I haven’t had any personal time to organize anything flock of munchkins oriented since my wife has been ill. Please if someone wants to step forward there do so.
Reporting in because I decided this morning to at least try (roughly) my planned route for that ride with my 8 year old. We made it there and back and she had fun with it. There was definitely a good bit of uncertainty at intersections, and the return on Schenley Drive was pretty tiring (though the Italian Ice at home brightened her up quickly).
So, here to report that it is doable, but also to ask about helping a kid who’s a little wobbly and slow to start from stops. Not a confidence inspiring thing at intersections… this is the biggest skill gap she needs to fill before we can really go places (it’s actually probably not fair to call it a skill gap, her bike (like all kids bikes seemingly) is way too heavy).
Anyways, I think she ultimately needs to learn the same thing I did back in the fall, standing on the pedals. But I’m not sure how to teach it. It was a nerve wracking (but ultimately rewarding) experience for me probably because, as a poster alluded to in my fall post, I was trying to do too many things at one time.
So, wanting to do better by her, here’s my thought process. I’m leaning toward putting her into a higher gear than she’s used to basically on the flat (but to be kind, starting her with a slight downhill) so she can keep moving and not fall, but feel the difference between labored peddling in the saddle vs. surprising ease out of it. Then once she’s better doing while cruising, working on that as a climbing skill, and then finally, as a starting skill.
BTW, if anyone wants to ride alongside some Sunday with their kids of similar (or older) ages, please let me know. I think I’ll want to get in a couple weeks at least of this “training” before we venture out into intersection land again, but starting some time in June, for sure.
When my son was first learning to ride on the road I would put his bike on the car and drive up to Highland Park. There are moderate hills and a huge bike lane (and a playground, water fountain, and snow cones!). I would have him stop and start once per loop to practice stopping and starting, since that was his weakness too. You can practice this on an uphill, a downhill, and on a flat.
Riding around the reservoir in HP would be a great circuit. its uphill, down hill, has a stop sign, and is pretty benign traffic-wise. And if you can find a day where it’s pretty empty, the bike track on Washington Boulevard is a great practice space — especially for riding in formation together.