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the genius of the balance bike

July 20, 2011

riding without training wheels!

earlier this year on the balance bike

Our friend Sacha is amazing. Earlier this year she brought over a balance bike for Lukas. It is a bike without pedals and a little kid learns to balance by scooting it along with his or her feet, then coasting along eventually. After awhile, Lukas was a pro at the balance bike and Sacha traded it in for a pedal bike with no training wheels. The pedal bike he wasn’t interested in. So we rode the trike for a while. Then one day he said “I had a dream I rode my pedal bike!” And I said “OK, maybe it’s a sign, let’s get out the pedal bike!” and I sent him to the park with his Dad and the bike. Lukas rode the bike immediately!

It is two days later and he can now ride through grass, dirt, in a straight line on the sidewalk, and stop and start himself. It is all because of the balance bike. The hard part is staying up and when they know that feeling, the rest is easy. This story is not unique. Lots of kids who use the balance bike first ride almost right away when they encounter a pedal bike. During Sunday Streets in San Francisco there are “biking without training wheels” classes for kids that are all about the balance bike. Yaa for Sacha for empowering Lukas! He feels all proud of himself and he loves biking and “being independent”. And he’s learning balance, which, according to Waldorf prinicples, is one of the areas of growth at this age so it’s beneficial on many counts.

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