Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


We asked our family to pitch in and get Zaxxon an early birthday gift this summer, because we wanted him to have a bike and have the chance to ride it during the right season.  The family came through in spades, and so we got Zaxxon this wicked awesome Balance Bike!
It's a Mini Glider by Glide Bikes.  The principle of these bikes is that pedaling isn't hard to learn, yet that's all a kid really masters with traditional training wheels.  Take them off and the child still doesn't know how to balance.  Balance bikes have no pedals (and no training wheels.)  The child moves it along with his/her feet, learning how to balance as they go.  As they gain confidence, they pick up speed and will take their feet off the ground and glide, just like on a normal bike.  Supposedly, they'll transition to a normal bike with little effort once they have the balancing down.  These things are supposed to be all the rage in Europe, and are just emerging here in the U.S.
Well, I can't speak to the long-term effects yet, but Zaxxon has taken to this thing like a fish to water.  We've had it for less than two weeks and he's already zooming around, gliding, pretending he's going to run into things (and not always actually stopping in time,) and going so fast that we have to either jog to keep up or tell him to stop and wait.  I'm probably going to get a cheap bike trailer soon so we can pack Kal'El along and go for family bike rides.
These things come in metal or wood.  We thought metal would take a lot more abuse than wood, so went with that.  This particular model had two things we also liked, and was the only metal brand that had both.  1) It's got a hand brake, so he has a means of stopping other than his feet.  Traditional kids bikes brake by pushing backwards on the pedals, and since this thing has no pedals... 2) It's got foot pegs, so once he regularly takes his feet off the ground, he's got somewhere to rest them--and they're in roughly the same place as pedals will be, training him to put his feet in the right place.
We all love this bike.  If I were reviewing it, I'd give it five stars.  It's wonderful.  We have gone for walks/rides nearly every evening since this thing came into our lives (it's too hot in Colorado to take it out in the middle of the day right now.)
Zaxxon loves his bike.  It ROCKS!


Sela said...

Yay for balance bikes!! Kahlen had hers for just under two years before transitioning to a pedal bike in one afternoon. She can now ride miles and miles on her one-speed pedal bike and I really think it is because of all her practice on her balance bike.
One word about the hand brake: Kahlen never used hers. It was too hard to pull. Just plan on going through several pairs of shoes...Kahlen dragged her feet to stop :p

Charlie Holmberg said...

Crazy! I've never heard of those before. Can you attach pedals later, or do you get a new bike?