Clark Quinn's Learnings about Learning
(The Official Quinnovation blog)

24 April 2008

Like riding a bike…

Clark @ 5:30 AM

(Sorry for the delay, I don’t like to wait this long between blogs, but as soon as I was back from the Guild conference, and catching up with the backlog, I was off to a gig.)

We’d gotten our kids bikes, but we don’t have an ideal situation for it. Our backyard is wood deck, pebbled concrete, steep driveway (cars have had trouble getting up), and (semi-) landscaped hill. Our neighborhood is similarly largely vertical, and even the cul-de-sac is small and still somewhat with a grade. My son got on top of riding while at his cousin’s, but my daughter never did.

However, there are lots of bike paths in the flats down the hill, and my wife really wanted us to do some bike rides together. In the past couple of weeks we bought some new bikes for the kids that suited their current sizes, didn’t put training wheels on for the daughter, and tried to get them both used to the new bikes.

In the cul-de-sac, my daughter did a couple of shots of riding with us running along behind holding her up, and managed some, but never got very comfortable nor skilled. So, this past Saturday, we went down to their school playground and had them ride around.

My wife started with my daughter, and next thing I know, my daughter’s riding around on her own! Her story is that Mom let go without telling her so she thought she was ok. My wife’s story is that daughter yelled out “let go” so she did. Regardless, suddenly she was peddling on her own, turning, everything. And with a huge grin on her face; she was so thrilled! As were we.

So Sunday the family took that bike path. And I was the one with a grin on my face.

The lesson was that with the right tools, motivation, support, and environment, learning is magic. Are you making your learning experiences like that?


  1. Clark, I’m always thrilled to read posts about people discovering or rediscovering the joy of riding a bike. As an avid cyclist, I think the bicycle is one of the greatest inventions ever.

    Until yesterday, my family’s car was in the shop for a week. So, we relied on bicycles for groceries, errands, dance classes, etc. When the car was ready to be picked up at the shop, my daughters complained and mentioned how they had enjoyed living without one. I’m trying to convince them even though the car is back in the driveway, there’s no need to stop making our bicycles our primary mode of transportation until the snow returns next winter.

    Comment by Richard Nantel — 25 April 2008 @ 12:18 PM

  2. Richard, that’s a great story, kudos to your daughters. I’m not sure my bike will make riding up our steep hills easy enough to use it for errands (tho’ I plan to try), and the kids aren’t ready yet to tackle that on their one-speeds, but as they get older I hope they’ll start riding to school like I did in high school (’til I got old enough for a car :). It’s great, too, that you’re modeling bike-riding as an avocation as well as an opportunity.

    Comment by Clark — 27 April 2008 @ 8:16 AM

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