How I Learned to Ride a Bike on My Own!
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The Struggle of Riding a Bike
Ever since my brother was little he has struggled with having the balance and coordination to be able to ride a bike on his own. When he was really little he was able to ride a small tricycle, but as he got older he had more trouble riding the tricycle and we tried putting on training wheels on bikes, but it just wasn’t enough stability for him. Then we discovered an old tandem bike that my parents had and he was able to ride on the back of the tandem bike with one of us in the front! It was amazing to be able to get valuable exercise with biking as a family. As he got older he got taller and it was getting harder for us to safely balance with him on the back, especially with the old rusty bike.
He was Motivated to Learn the Skill
My brother was very motivated to learn the skill of riding a bike on his own, but we knew it needed to be set up in a safe way for him to be able to accomplish this goal. We had tried multiple times to ride a two wheeled bike, but every time he would crash and that would just increase his anxiety and frustration and then he would quit. It can be hard to find a physical activity that we can all do together where we are all having fun and enjoy ourselves. So we knew we had to figure out a way to make biking work for our family. That is where the bike pictured above came into the picture!
How He was Able to Ride a Bike on His Own!
As a family we had done extensive research over the years with tricycles, but it was so hard to be able to find places where we could see them in person and be able to practice riding them before ordering them. Bikes are a HUGE investment and cost a lot of money. We didn’t want to purchase something online and then have my brother not be able to ride the bike. We also knew we wanted to find something that he could use for a long time and be able to grow with him as he keeps getting taller and taller. My parents and my brother decided to go to some local bike shops and one shop had an adult tricycle in stock for my brother to actually practice riding and he fell in LOVE! He told my mom it was so easy for him to go and the seat was super comfortable! Those are huge wins, because we need to figure out how to make physical exercise as easy as possible to stay motivated to keep up with it! The only negative to the bike was it was low to the ground and we were worried about the safety of riding it.
That was when we turned to looking on Craigslist just to see if there would happen to be something used for less the price as something new. It was a MIRACLE!! We looked and there was one for sale!! We were so incredibly BLESSED! We were able to get the bike pictured above for a third of the original price and it was in great working condition!! We knew we were super lucky to find one available near us for sale! The bike pictured above is the Sunseeker X3-AX. It was everything my brother was looking for! It was easy for him to use safely and he was comfortable while riding it! His expression was priceless while riding the bike for the first time! His smile was so big and he was so proud of himself for being able to do something on his own!
Learning the Safety Skills
Now that we have a bike he can ride on his own, now we have been working on teaching him the safety skills with riding a bike on his own. We always make sure to wear our helmet and he is really good about doing that! He understands that we need to protect our heads/brain if we were to fall. We have also been taking about the street signs and making sure we STOP at stop signs and yield as well. We also talk about which side of the street to ride on. We live in a super small town, so luckily we don’t have to worry much about traffic. We have also been teaching him about how to shift into different gears and how to know when to shift into different gears based on if you are on flat ground or trying to go up a hill. It is a very EXCITING time in our lives helping my brother achieve a dream of his with being able to independently ride a bike! You will see us riding bikes as a family this summer and we can’t wait for the weather to get nicer outside!
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Does your child have difficulty learning personal hygiene self care skills? Check out our Ebook Everyday Life Skills Personal Hygiene Skills in the Bathroom for TONS of tips and resources to help your loved one become more independent with these skills!