Okay, so it's getting colder outside, but I thought I would jot a few tips down for next spring when it's time to clean the garage, dust off that Barbie bicycle, and teach your kid to be the next Lance Armstrong. Following is my unsolicited advice on how best to teach your offspring to ride a bike with a minimum of injury, to either the child, to you, or to the neighbor's dog. Pay attention, these are important
Rule #1. Move to a flat state. If your cul-de-sac has even the slightest grade, as soon as your child points those handlebars downhill you're going to picture her plowing into the neighbor's mailbox. You don't need the added stress. Sell the house and move to Iowa.
Rule #2. Remove that cute little bell. My five year old really wants to become proficient on her bike. She also wants to ding her purple Disney Princess bell at every passing blue jay. As a result she spends far more time looking at her bell than she does watching out for the neighbor's mailbox.
Rule #3. Once the time comes to take off the training wheels, consider removing the pedals as well. If she can focus her attention on staying upright without having to remember to pedal, she will learn to stay up more quickly by coasting, and have more time to focus on important things like steering and avoiding the neighbor's mailbox.
Rule #4. When the pedals go back on, teach her to ride standing up. Otherwise she's going to poop out trying to get up that hill, and once her tiny legs burn out she'll careen straight into the neighbor's mailbox.
Rule #5. Move to a development in Iowa that has no mailboxes.