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Begone, Silly Stabilisers
I think a rite of passage for every dad is taking the stabilisers off their child’s bike. Yesterday, The Boss got to re-enact his with our middle daughter, Midi Minx (4).
Our eldest only learned to ride a 2-wheeler recently, but we thought Midi was ready by the speed she zooms around the tracks of Roseisle forest, leaning into turns on just her front wheel and one stabiliser. So like all the local kids, we took her to the primary school’s playground – nice flat area, totally deserted on a Sunday, free from traffic, dogs, glass, lamp-posts and unwary passers-by. As well as a helmet, we put her in her Spotty Otter down jacket and fleece mitts for a bit of protection from grazes and bumps. The jacket outer has proven to be virtually indestructible (she’s scrubbed it daily for months now against sharp stone walls and there’s been no fraying or tears yet), so I hoped it would confer the same protection on little 4 year old elbows. I’d have dressed her in her Spotty Otter fleece-lined trousers (equally bomb- and scrape-proof) too, but it really was a bit warm for that.
The Boss helped her unfasten the stabilisers, then they were off! After 10 minutes of dramatic wobbling, little Midi was cycling on 2 wheels! Hooray! Days of family cycling through Roseisle and Culbin forest loomed! A dream of a holiday pedalling and camping along the Peak Cycle Trail started to form in my mind... Then Midi noticed what she was doing. And it spooked her. She carefully placed her bike on the ground then threw herself equally carefully face-down on the playground and refused to get back on.
“I.Want.My.Stabilisers!” she wailed through the grit and dust.
My tempestuous daughter isn’t afraid of anything (except crocodiles, she tells me) so I guess we’ll try again next weekend. The Boss tried to demonstrate how much fun bikes were, but Midi was having none of it as you can see by her scowl... Do you have any top tips on how we can make the transition to 2 wheels easier for her?