Monday, September 19, 2011

Big Boy Bike

9/11 now holds a happier memory for our family.  It's the day the Nugget rode his big boy bike "all by self"!  We got him a new helmet (not pictured) to celebrate.  Well, he thinks it's a celebration prize, in all honesty, it was toddler sized and the plastic was slightly warped from sitting in a hot car on the Ohio Turnpike.

I have a little product review to go along with this milestone.  As always, I don't get money nor freebies, just sharing what worked/works!

Strider Bike - This 12 inch balance bike is what the Nugget has used to practice riding since he was 2.  It is very durable, lightweight, and it actually benefits the learning rider to swap back and forth from riding the big kid bike (with adult help) and riding the Strider solo.  We bought a floor model for half-price under the claim that the Strider would help the Nugget transition to big kid bike sans training wheels and for the fact that our practically pro-cyclist friend was putting his son on one too.  I wasn't sure if it would really work or not, but I loved watching him gain confidence and balance as he proudly scooted around the block on his own power.  So in love with this little bike and I will be sad to see it go.  Perhaps I can figure out how to get it to Baby Cabbage so I can enjoy watching her ride it too.

Balance Buddy - Since we skipped the training wheels, we progressed immediately to the stage where the parent hunches over, holds the seat of the bike to steady the Nugget, and runs like heck to keep up.  Hunching + running = ouch.  I ordered this balance buddy adjustable handle so we could skip the hunching and just run.  Grammy wisely pointed out that if your child is larger and does not have the balance mostly down, this aluminum handle might not be strong enough to help you catch all the tips.  It was perfect for the Nugget's occasional wobbles and the times when he spotted a squirrel and his handlebars followed his gaze.  It is also very easy to loosen your grip on the handle and gauge how your kiddo is progressing while still being right there to catch him.  I wish it were a bit cheaper, but I will certainly be able to either resell it or hand it down.

Bell helmets - The Nugget is pretty sensitive to having things touching his neck and chin, but we are sticklers for helmets.  Grammy and Grandpa gave him a Bell brand helmet with his first trike, and I love that it has a little lip on the clip that minimizes the pinching risk.  I think he's been pinched exactly 1 time, and that's saying something because he is super wiggly.

Anyway, back to the riding.  The Nugget tells me that he prefers to wait until Daddy's home, because Daddy can run fast enough to stay right by his side while he's riding for emotional support.  I tried riding my bike next to him, but he wasn't having it.  That's ok though, because isn't this just the sweetest father-son bonding activity ever?

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