Ewan on a Balancing Act

I had been thinking about riding. Riding a bicycle that is. In our time, we learnt how to ride a bicycle with training wheels. Four wheels to a bicycle will surely keep us in balance. They were later removed when our dads thought we were ready to take falls. That could be mmmmm 5 years of age? Maybe 6? When that happens, a few things might result from it:
– we fall and rise again, several times before we succeed
– we get frightened of cuts and bruises from the falls
– we cannot accept failure and stop trying
We introduced swimming to Ewan without aids. No waist or arm floats as we believe skills should be taught as they are. If the final outcome of a swimming lesson is to swim independently without floats, then we should start as such. It might take more than a couple of tries to remove the float a child had been dependant on when we think they are old enough to do without. Even when we do, they might need to reinstate water confidence all over again.
So, should we shove him a bicycle and let him figure it out himself?
I did my fair share of research trawling the internet and talking to cycling friends. To learn to bike, two problems must be solved: Pedalling and Balance. Ewan has been pedalling on all sorts of cars and tricycles. His next task is to work on that balancing act. A burning question: Is a 2.5 year old ready for cycling? Watching Ewan handle his ball games so well and showing no signs of water resistance in the pool, I thought he could be ready to own a bicycle of his own. He has a good sense of coordination and the athlete in him could push him to greater heights in the Sports department. 
Then one December day, my father called and told me, “Hey May. Can you look for a balance bike for Ewan? I’d like to buy it for him this Christmas.”
So there, I went out hunting for balance bikes. You know? Those two-wheeler pedalless ones? Besides its practicality and functionality, I would also prefer a good-looking ride. One that is timeless which can be deemed vintage 30 years later. *cough cough* The Garang-Guni in me starts talking.

I liked the wooden body and shapely 12″ inch 5-spoke wheels. Daddy was impressed with its high quality retro saddle with Rebel Kidz Embroidery. It weights 2.9 kg which allows a 2 year old child to carry and handle it with ease. It comes in a box like this and is 85% pre-assembled. Note that you will have to install the fork, front wheel and handlebars. The final assembly takes about 10 minutes no more. Easy.

I found Rebel Kidz from Sunkiss Babies. It is hands down the coolest bike around (from the list of balance bicycles I’ve found). The Rebel Kidz wooden runner bikes are lightweight and feature an adjustable seat and handlebar. Which means, it will “grow” together with Ewan as he grows taller. Balance bikes promises a very easy transition to a pedal bicycle without the need for training wheels. I believe so. That is why Ewan owns one Rebel Kidz Le Mans Bike today.

We took it out for his first ride on January First in Botanic Gardens. We made sure he brought his matching Le Mans helmet along in case he bumped his head. I was excited to watch what comes out of this session. Will he throw the bike in anger when he fails to balance or will he keep on trying till he makes some kind of headway with his new toy?

Ewan did throw a fit when he couldn’t figure the bike out and yes, he threw the bike on the ground and wailed. After a few encouragements from his father, grandfather and Pat, he picked up speed, lifted both legs and glided. His eyes sparkled with pride and it gave him a huge boost in confidence when we went “Oh WOW Ewan! Great Work!” Thereafter, whenever he manoeuvred around us, he would make sure our eyes were on him. If we weren’t, he would go, “Look Daddy Look! I Did It!”

His first day was a success. I would say that lift off the ground for 1 second was a big ego booster. His second day out with daddy and his bike made him even more confident than before. We are eager to see him transit to a proper bicycle by Christmas this year!

So what are we going to do with this $180 balance bike? It will be pass on to Faye and then Mommy will be keeping it forever! It will be such a classic number for a home decor. I shall sit on my rocking chair and reminisce the days my children were small. Remembering that proud smile on their faces when they made their first ride.

Sunkiss Babies are selling these matching helmets and bikes on the website with free delivery within Singapore. Unfortunately, they have only the Flames and Butterfly left in stock. Ewan’s blue Le Mans are no longer available on the website but you may be able to find the lasts of it at Kids Walk in Tanglin Mall or Great World City.

Ewan is 90cm tall at 2.5 years of age. When he sits on the Rebel Kidz bike (with the lower seat setting), he could touch the ground comfortably with both feet. If you are still thinking about the balance bike, stop procrastinating! Give it a try tomorrow!

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A stay at home mum, blogging to widen her social life. We want to echo the sound of love through our lives to inspire other mothers alike.

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