Both of my kids are about to enter new phases of transportation. Sasha just showed some interest in a tricycle parked at the playground. And a nice benefit of our neighborhood park is the unspoken sharing policy—if you bring it, expect other kids to use it—so she got to have a good three-wheelin’ test-ride. Her little 16-month-old legs aren’t quite long enough to reach the pedals yet, but the look of pure pride and joy on her face as I pushed her around was priceless. She was like a parade queen riding atop her float, sitting tall and smiling at the crowds. If her wave was slightly more mastered, there definitely would have been some elbow-elbow-wrist-wrist action. So, we are about to break the Kettler out of the basement, where it has been collecting dust since Owen decided he was too macho for it about a year and a half ago.
Owen has actually made a couple of transitions since then—and is about to make one more. He went from tricycle to Skuut (the wooden, sans-pedals balance bike) to 18-inch bicycle with training wheels, then back to Skuut. And now he’s ready to go back to the bike, but ditch the “little kid” attachments. In the last few weeks, one of his good friends learned how to ride on two wheels (shout out to Dylan!), and Owen has decided he wants to join the club.
It’s an exciting time for both of them—and for my husband and me. We’ve steered our wheels all over the city, as well as on area trails, and can’t wait for our kids to experience that thrill of zipping along the C&O, gliding fast down Capitol Hill, and whizzing through the Rock Creek Park on their own sets of spokes. Of course, they’ve got a waaays to go until then, but these latest transitions are bringing them a step (or pedal) closer.
And the timing couldn’t be better. We’ll have a chance to celebrate their progress with a little fanfare this weekend at the National Children’s Museum Launch Zone. The Museum is hosting Bicycle Safety Day this Saturday, May 22, from 11am – 4pm. Kids are invited to bring their bicycles and tricycles for an afternoon of fixing, decorating, and riding. There will be bicycle helmet and bicycle check stations, a bicycle rodeo, and the “Great NCM Bicycle Parade” to show off newly decorated bikes. The event is recommended for ages 3-5, admission is free. If your kids want to get rolling, too, head to the National Children’s Museum at the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, about a 15-minute drive from the city.