My grandmother was in her sixties when she first tried to ride my bike. We brought out my old Huffy with the high-rise handlebars and banana seat. It was a peachy color and had the word “Hummingbird” and a tiny hummingbird painted on the chain guard. It was the bike my parents had bought for me after my 1976 bicentennial themed bike was stolen from the side yard on our little dairy farm in a small town in western New York.
Grandma sat on my bike several times, but never really ‘got it.’ She couldn’t balance it, which left pedaling completely out of the question. She tried a bunch of times as we laughed and talked about things like her childhood. I think this all happened at about the same time that Grandma had also started taking swimming lessons. I had taken swimming lessons since I was little, and since I had been old enough to ride my bike on the road alone, I had ridden my bike to my swimming lessons.
As I look back on all of this, so many years ago, it comes with the realization of how important my bike was to my childhood. It wasn’t only the swimming lessons. My bike kept me connected to my friends- day after day, we spent HOURS playing on our bikes. There were also times when I rode my bike to school with a friend or two. Then there were also times when I rode in the opposite direction, times when I would ride my bike to the neighboring town to sit on the bank of the creek. Eventually, there were those times with Grandma. In a much different way, I feel like my bike took on just as much importance standing in the driveway and laughing with my grandma.
It is hard for me to imagine NOT having a bike. I don’t have distinct memories of the tricycle I had when I was young. My only memories of it are what is written about in the baby book my mom wrote in from the time I was born until I was about six years old and an old polaroid picture of two of me with it, smiling. There is another polaroid from few years later, me with my first two-wheeler, a red Schwinn with training wheels.
I don’t remember how long it took for me to transition from the training wheels to being able to ride without them. What seems a little funny to me is that I spent time playing on that little tricycle with three wheels only to be given a bike with FOUR wheels. I suddenly had something completely new to learn.
Today, parents have more options when it comes to purchasing the first bike for their children. Of course, there is always the option of buying a tricycle- but with the growing popularity of balance bikes, it is important for parents (as well as other family members that might be doing the shopping) to be educated about the benefits of these bikes. Because balance bikes are made for kids as young as eighteen months, having a tricycle is unnecessary. Learning to ride a bike by balancing first makes the transition to a pedal bike nearly seamless.
At Legaci Bikes we sell what we believe to be the best balance bikes available. We offer a range of bikes from Strider… to Muna… to Yedoo and Ridgeback in order to provide our customers options that will quickly build confidence in the smallest riders, a confidence that will extend outward toward other areas in life. An educated consumer, as they say, is our best customer. The real proof will come with time as you watch your little rider learning and eventually mastering a two-wheeler. We invite you to shop with us, look around our site, email (or call) us with your questions. We look forward to hearing from you!