Kids, Bikes and Adaptive Play

For moms like me, watching that moment is inspiring and also bitter-sweet. It’s hard for me to imagine our girl taking off on her own two-wheeled bike.

She has balance and coordination challenges along with other conditions and intellectual disability. She tries very hard to ride her bike and she really just wants to join in play with others.

Riding a bike is like a right of passage for a young child. It’s the moment when the training wheels come off and they take off with that little wobble. I saw a father help his girl take that first ride in a field behind our house the other day. She was smiling and beaming with excitement. She fell once and then got back on long enough to ride away.

Many bike rides end in frustration or a fall. She had a Dora the Explorer two-wheeled bike with training wheels for a couple of years and learned how to rotate the peddles pretty well. Turning, balancing, and acting quickly to avoid a fall was difficult. So many times I’d walk the bike home and she’d be overwhelmed. It was frustrating for her and our family. I’d see other families riding bikes together and think that would be nearly impossible for our family.

She asked for a new scooter for Christmas. I started researching online and couldn’t find a three-wheeled scooter for a 9-year-old size child. By that age, kids are riding a two-wheeled scooter, some with a lean-to-turn setup or wheel-turning capabilities. All of these scooters are difficult for a child like ours.

Then I came across a recumbent bike for kids. It’s a three-wheeled cruiser and had the weight capacity for up to tween. I watched videos and read the reviews. I figured if she couldn’t maneuver a bike or scooter that was designed for some kids, then we’d try something that would adapt to her needs.

The bike arrived and my husband put it together just before Santa was going to deliver all the presents. She was surprised and excited on Christmas morning. By Christmas afternoon, she was hauling up and down the street!

We’ve been riding together ever since. It was a game-changer for her. It was a game-changer for our family. The bike means more exercise and more importantly, it’s building her confidence and freedom to cruise.

Kids don’t come in one size fits all and the way they play shouldn’t either. Sometimes we just need to figure out what will work for them and then make the world adapt to their needs.

This is not a formal product review and the opinions are of the blog owner.  Please feel free to visit Mobo Cruisers if you would like to learn more about recumbent bikes and the brand we chose to purchase for our daughter.

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