I was excited (.. even more than he was) .. running alongside, shouting » "Oh my God! You're riding!" Waiving my arms like an idiot.
But later disappointed. Cuz I had anticipated spending a few days teaching him. Instead, he just hopped on and rode off (.. his very first try).
I didn't say anything, but was thinking, "Doncha know you're supposed fall & crack your noggin a few times .. like I did?"
I've been talking to various dads the past few weeks, learning different techniques on how to teach him to ride ...
.. such as » remove the pedals & let him push himself along, allowing him to become accustomed to the bike's balance at his own pace .. or » grab him by a snug-fitting t-shirt between the shoulder blades and run alongside .. again, giving him most of the balance .. and also » the 'broomstick technique.'
Riding a bike is all about » balance. I think the reason he picked it up so quickly is cuz he's been riding a 2-wheel scooter around town the last few weeks. It's actually called » a razor. (He's a little demon on that razor.)
••• today's entry continues here below •••
He has also been spending lots of time on the trampoline .. which is very much about balance. (He bounces pretty dang high.)
Anyway, I wasn't planning on him actually riding the thing. I'd asked several times earlier if he wanted to practice, but he always declined. (He's 4.)
About 10 minutes before we had to leave (for me to take him back) .. I simply asked him to SIT on the bike .. so I could see if the seat was adjusted to the proper height.
"I wanna ride," he said. "We don't have time." I countered, checking my watch. "We have to go in 10 minutes." But he insisted.
So anyway, he climbed on and .. rode off. I'm still kinda surprised. We called all our friends and told them the news. He was proud. (Tho not half as proud as me.) After his first ride, he said (with a big smile) » "I wanna do it again." He rode ~ a dozen times .. a length of some 50-feet .. without falling once.
"No way," I told him. "Here's the deal. Next time I pick you up, we'll go to the park. And if you can ride around the bases 3 times (relatively soft dirt/clay infield) -- from home plate, to first base, to second base, to third -- I'll let you ride in the street."
"No, dad," he said dismissively, with a wave of the hand. "Here's the deal I wanna make..." =) [ He cracks me up sometimes. ]
I grew up back East (in Connecticut) where Patrick's dad (Mr. Mac) taught all the neighborhood kids to ride. I still remember how cool it felt .. that first time. It was a hot summer night .. starting to get dark. All of us kids taking turns .. crashing into different things. Learning to ride .. the old-school way. Blood-n-guts.
For more along these lines, here's a Google search for the search » first bike ride without training wheels