One of Owen’s greatest accomplishments this past year was learning how to ride a bike. A few months before his fifth birthday, he declared that he was ready to pedal. There were no training wheels to lose, since the Skuut Balance Bike had been his main mode of transport until then. My husband and I knew he was ready to make the transition. The way he zipped around on that little wooden bike, steering with precision and gliding swiftly after gathering speed with his feet, showed us that all he needed to do was master those foot cranks and get rolling.
It took just a few tries for Owen to get the hang of it — I credit the Skuut with preparing him for what’s often the most difficult part, balancing — before he was joining the group of “big kids” who lap the park like a little gang. The confidence he gained from the achievement has been palpable, making me as happy for as I am proud of him. I remember that feeling from my own foray into the two-wheel world — the freedom, the fun, the wind blowing my hair in a wonderful tangle around my head (who wore helmets back then?). It’s a watershed moment in childhood. Even months after learning, Owen will casually drop “I can ride on two wheels” into conversation at the slightest suggestion of context. Maybe it’s showing off a bit, but I let it ride. He earned it.
So, I’m crossing my fingers for good weather this weekend, because I know my biker boy would love this event: The annual Air Force Cycling Classic is this Saturday and Sunday, June 11-12, and there will be special races for kids ages 4-9 along with the main event.
The Saturday race will take place in Clarendon at 11:30am, and Sunday’s will be held in Crystal City at 11:15am. Multiple heats for different age groups will vary in distance; the older the kids, the further they ride. Participants must bring their own helmets and bikes, and trikes and big wheels are welcome, too.
You can register your child online or on race day from 9-11am, though advance registration is recommended to avoid a slow process this weekend.