His first bike! Bonding with my son over a shared passion

This week has been an especially exciting one for the family. Mostly for Jimmy, but for the rest of us too.

Now, getting your first bike is a milestone in any kid’s life and sort of the beginning of a new era in childhood. It’s actually just as exciting for parents too! At least I had a really fun time teaching my son! Teaching him how to pedal with training wheels, balancing, kissing cuts and scrapes, encouraging him after multiple crashes and wobbles, and in the end, seeing the look on his face when he was ripping down the sidewalk all on his own. It was like learning to ride my own bike all over again! Of course, this sounds a bit like a fairytale and happened a few years ago and Jimmy’s been riding his bike pretty much daily since then.

Jimmy often comes for rides with me on my motorbike around town or on a little father-son bonding road trip. We do a lot of fun activities together, but he has really taken a shining to motorcycles. He painted model cars and bikes which are just littering his dresser top and bookcase now. There is no doubt in my mind he’s going to end up a lot like me!

Anyways, back to the good part of the story. Last weekend my wife and I were talking and decided to look into motor bikes for kids (don’t worry, these aren’t bikes to be ridden on the road by children – mostly just dirt bikes with cool bodies). It’s summer, spirits are high and kids should be spending more time outdoors (I’ve also taught my kids how to fish, which is great in the summer)! This just seemed like a no-brainer for Jimmy after having shared so much of my passion with him, and seeing it become a passion of his own.

So we broke the news to him, mentioning that it will be an early birthday present (his birthday is a few months away). He had absolutely no problem with this and was just so excited that he’ll be able to ride it around all summer and fall. The look on his face was something I’ll never forget!

Before I took him out to pick one up, I was very clear with him about the rules he has to accept when riding it. He has to stay either on our property (back or front yard and driveway), within eyesight if we go for a walk or bicycle ride as a family, and he must wear a helmet. I trust him, I really do. I just don’t trust other people riding or driving nearby. Anything can happen at any given time and I’m a firm believer in prevention of accidents. He agreed, and wanted to pick out the coolest motorbike helmet he could find. With so many options, I think we spent more time looking at helmets than we did looking at bikes! He was ecstatic, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to be bonding with him like this. Once we picked out a helmet and a bike, the first thing we did when we got home was get it running and grab a camera. He was the one who wanted a cool-guy photo with his new bike!

I can’t wait to teach him more as he grows up into a smart and talented young man. I’m beyond thrilled that he’s taken such a liking to motor bikes, and I hope I can teach him how to drive a real one someday!

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