June 29, 2009

Learning to Ride a Bike

What a busy and fun time we had! Every time we head to Charlotte I have high hopes of getting to visit with every one of my friends...but it never works out that way! I think I just need to move back there. But, wait. Then I'd miss my friends here. I guess I need a second home or something!

Below is the short video version of bike camp, but I plan on writing up a long and boring description of exactly how it all worked, since several people are interested in specific details. And you know I'm really good at specific details. Enough to bore you away from the blog. So I'll put a disclaimer on that post so you can skip it entirely. I promise not to reveal anything that would be interesting to the casual reader!

The only thing you need to know about Lose the Training Wheels is that the bikes that they use are modified by having a cylinder where the rear wheel would be. There is a hierarchy of eight cylinders, each one being more tapered towards the ends, to provide more tilting of the bike. The gradual change in angles gives the rider the opportunity to practice balancing with less risk of toppling over. The last two cylinders are engineered to match the way a regular bicycle wheel works, so the rider can then transition to a regular bike.

Lose the Training Wheels now requires riders with Down syndrome to be at least 11 years old. I have to say I agree with them. Their success rate has increased dramatically since they started the age requirement. I know several kids who are younger who are successful independent bike riders, but they are a small minority.

If you child is too big for a bike with training wheels, you might want to look at Fat Wheels. They turn any bike into a "quad" bike and are much cheaper than a Trike.

Hannah will need to practice every day for a while before she is a completely independent rider. She needs to be more aware of her surroundings, get better with steering, touch up her balance, and learn to use her brakes more "gently". Our goals for Hannah were for her to have fun and gain skills. Those were accomplished, plus she only has some polishing up before she'll be hitting the bike trails!


Unknown said...

This is so cool. Way to go Hannah!

Heidi said...

Thanks for sharing all of the info. What a great program! Way to go Hannah!!

Lori said...

Horray for Hannah! That is such an awesome program, we don't have anything like that around here. I am going to have to look into finding something in a few years. I will be one blogger reading the supposedly "boring" blog with all the details!

Ria said...

I read about that modified bike and the Lose the Training Wheels program recently. Thanks for sharing your/ Hannah's experience. Way to go Hannah!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. Very helpful.

Jan S.

Monica said...

Way to go Hannah!!! Keep up the hard work and you'll be hitting the trails in no time!!!