Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Have You Ever Seen a Run Bike?

Over facebook the last two days, I have mentioned Charlie's newfound love for his 2nd birthday present.

Last August, we got him a run bike.

He wanted nothing to do with it then. Charlie is a late bloomer with balance and physical things and he seemed too unsure of himself to use the bike.

All his two year old groupies were clamoring to use it.. but Charlie was content with his trucks

I admit, that looks pretty cool too.

In honour of the LackOfSnow this week, however... oh wait, I'm sorry, did I say this week?

>> forecast of ice pellets and 5-10 cm of snow for Wednesday here.

I meant to say - the LackOfSnow RIGHT NOW!

Yes. Last night, in honour of that, I trudged through the bike pile (15 bikes?) in our basement to unearth Charlie's itty bitty run bike. And he was fairly excited about this plan.

What a difference 6 months and OutsideDeprivation makes on a 2 year old :)

I was fully expecting him to think this bike thing was pretty cool for about 2 minutes before discarding it in favour of rocks, mud, sticks, or his faded plastic lawn mower.

I was mistaken. Charlie toured our neighbourhood on his bike for a solid 45 minutes before I finally convinced him we should go home. We talked about sticks and mud and rocks. He also got called adorable, to which he turned to me and said "Mommy, that man said I'm adorable. yep"

We discussed parked cars:

"Look - are the lights on those cars mommy? Nooo they aren't. The lights are off. Those cars aren't going to go driving. We are safe"

(ohh the monologues of Charlie).

We discussed the Honda Civic:

"What car was that, Mommy?"

"A Civic. A Honda"

"I don't like that Civic Conda"

"You don't like that Honda Civic?"

"No. It was too noisy. It hurt my ears. That Honda Divic was annoying"

All the while, Charlie was riding his bike. Or... running his bike. Walking it, really.

Tonight, Daddy got to appease the boy and take him out, and already he was faster. In the meantime, Charlie has been riding the bike through our house pretty much all of his awake time.

So what is a run bike?

Well - it is a bike.. without pedals. And without chains. It lets your child find their balance on a traditional two wheel bike without trying to figure out pedaling at the same time. It skips training wheels altogether.

As your child gets their confidence and balance, they can push off and glide with the bike.

Anna had a run bike and used it for 5 days on a camping trip last June. She started out tentative. Within two days, she was running it and then STANDING on the CROSS BAR while it zoomed. Then the tire blew up. (note: black tired bikes should not be left in direct sunlight on 32 C degree days). So we handed her her "real" bike, which she promptly rode away on. She was 4 years old, 34lbs of pint sized bike riding cuteness.

How cool is that?

Being able to ride a 2 wheeler is one of the most majorly rewarding childhood achievements.

Run Bikes are, from what I can gather, the easiest and most pain free way to help your child learn to ride a pedal bike. Also, easily the most fun.

It seems Europeans have this run bike thing figured out - but in North America, we like to use training wheels.

Training wheels teach the child how to pedal before they learn how to balance.

Run bikes teach the child how to balance before they learn how to pedal.

Two year olds that can pedal and steer a training wheeled bike are few and far between. I HAVE seen them, but it's rare. A run bike, however, is instantly fun and easy to do.

They aren't popular enough yet to be found in mass retail chains, but local bike shops carry them.

Now you HAVE seen a run bike :) And they are awesome. I wish I had one when i was a kid ;)


  1. That is such a good idea! And it makes so much sense! Of course the child should learn to balance before they learn to pedal.... Those crazy Europeans have some pretty great ideas sometimes! ;)

    And Charlie IS adorable. :)

  2. what a cute idea! are they expensive? i've been wondering what to get Kady for her 2nd birthday...maybe I will get this! Where did you find one?

  3. What an excellent idea!!!

    Both of those kidlets are too cute on their bikes.

  4. Very cool!! :D

    Maybe we could mod one of the tiny bikes we have into a run bike... ;)