Monday, August 24, 2009

Biker Dude

We always say our youngest son Benjamin is physically gifted, particularly when contrasted against the other three Chases. He's got rhythm, balance, speed, daring, and quick reflexes. Before he turned two he mastered hitting a ball with a bat. At three he was doing tricks on a two wheeled Razor scooter. At four he was giving me heart palpitations riding a skateboard. But for some unknown reason, he has never expressed any interest in riding a two-wheeled bike. I thought for sure he'd be the youngest cyclist in the neighborhood, riding circles around everyone else! But no, not even close.
Instead of a bike, Ben loves to ride a huge metal trike that Michael and his siblings rode as children. Nathan, a big kid at age 8, can still ride the trike. And because it's fun and easy to ride, Ben never really wanted to switch to a bike. However, for his 6th birthday we decided it was time for him to learn.
We live on a great block in a very safe, child-friendly neighborhood where kids can ride their bikes, scooters, and skateboards without excessive fear of crazy drivers. My parents bought Ben a shiny new bike that came with training wheels (in the photo above). But since his birthday he's only ridden it four or five times, despite lots of encouragement from us. The training wheels seemed to get in the way of actually learning to ride the bike and it wasn't fun for him.
Today Ben told me he wanted the training wheels off, and Michael obliged. The neighborhood kids came out to watch and cheer, and Ben took off riding like a pro. Well, he did run into the neighbor's bush on his first run, and Mike got a workout running alongside him for a few trips, but that was about it. Now he's riding like he's been doing it forever, putting the rest of us less physically gifted Chases totally to shame! Way to go Benjamin!
Video of bush-whacker, Biker dude Benjamin:

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