Tag Archive | balance bike

Kiddie cyclocross

It’s race day! I recently found out all area cyclocross races have a free kiddie event so we walked over to the MFG Woodland Park Grand Prix this morning. We went a bit early to watch the real racers. A friend almost convinced me to try cyclocross with her six years ago and back then I seriously considered it before deciding I’m too wimpy. It was so fun to watch I had second thoughts about avoiding it myself, but those second thoughts were while I was watching a downhill portion of the course. Later we stood near an uphill section and I’m back to my orginal assessment.

The race was awesome. It was kids 9 and under so there were a lot of riders (maybe 50?), but it was segregated with big kids on geared bikes at the front riding two laps and everyone else in the back doing just one. There weren’t any barriers to lift their bikes over, but there were a couple muddy patches the kids walked their bikes through. Near the finish line Brandt laid his bike down and I wasn’t sure why. It sounded like he said he wanted to pee and go home, but after talking to him later, it turns out he was just tired and needed a quick rest.

Despite having to coax Brandt out from under his warm stroller blanket before the race and his almost abandoning during the race, he wouldn’t get off the bike once the race was over. He rode around the expo area for a while and then all the way home, with a side jaunt through the bike jump hills by the skatepark. A couple of the mounds are low enough for a tiny rider and once he’s got his confidence back with hills, I think he could manage some of the medium ones, too.

I can’t wait for next cyclocross season!

Fiets of Parenthood

We rode to the Fiets of Parenthood Family Bike Games in lower Wallingford this afternoon. I wanted to bring Brandt’s Kinderbike balance bike for the kiddie stuff so we lugged that behind us in the Burley while the boys rode in their little Bobike bike seats.

Photo by carfreedays

The festival was awesome. It was incredibly hot out, but there was plenty of shade as well as a misting station, in which the boys both got completely soaked. But our first stop was the helmet fitting station. Mini still isn’t a fan of the helmet so hopefully now that it’s perfectly adjusted he’ll stop clawing at it. Brandt’s adjusting didn’t go so well as the helmet gal buckled his chin into the clasp, giving him a couple red welts. Thank goodness for the gelato bike (a Madsen filled with tubs of ice cream). Brandt valiantly tried to eat his two ice cream cups before they turned to soup, but he ended up pretty sticky before he gave up and poured the remains out and stomped in the puddle.

After decorating his bike with pipe cleaners, sparkly stars, and beads, Brandt hit the obstacle course featuring a teeter-totter, ramp, and cone slalom. I thought I’d have to lure him away with more ice cream, but he eventually took a break so we could get back in the shade. We all participated in the adult/kid race, but I think we got the slowest time of the whole field. We lost the race before we even entered the course since at “go” the first step was to get the kids on the bike and then enter the course. Mini usually comes when I call him, but I still wear him in the sling for putting him on the bike just to keep things easy. We did fine at the stop sign, pick up the dropped toy station, joust, grocery bag pickup, ramp, and “rain storms” (kids squirting us with water guns), but at the last station (berry picking), I tipped over. I think we didn’t even reach a 45 degree angle before people ran over and helped right us, but it was pretty embarrassing.

Dan got back from his week away and met us at the festival, fortunately after my lackluster performance. A couple people came by and told me their own and other’s fallen bike stories, which made me feel better, but clued Dan in on my earlier mishap.

The usual suspects were all there: Madsens, Xtracycles, Bakfiets, Bullitt, tandems, trail-a-bikes, and trailgator. One new thing we saw was a very cool kiddie pre-bike ridden by Baby Totcycle: the balance-trike-into-balance-bike Wishbone Bike. I didn’t get a chance to put Baby Rijder on it because his friend Baby Zevin wouldn’t give it up. I think his parents have probably already ordered him one.

On the way home, we hit the after party barbeque for salmon burgers, beer, and chilling while the day cooled down. Brandt was a bit too small for the super-cool custom play structure, but he made do collecting garden rocks and shuttling them around in a toy truck. Baby Rijder kept trying to use a dump truck as a walker, but pushed from the wrong side and caused the bed to rise up and bop him on the forehead. It happened three times so he’ll probably have a nice bruise tomorrow. I saw a bruise in the same spot on Baby Totcycle which I’d guess was earned the same way.

Trick rider

We took the balance bike down to the lake this afternoon. Brandt is getting pretty fast on it. I can’t wait until he goes continuously. He’s got a weird habit of laying it down periodically to sprinkle gravel on the spokes. I have yet to figure out what he’s thinking, but I’m sure there’s a hilarious explanation. We saw a guy doing bike tricks at the community center and Brandt was very intrigued. He hopped up on the planter (on foot, the bike stayed on the ground) and ran around, probably plotting his future bike stunts.


Brandt’s on his new bigger Kinderbike now. It’s a much better fit than the Mini was. He’s mostly been riding it on the path around the lake, but this afternoon he took it up a ramp of the community center. He didn’t want to ride back down the ramp, but rather carry the bike down the stairs. Go, little cyclocross guy! I ended up being the one to carry the bike down, but some day he’ll do his own heavy lifting.

Beach bike

Taking advantage of the gorgeous day, we drove to Alki for brunch and balance biking. Hopefully we’ll get into the habit of biking to Alki, but today we drove over. I wanted to brunch at Alki Cafe, but when we saw the line out the door we hit Bamboo Bar and Grill instead. It ended up being the perfect spot as there were only a couple other people eating and the food was great. The waitress brought Dan the wrong dish, but she warned him as she set it down that it might be wrong because she was distracted by flirting Baby Rijder and wasn’t paying attention. How can one fault that? Brandt was intrigued by the fake tiki torches and BR dug the ceiling fans so it was good all around.

The balance biking went well, but Brandt wasn’t content on the flats and made Dan run down the hill with him over and over. The Kinderbike Mini is looking a little too small, though. I think Brandt had a growth spurt between when I measured his inseam and his birthday. No biggie, we’ll just move onto the next Kinderbike and save this little one for Baby Rijder. I’m sure he’ll want to copy his big brother and ride before long.

Birthday bike

Brandt is three today! I’ve been soooo eager to give him his balance bike (Kinderbike Mini), but Dan insisted we wait for the big day. He also wanted to unveil it with some fanfare so he had a carrot cake muffin (eaten upside down because he didn’t like the frosting) topped with a three-shaped candle. He drove around in the house a little bit, but then we hit the empty wading pool by the lake because that’s where one goes to learn to ride a bike.