Growing kids need bigger bicycles

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Lexie (3) and Jase (6) on their Christmas bikes in 2011.

In 2011, my parents bought Lexie and Jase bicycles for Christmas. The kids were 3 and 6 at the time. The bicycles, complete with training wheels, got plenty of use. Over the years, the kids have both learned to ride without the training wheels thanks to the Buddy Bar (see photo) my friend loaned us.

Helping Lexie learn balance with the Buddy Bar.

Helping Lexie learn balance with the Buddy Bar.

Earlier this summer, when we took the kids up to the school to ride their bikes, we noticed something. The kids have grown. Lexie was now 8 and Jase 11, and they were still using bikes meant for kids much younger than them.

It wasn’t until I looked up the pictures did I realize they had these bikes for four and a half year. It seemed like it was definitely time for new, bigger bikes.

IMG_4812On our next trip to the store, we looked at bikes and tried to size up what size the kids would need. Jase found a 24” mountain bike that he liked, and it fit him well. Lexie saw a 20” pink mountain bike, but it was just a tad too big for her.

After pricing bikes online at several different places, we didn’t find anything with a better price and decided to go back and get them the bikes they originally picked out.

IMG_4817They had no trouble adapting to bicycles with multiple speeds (Lexie’s bike is a 7-speed and Jase’s is a 21 speed) and hand brakes.

In fact, they pretty much just took off riding their new bikes. Even with Lexie’s being slightly bigger, she did excellent. She surprised herself when she went over the curb after riding down a hill but recovered nicely.

IMG_4818Jase definitely was at ease on his bike as he rode circles around us.  He was also thrilled to find out that his new helmet has safety lights on the back that flash.

Lexie’s helmet, like her bike, is just a little too big for her so my husband had to adjust it so it stays in place. With her dare-devil attitude, we want that helmet to fit properly.

Now that they are all set with their new bikes, I am hoping to get them both to participate in this year’s bike rodeo at their school. This is an event that teaches kids about bike safety. As part of the day, they get to ride their bikes through an obstacle course.

Jase has been doing it since he was in kindergarten. The first two years he had training wheels but the past few times have been without the training wheels. Though he never rides well enough to advance to the city competition, he enjoys participating – even when he fell at last year’s event.

Lexie, on the other hand, has never wanted to do the bike rodeo. She refused to do it with training wheels. And later she couldn’t start riding without help, so she never participated. But this school year I think she might just be ready to show off!

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