The family that HB used to nanny for organizes a regular group bike ride for kids in our city. This time around, I asked Sasha if she wanted to do the ride with me. Did she ever!
Sasha tends toward sedentary. She prefers tv programs to parks, read alouds to running around. But at the same time, she completely idolizes me and my bicycling ways. She often says that she wants to be just like me when she grows up, "not owning a car, and riding my bike everywhere." Recently the hero-worship has won over the discomfort of physical activity. Just in the last few weeks, she's taught herself to ride her bike without training wheels, without much formal assistance or even much encouragement. She just decided she wanted to do it, and practiced and practiced after school every day until she got it down.
So with her training wheels off, the seat raised, wheels refilled, and bicycle frame lovingly buffed, Sasha, HB and I joined the group bike ride for kids!
Sasha did fantastic. She totally challenged herself in areas she has previously been hesitant to explore: riding up and down surfaces that are not perfectly level without getting off and walking her bike, riding on streets where cars travel and not just the sidewalk in front of her house, riding in a relatively straight line (important when you're in a big group!), and riding for longer than 20 minutes at a time (admittedly with very long breaks in the middle for kids to buy treats at the cupcake and ice cream shops along the ride).
Since the ride, she tells me that all she wants to do is ride her bike.
My job here is done.