Our Bikes

We had one of our few “regular” weekends this fall, meaning that we did not attend any special events. And that meant that we had time to get back on our bicycles and go riding.

For this of you who have been following along, you’ll recall that we got new bikes for Kai and my wife. But we’ve had a lot of difficulty getting Kai to ride his new bike, as told here and here.

It’s now been over a month since we got the new bikes, and I was looking forward to finally taking them somewhere besides the empty parking lot in our neighborhood.

If I knew how difficult it would be, I don’t think I would have been looking forward to it so much.

Kai got off to a slow start. And I mean that figuratively and literally.

Kai tends to pedal very slowly. Which makes it hard to steer. And almost impossible to ride up even the slightest hills.

Now, this being the Chicago area, we’re not talking about the Rocky Mountains or even hilly San Francisco. Our “hills,” if you even call them that, are very mild inclines.

But when you’re barely moving on flat ground, you’re not going to make it up the small hill.

I tried to encourage Kai to pedal faster. But he said he was scared and then started yelling at me to be quiet every time I told him to pedal faster.

The result was that he would not make it to the top of the incline, he would stop, and yell at his bike and me.

“Stupid bike!”

It’s not the bike’s fault, I told him. You just need to pedal faster.


Aside from being afraid to pedal faster, he also was afraid to ride too closely to the rider in front of him, which was my wife in most cases.

Here you can see the typical distance between them.

Sometimes my wife would slow down or stop so that we could catch up to her. Whenever she did this, Kai would start yelling.


There was panic in his voice, as he was afraid that he would crash into her.

I tried to reassure him that we were so far behind that there was absolutely no way we would run into her.

“You be quiet!” he told me.

Eventually he did start to ride a little faster. And so it got easier for him. We did the last 3 and a half miles of our short trip in less time than the first mile.

Back at the starting point, he had a bit of a smile on his face.

“Dad, I was out of sorts at the beginning, but then I did better, right?”

Yes, Kai, you did.

Hopefully we can go ride at least once more this fall before he forgets that’s it’s not so scary to pedal a little faster.


  1. 'out of sorts'...haha...he is so cute! Yes, I hope he remembers! Good for you for taking him out. I know it takes effort and patience!

    1. Yeah, he can be very cute. :)

      I'm okay with my effort... still working on my patience.

  2. Good for Kai, he is learning. He will soon see how much fun bike riding is when fear is no longer a factor.

    1. He is often fearful of new things, or even things he has done before, so we have to keep working on it. Hopefully he will gradually become less fearful in general as he has more experiences.


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