Diary: Eileen-chan Learns to Ride a Bike (finally)

Since my previous blog post I’ve finished reading Discovering the Mind, Concerning E. M. Forster, and A Great Unrecorded History. I’m about a third of the way through Atheist Delusions and have also reached the 15th canto of Tasso’s Liberation of Jerusalem after temporarily setting it aside.

Oh, and Eileen-chan has suddenly learnt to ride a bicycle… We bought her a bike for her 7th birthday back in December. Despite the fact that she quickly learnt to ride a monocycle at school, she was pretty hopeless on her bicycle. When I took the stabilizers off she gave up completely until I put them back on again. My next ploy was to buy a smaller bike with no stabilizers so she could switch from one to the other. Both languished largely neglected for several months.

Then, a couple of weekends ago, while H was up in Hokkaido at a medical conference I took Eileen-chan to a nearby park. I walked and she gingerly cycled along at walking pace. At the park there was a nice little circuit and a gentle slope for her to cycle up and down. On our way back home I had to jog to keep up with her. Just as we got home we bumped into one of her friends, an “expert” cyclist who was hanging out on her bike, so they played together for a while and those two events gave E renewed enthusiasm to practice.

Last Saturday she took her little bike with no stabilizers and pootled along with her feet on the ground as we walked to the supermarket. Sunday evening she managed two revolutions of the pedals without putting her feet down. Then, on Monday afternoon, after coming home from school, she suddenly discovered that she could ride her little bike! Just like that. I was amazed! I thought it would take a few more days for her to get the idea. On Tuesday afternoon I caught a glimpse of her zooming down the street with two friends, all on their bikes with no stabilizers… Another threshold has been crossed and it’s time to remove the stabilizers from her first bike, and raise the saddle.