A Cycling Landmark

Emma is all smiles after learning how to ride her bike.

I achieved a cycling landmark on Sunday (February 10) that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

I taught my 7-year-old stepdaughter, Emma, how to ride a bike. It was fantastic.

Extremely loyal readers of this blog will recall my post from last May, the first time I tried to teach Emma how to ride. She was 6 then, and we were living near Hradčanská, in Prague 6. We took her bike over to Letna park for a lesson.

She did pretty well, balancing by herself for a few meters riding downhill in the grass. But she was a little scared of falling, and she never “got it” on that day.

Incredibly, inexplicably, we never went out for lesson No. 2 last summer. I guess it was a combination of living in an apartment in the city, vacations, and Emma visiting her dad over many of those summer weekends.

Now, we’re living in the hamlet of Černý Vůl, about 15 minutes west of Prague, and we have a very large yard/garden and our house is situated on a dead-end street.

The weather’s been so mild lately, with temperatures around 50 Fahrenheit, or 10 Celsius, that it seemed like a good time to rescue Emma’s bike from the garage, pump up the tires, and try another lesson.

We didn't ride on the road, only in the soft grass, so I didn't make her put her helmet on. But it, along with knee and elbow pads, will be permanent fixtures from now on.

We have a very slight incline to our garden, which made it easy for her to get some momentum. The ground was spongy, which was not great for pedaling, but it put Emma’s mind at ease about falling.

Turns out that wasn’t a concern, because she didn't fall even once. It took many back-and-forths up and down the “hill,” but she eventually got the hang of it and was pedaling hard toward a stick I’d stuck in the ground as a target.

It may have helped that I promised her we'd buy her a "princess bike" if she learned how to ride well.

We practiced a few more times so she could gain a bit more confidence, and then we called Daisy out of the house. Emma said she had something she wanted to show her.

I'm not sure what Daisy thought she was going to see, but I think she was pretty surprised to see Emma riding her bike all by herself.

As for me, I couldn’t have been more pleased. I taught Emma to ride a bike.

How cool is that?!


Julia said…
Very cool. Go Emma!
Prague Cottage said…
Hi Grant,

Well done teaching Emma to ride! I have two daughters, 7 and 5, and both have recently learnt to ride by themselves, so I know how satisying it is seeing their thrilled faces as they wobble along on their own!

And definitely a turning point in a child's independence! Just walking from A to B will seem like a bore from now on!

By the way, keep up the blog. I've been a regular reader since you first started out, but I'm not usually one to contribute. On your visitor map I'm one of the little dots in the south of Spain. Your photos are great and the commentaries are fun to read.

I've lived in Prague and Olomouc on various occasions, but I'm now based in Andalucía, where my wife is from. Really miss living in Prague, despite several visits each year. We have a little cottage just south of Prague that we use whenever we can, and rent out when we can't. I can assure you that I'd be a regular biking companion of yours if I weren't living so far away!!

All the best,

Grant Podelco said…
Hi, Danny,

Thanks a lot for the nice note, and for reading. Now I know who that little dot belongs to on my map. Next time you're in Prague, get in touch. Maybe we can ride.

And if I'm ever again in Andalucia ...

All the best.

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