Home > Biking, Samuel > Finally, The Boy Masters The Bike (sort of)

Finally, The Boy Masters The Bike (sort of)

A couple of weekends ago, I had the grand idea as to how I might teach Samuel to ride.  Needless to say, the afternoon did not go as planned.  In the weeks since, I’ve made many attempts, scratched the new plan, gone old school, succeeded (finally),  purchased his new bike and bike helmet, but not before questioning what we had created.

(For those who didn’t read the first draft, since last September, I’ve had a standing offer to Samuel to purchase him a new bike as soon as he learned to ride his old one.)

Attempt #2

Obviously, the old location (for many reasons) turned out to be a disaster.  However, I found a new location, Samuel’s new school, and once more attempted to teach Samuel to ride a bike using Bicycling Magazine’s supposedly foolproof methods.


He was more interested in playing in the playground than riding his bike.

Failure again.

Attempt #3

Forget the grass, I thought, we’ll just try letting him practice going down our driveway (it’s a bit steep).  A few minutes in, I realized, this isn’t working.  Then, I decided to go old school and taught him like I had been taught- in the street, with an adult holding on to the back of the seat with the adult eventually letting go.

Words were exchanged, people were frustrated, success was not achieved.

Attempt #4

I will not give up.  I thought (I knew) he was very close to getting it.

Once more, we started off with me holding his seat to get him started and trying to let go.  Unfortunately, he kept looking back at me to see where I was, which then led to crashes.

The Dear Wife then decided to stand across the street and have him ride to her.  Of course, I had to hold his seat until he got about halfway there.

But, we were finally making some headway.

Attempt #5

Success at last!

Having taken a day trip to Oklahoma the previous day and needing to leave for San Antonio that afternoon for a funeral, I convinced Samuel to try riding his bike for “15 minutes.”  Granted, it was the middle of the afternoon, the heat was pushing 100 degrees, and that “15 minutes” might have turned into 45.  (And I may have had to promise a trip to Bruster’s Ice Cream to keep him going.)  Nevertheless, he started pedaling up and down the street all by himself.  He only needed help getting started and then he was off on his own.

When I returned from San Antonio the following day, he was eager to show off again.  (He was eager!) When he finished, I told him that this weekend we would get that new bike.

The new bike

All weekend long, the color of choice changed, going from orange to red to black to blue to yellow.  But on the way to the bike store, he finally settled on blue.

“Why blue?”

“Because I’ll be fast like Sonic the Hedgehog.”

“And what color helmet?”

“Blue.  To match my bike.”

We walked into the store, and he walked right to the one he wanted- a blue Trek Jet 20.  Of course, having been to the store with me a few times, he insisted on a test ride before making the purchase.   A couple of laps in the back and he was sold.

But little did we know that picking the bike would be the easiest part.  It took three times as long to pick the helmet as he looked at all of them, tried three of them, and finally decided on the red one with flames on the side.  He didn’t care that this one didn’t match his helmet, because, as he said, “This one is so cool!”

A Final Word

When we got home, Samuel rode his new bike in our cul-de-sac.  After a couple of laps, Samuel stopped and asked the following, “What sort of treat do I get for riding my new bike?”

ARRGHH!  What have we created?

Categories: Biking, Samuel
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