Hazel has been telling us since spring break at least that she doesn't want to bike without training wheels yet. Further, she told us when she might be willing to try again when she was 10. I could tell she was close to ready - this spring she has learned to scooter, which requires the same balance and steering skills. However, nothing we did could make her willing to try.
This week we were down in Kentucky, visiting my parents and my in-laws. Emily learned to bike at their house, at age 4 years and 2 months, with a push across the driveway followed by her streaking across their lawn down the hill afterward. On Thursday evening in Bardstown, Ky, the neighbors were visiting with their daughters, and the dad was trying to teach his daughter, Maia, to bike on the gentle slope of my in-laws lawn. Whether due to the magic of Gram and Papa's house or the teaching skills of a parent who was not her own, Hazel, after a handfull of attempts ended by her stopping herself with a foot, finally started pedalling, and took off, biking toward Gram. Brian's parents have won the jackpot, getting to watch both girls learn to bike for the first time; we won, because now we can really start family bike rides.
And Hazel isn't even 10 yet, after all. She is, appropriately, very proud of herself. This summer she has learned to swim, and learned to bike, and now can enjoy the fruits of both labors.