Balance Bikes: A Good Decision

When my oldest son, Jenkie was about to turn two years old, I thought a red rider tricycle would be the perfect Christmas present for him. My hopes were high as I remembered my own cherished tricycle and all the fun I had with it. Well, the only real memory I have of it was when I decided to ride it down a steep hill on my Grammy’s road. I crashed and split my baby toe open.  Other than that, I remember seeing the red trike in pictures, sitting in the background.

The trike makes a great outdoor seat.
The trike makes a great outdoor seat.

I have this uncontrollable urge to recreate for my children everything that I loved as a kid. Many times, I am left disappointed. How hard can it be to re-live one’s childhood through your kids?? Apparently very hard. The red rider tricycle is the perfect example of this high expectation followed by utter disappointment.

My son couldn’t and still can not pedal that stinkin’ trike. The problem may be with his teacher, aka mom. Jenkie would sit on the tricycle and just push it along with his feet on the ground. It would take us an unheard of amount of time to walk down the street.  I gave it a week or so. Then decided he must not be ready for it. So we put it away and waited a while before trying it again. When he continued to refuse to pedal the trike, I thought that maybe Delano would pick it up when he was old enough. Nope. Its been almost three years! Not one of my children can pedal that trike. I have decided to write it off as a loss and try to move on.

One day, my husband asked me if I had heard of the balance bike. He had been looking into them and thought they would work great for the boys. I had a bad attitude about bikes in general at this point so the thought of getting another thing to sit in our garage was not appealing. Plus I didn’t understand how they worked because they have no pedals.

Pammy likes to climb on the trike. No one rides it.
Pammy likes to climb on the trike. No one rides it.

Despite my bad attitude, we got a couple of them for the boys and, boy, did life change!  The balance bikes allowed my boys to ride fast and have fun while teaching them the balance aspect of a bike without having to go through the training wheel phase! Jenks took off right away like he had been riding a bike for years.  Delly’s legs were a little short for his bike.  The seats are adjustable and his was on the lowest rung.  But his feet still could not touch the ground comfortably.  He would walk his bike slowly down the street behind us. Visions of the endless walks with the trike flashed across my memory like a re-occurring nightmare.  But as soon as Del grew a little bit taller, he sat on the bike and rode it like a pro.

The bikes are very light and are easily loaded into the back of the mini van. There aren’t any pedals to catch on things and they can fit snuggly together in tight spaces. Personally, the best part was that my eyes were opened to the idea that maybe everything I had as a child isn’t the best for my children.

All in all, we have been very pleased with the balance bikes. Walking/riding on trails at our park has become a favorite family outing. My husband even takes the boys to a skate park to practice going down steep hills.   Maybe when the boys get older they will learn to ride on a traditional bike with pedals (fingers crossed!) But in the mean time, I  am thrilled we purchased the balance bikes.  Pammy may just get one this Christmas! Watch the sweet video my husband made to see the boys and balance bikes in action.

Here is a link to Amazon where we purchased the Vilano balance bikes! We have seen a little wear and tear, but considering how much they are used, it is understandable. I would definitely recommend them to anyone wanting to enjoy a family experience involving bikes.  Enjoy the video and thanks for reading!

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