Ella and I rode our bikes to the local shops yesterday. I had to park my bike to give her a push to start each time she had come to a stop but then she was going so fast that I had trouble catching up with her! She did a great job at pushing her bike across the grass and to cross the street too.
Then we got to the downhill path leading to the shops and I tried to convince her to
a) go down it, as she had never dared on her big bike and
b) do it without me pushing her into motion.
It was a long process and we ended up standing at the top of the path for quite a while – Ella straddling her bike and nervously looking down, me standing next to her trying to reassure her:
Me – The audience holds their breath as the daredevil prepares for her blood curdling stunt!
Ella – What’s a daredevil?
Me – Someone who does stunts, like jumping over cars on a motorbike. The suspense is almost unbearable as the daredevil starts moving down the incredibly steep hill!
Ella – Oooooh. I won’t be able to do it.
Me – Of course you will sweetie, just imagine it’s your balance bike. You always used to go down here on your balance bike, remember? Just do the same. And yes, ladies and gentlemen, there she goes at the speed of light, down that hu-mon-gous-ly steeeep hill!
It actually took quite a bit more than those few lines to get her to finally coast down. I had to give up on trying to get her to start with one foot already on the pedal. She ended up just lifting her feet off the ground but did manage to get them both on the pedals (and pedal!) before she got to the bottom. Where she slowed herself down by dragging her feet on the pavement. (And I wonder how she gets all those scuff marks on the front of her shoes!)
Of course the crowd went absolutely wild! There were hugs, there were cheers, a standing ovation and passionate requests for a repeat performance. The daredevil gladly obliged. And this time even managed to use the brakes at the bottom!
We’ll go there again today to perform the same stunt. Not just to give the audience – or the daredevil – an adrenaline hit. I am crossing my fingers it will actually help her to gain confidence and get the hang of starting herself on the bike on the flat too so I won’t have to get off my bike to give her a push all the time!