Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Not at All Wordless but Decidedly Wednesday: First Bike Ride

In honor of May being National Bike Month, I wanted to share the story of Daniel's first bike ride, which Jaymz and I took him on this past weekend for his eleven month birthday:

We began the day with a wee bit of bike maintenance. We had worked on the bikes a bit when my in-laws were here last week, but that day, my rear tire needed some more air. I brought Daniel and the tire pump outside while Jaymz brought the bikes out front.
D is playing with the tire pump...and tasting the mulch.

We got the new seat attached to my bike, and I rode it around the block a little without Daniel in it to see if it was comfortable enough. Then, we had to convince Daniel that we were going to do something really fun, and he would just have to endure the helmet and the strapping-in process before we could get to the fun part.

Daniel actually doesn't mind his helmet at all. I was somewhat concerned about him tolerating the helmet at first, as I'd heard that can be a big hurdle, but he didn't even seem to care about it. Being strapped in to the seat, however...was not his favorite thing ever. To his credit though, he didn't know what great fun he was in for after all that buckling, so maybe next time it'll be a bit easier.

Not enjoying the seat so much at first,
Daniel required his pacifier to get through this photo op.

We rode off in the direction of the park, Daniel and me in front, and Jaymz bringing up the rear. Within 30 seconds of leaving our house, I could see Daniel was having a grand time. He was clapping his tiny hands and looking around excitedly. I will always remember that moment: seeing his hands clapping out of sheer joy.

We got to the park and rode around on the bike/walking path a bit, and then Jaymz and I needed to stop to have some water and rest a bit. I was really surprised at how much more work it was to ride my bike with Daniel on it than without. He only weighs about 18lbs, but that little bit of weight along with all the extra micro-movements required in balancing was really quite tiring!

As soon as I got off my bike for our water break, I noticed that Daniel's eyes were watering from keeping them open in the wind of the ride. He must've been too excited to close his eyes, in case he might miss something. Daniel loves water bottles, so he wouldn't let us get away with not giving him some water, too.

But he was still actually very thirsty, so I went ahead and nursed him right there on the path.

A few people walked by, and there was one runner
who passed also, but no one even looked twice.

After Daniel had his snack, we got back on the bikes and decided to ride to the grocery store to have a little lunch. On the way there, Jaymz was leading, and at one point he made a sharp turn that I wasn't expecting. I tried to turn quickly, but the extra weight on my handlebar threw me off a bit and I had to brake suddenly. The thing was, though I was squeezing it as hard as I could, my brake didn't work quickly, and I almost hit a car.

So, that was pretty scary, but we all recovered and made it the rest of the way to the grocery store.

We had a nice lunch, bought some asparagus to take home, and got back on our bikes.

Daniel got lots of smiles from passers-by
as we prepared to load ourselves back on the bikes.

Almost all the way home, something happened to my gear shifter and the pedals were locked up, but we were going slowly enough this time that I could just put my feet down. Shortly after, Jaymz's chain came off. Our bikes have been neglected in our storage unit since we moved (back when I was about five months pregnant), and they are obviously in great need of a Spring tune-up.

I'm hoping we can get the bikes to the shop this week to get them all fixed up and safe again, so then I can ride around with Daniel whenever I want. Can't wait!

Linked up at Wordless Wednesday at Hobo Mama and Natural Parents Network.


  1. Where did you find your bike seat? I love it! Especially how it sits in front so you can see your little one instead of the ones that go behind the rider. Cannot wait for bike rides of our own!!

    P.S. How old is your little one and and where did you find a helmet to fit.

    Sorry so many questions! Just excited about the bike riding possibilities!

  2. @Stacy: Thanks for asking! I meant to include all of that information in the post...and then I forgot!

    The seat is called an iBert, and we got it at REI. The height/weight limits are 42in and 38lbs, so it's fairly highly rated in that respect. The helmet is a Bell brand Universal Toddler Size, and we found it at a bike shop (though I'd imagine they're anywhere you might buy a bike). It was very easy to adjust to fit Daniel's head. Oh, and he's 11 months old.

    Good luck in your future biking adventures!

  3. This post is great! I love your blog!! Great pics too lol

  4. Do you love your iBert seat? We love ours so much - I just wrote a review of it on my blog this week. Everyone always comments on how happy my son looks when we ride it. I love how much interaction we can have when we ride together too. Definitely one of my most favorite investments.

  5. I really want to get a bike, the iBert and a helmet now! I think this looks like so much fun :)

  6. This is so cool! I love the excitement of little ones on the bike. :) Isn't a front-facing seat awesome? I love that they're right up there with you, seeing what you see. That is scary about your brakes and everything, though — hope you can get it sorted. I wasn't riding much before we got our seat, and we ride mostly on our flat trail, so I'm not as aware of the extra weight. Except when we're trying to cross streets, because you come to a complete stop and then have to huff and puff to get your speed up to cross. But, fortunately, everyone's been nice to us since we have a cute baby on board.

    I love the water bottle picture, too — Daniel looks so grown-up. :) And the NIP pic is awesome.

    We didn't get the iBert, because we were concerned Mikko would outgrow the weight and the leg holders too soon — looks like Daniel has plenty of room, which is nice. Mikko's technically outgrown his WeeRide Kangaroo seat now by weight (and by leg length), but I might still have to take him out this summer. Don't tell. We got him his own little bike now, so maybe we'll go that route instead.

    Your comment about the toddler size helmet made me laugh, because Mikko's first helmet was for 8-year-olds, and we just had to upgrade him to an adult size. That said, Sam has to wear one that's made for extra-large adult heads, and mine always squeezes the snot out of me, so it runs in the family. ;)

    Ha — I was as unwordless as you were! I'll stop now.

  7. @Sara: I hope you do! It lots of if I could only get my bike tuned up so we can (safely) go again. =/

    @Jenn: Yes, I do love the seat! I thought about doing a review, but it sounds like you beat me to it!

    @Lauren: I really do love the front-facing seat. I remembered reading your WeeRide review a while back, so I actually looked it up and re-read it when we were doing the researching process. Our kids are definitely on different ends of the size spectrum. I can see (now that I've experienced the iBert in person) that it's certainly better-suited to smaller, skinny babies & toddlers instead of tall, roly poly ones.

    And LOL about the helmet sizes! I have exactly the opposite problem usually...I always have to buy kids' glasses frames and such. =)

  8. This makes me miss our old bike so much! We used it in Hawaii, and it was my main method of transportation. I have to say though, I really prefer baby behind me...especially once they're K's age (close to 2.5 yrs) He likes to squirm around and watch what's going on, but he also likes to play with my back and shirt, etc...or hold something. Not to mention, you can throw a canvas bag over the headrest and carry extra groceries/ect.. without feeling any extra weight.

    We've been toying with getting a new bike, but I have to be sure we'll be staying in one area for longer than another month! lol (always the problem with a moderately nomadic lifestyle ;-)


Thanks for your comment! I love hearing from you.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...