My 5 year old has very poor bike riding skills. Which is mostly is not his fault at all. He plays outside every day the weather is even tolerable, he can hike 5 miles, he rides his razor scooter faster than his friends, so its not that he is not active or outdoorsy it just lack of practice, equipment, and space.
What I wish someone would have told me, and what I wish I would have listen to, was at 2, buy him a tricycle. At that time we were still very very frugal and I thought my child was perfectly fine with our $2 used plastic four wheeled toy as he was a fisher price trike. But at the time I was very very frugal and didn't even really know how to spend at that much money, and would have had a heart attack if I would have spent $25 on a bike for him. That being said, I might have been a little prideful, because I believe grammy thought his vehicle was a little lame (it was) and I told her she was not allowed to buy him something better. This would be totally sufficient for his needs. (I was wrong, I didn't think what you rode at 2 would effect your bike riding skills at 5.) Like I said what I wish I would have listened to. Now in retrospect I realize a two/three year old needs a tricycle with pedals even if they don't use them.
What I wish I would have known, when J was three. Was how to make an inexpensive balance bike. I have seen balance bikes for years and always thought that is the secret. I know if J had one of those he could would be super fast and pro at it. But come on I wouldn't even spend $25, so you know I wouldn't spend $70+ for a bike that he would out grow in a year. But I really believe in my heart of hearts that J would excel at a balance bike, something he could place his feet on the ground and speed forward. For years he has been a pro on a scooter, and balances great (assuming the scooter isn't broken).
At three we bought J a bike at garage sale for $5. But life was not good when he was 3, I was either having contractions or taking care of a colicy infant. Our driveway wasn't paved which made bike riding pretty impossible, and I literally just couldn't make it to the park with a bike. Not to mention a $5 bike is not perfect, it needed some grease and some air in the tires, which it never got, I sold it $5 bound and determined to never push J around on a bike with training wheels again. Josh wouldn't get another bike until he was four. At that point our cheapness ran away from us. We bought a crappy bike off Amazon clearance, that was and is too big for him. He didn't know how to pedal, and I couldn't figure out how to teach him. I honestly can't remember if Brent tried to teach him or not, or if he was just too busy with school and work to even notice. J's friend's dad ended up teaching him how to pedal. Yeah, I know we are losers, that is the point of all this story. That and its hard to learn to ride bike without a drive way. Anyway, J is no where near close to getting the training wheels off, he is no where near even close to get the training wheels highered so they aren't on the ground the entire time. Its getting quite pathetic if you want to know my opinion, but I don't think its his fault at all. I think a five year old with training wheels is pathetic, I'm sure my husband thinks its embarrassing.
So we are committed, at least I am to rectifying the situation. We are planning to get a bike that fits him better, and then make it into a balance bike, and once he understands how to balance and feels comfortable, we'll put the pedals back on. I would honestly rather him ride a pedal-less bike after he starts kindergarten than a bike with training wheels. He has absolutely no mastery of a bike with training wheels. I would rather him master balancing a two wheeled contraption than training wheels.
One of the reasons he is so unskilled on his bike is first he can go twice if not three times faster on his scooter and he can go faster on his scooter than his friends can on their bikes with training wheels, so why would he ride his bike? Two I know he feels unsure on his bike because its so big for him, and terrible quality he feels no balance on it, and my son hates to feel out of control. Anyway, I'm so committed to this bike thing! Seriously! Even if the balance bike thing doesn't work, I'm going to find something that does.
My goals for the summer are:
1. Paint over the terrible paint jobs in our formerly bank owned house (I can handle dull white walls with scuff marks on them, but I can't handle blue, purple, black sponge paint job, and third of the way finished Lion King mural, or hot pink.)
2. Potty Train the 2 year old, she is so ready its pathetic on my part
3. Get the five year old ridding a two wheeler.
And all of these will be great things to distract me from spending money (that I should be saving) on my house.