As of two weeks ago, Pooh is officially a full-fledged bike rider. It was probably almost 3 summers ago that we took Pooh in the neighborhood behind us on his own bike with training wheels. It was going great. The wind was in our, um, ears (have to wear the helmets, you know), we were going at a pretty good speed. Everyone was having fun. And then it happened. Pooh suddenly forgot how to brake. He went into a yard, crashed into a bush and then flipped over the handle bars. He had a cushioned landing, so was unhurt. Not that The King and I really knew that. We were too busy laughing hysterically at how funny it looked to see him flip over those handle bars. Like something from America's Funniest Home Videos. The thing was that the majority of the time he was riding his bike, the training wheels were up in the air, so he was really riding! Thus the flipping. So for the next two years, Pooh wouldn't even consider riding without the extra wheels. If they even looked like they were airborne, out came the tools for repair.
So two weekends ago, I'm noticing that as he's riding in the driveway, the training wheels are once again up in the air--almost. So i casually say, "you know, Pooh, when you're riding your bike, you're training wheels are in the air. I bet you could ride without training wheels." He at least looked at me in acknowledgement. And no screaming "I can't do it" ensued. So the next day i again said something about it casually. Then after a long pause, "Are you ready for us to take your training wheels off?" Pooh said "Sure" so we hopped to it and took those wheels off.
It still amazes me that there was no nervousness on his part, no hesitation, nothing. He just took off and rode all over the driveway and yard. He even fell at one point and i heard him yell "I'm fine!" The next day he was riding with his backside off the seat to gain more power pedaling. Then i noticed that he was gliding around with his feet up on the handle bars. We were so proud of him and really hammed it all up. Called all the family and told them.
What a difference confidence can make!