noah learns to ride a bike

Disclaimer: This footage is not doctored. There was no digital retouching done to take out training wheels.

5 Minutes. That’s all it took. Don’t believe me? Here’s an extended” grandma” edition that’s 10 minutes long. I push him maybe 3 or four times, and then he’s off on his own.

I had read in the past that there’s no statistical evidence that push bikes get kids riding real bikes sooner, but I call BS. Noah has been riding his for just over a year, and he took to the pedal bike like a fish to water. Seriously, in the extended video, I shot video for the entire “lesson.”

And he’s already a pro. He rides now like he’s been doing it forever. On occasion he’ll get flustered because he tries to start out by pushing the pedal backwards, and the brake stop him, but other than that, he just hops on and goes.

Later in the afternoon we went to a park so he could ride some more, and the combination of heat, hills, and time of day got the best of him.

He had lost it. His mind was trying to hold two opposing thoughts at once. At one point he said he wanted to go home and take a nap, then the next that he wanted to keep riding. Then he asked for a blanket and his “bobby” so he could just nap on the bench there. I told him we could go home, and he responded with “But I wanna ride my bike! I don’t like it anymore. My legs hurt! I don’t want to nap!” Just a stream of nonsensical consciousness that would have put Alanis Morrisette to shame.

Today he got some time to ride around in our driveway, but that’s hard since it’s basically just a hill. I’m counting down the days until Desi’s 1 Year birthday so Tree will let me get him in the kid’s bike seat and the whole family can finally go for a bike ride again.

She wonders why I don’t want to have another kid…it’s cause I don’t want to take another 18 month hiatus from family bike rides.

recant

It would appear I have some apologizing to do.

In the past I made some disparaging remarks about Florida Mountain Bikers and their silly attempts ate mountain biking in a state as flat as a pancake. (Maybe not here, as I cant find any posts on it.) As it turns out, you only need a few feet of elevation to have quite a bit of fun. Also where speed is difficult, more technical, narrow trials can add challenge.

Last night my cousin-in-law Chris gave me a tour around the Balm Boyette Trail system in CITY Florida. It was a decent drive down those never ending rural Florida roads that all look the same,leading to a nature preserve that the local mountain biking group has gone to great lengths making into a very fine trail system. This nature preserve is closed off to all vehicles, so once you’ve parked your car it’s nothing bikes for miles. The first of many trailheads is a nice two mile ride down some sandy fire roads. I made a comment to Chris about how that probably helps keep out the kind of people who don’t know good trail etiquette. The ride in acted as a good warm up, something I’ve never had much discipline to do. From there, the trail system is a series of short runs that all seem to end at the beginning of another. It’s a very nice flow. Sometimes you get a nice little half mile or so ride between trails, which is great to catch your breath and take a few sips of water.

There were a few trails that consisted almost entirely of short, steep drops mirrored by short climbs on the other side. It doesn’t sound to exciting, but those were easily some of the largest and steepest drops I’ve ever ridden. This is why I have to recant the whole “no hills in Florida = lame riding’ thing.

My favorite spot though was when we rode out on one of the fire roads and I got to see something you don’t get to see often in Florida: a landscape. The sun was setting, and the fire road ran across the top of a ridge that looked over a modest rolling field. It wasn’t anything to make a painting out of but I can honestly say it’s the prettiest I’ve ever seen Florida wilderness look. Then we turned around and hit a very short trail that had two killer jumps on it.

I should also mention that this is the first time Ive ridden a full suspension mountain bike. I must say the sensation is something kin to riding a water bed. You float over bumps and debris like they’re barely even there. It gave me the confidence to try some crazy steep drops, and to hit those couple of jumps with the speed and height I really wanted to. Landing made me feel like a kid on a hotel bed. Downside, sprinting was pointless. I’d stand up to give some good hard pushes on the pedals and the bike would just sink down barely accelerating. That definitely took some getting used to. I will say that anyone who rides full suspension and complains about riding without a chamois is a wuss.

Al in all it was a great time, and Chris was an excellent trail guide. I had a ball, tried some new things, and learned a lot.