The Kid Finally "Gets" The LikeABike!
Last year, I took him out a few times and he would walk with it a bit and would want me to push him. I was getting a bit frustrated as he lost interest in it after about a 10 minute session.
Fast forward to last weekend. He's now 3.75 years old and I put him helmet on and set him up on the sidewalk. He was wobbly at first but really liked it.
Last night, he took it for a 20 minute ride to our neighbourhood sushi restaurant for dinner. You can see that he built up some more skills from the first session and was having a blast. Today, we did the same thing (we seem to be having a LOT of sushi!). Except this time, he was FLYING. We actually have to teach him to slow down and be more careful as he forced older couples to jump off the sidewalk when he approached. Luckily, nobody seemed annoyed though as it is quite amusing to watch such a cute little monkey scoot by on the LikeABike. The fact is, it took him basically one day to get used to the idea, one day of practice, and tonight he was off to the races. Amazing!
You ask...what IS a LikeABike?
Built for kids ages 2-5, LikeaBike is a pedal-less, chainless German-made wooden push bike that moves by foot power. With a front fork restricted by felt inserts, a LikeaBike is prevented from jackknifing. This translates to a shorter learning curve because the kid doesn't keep crashing and a quick progression to a very free and smooth ride. Like I said, it is amazing that once they are ready, how fast they can pick it up and advance to great speeds. Yikes!
Once we get the safety rules firmly ground in, I can see us going everywhere with this and leaving the stroller behind.
Another interesting observation. Unlike a bike with training wheels, LikeaBikes are able to go up hills. Of course the child feels that it is harder, but on a regular bike with training wheels and a fixed gear that you'd have to strain to go up a few inches. Our son can fly up some fairly steep hills. Hills that I feel some discomfort climbing while commuting on my own bicycle!
It isn't cheap, but the construction is sturdy and solid. I'd say it was a good value for what you get.
From the distributor's web:
The LIKEaBIKE is a unique toy vehicle for children between the ages of two and five. Riding a LIKEaBIKE is incredible fun for kids! At the same time, it's highly beneficial for the development of their motor skills and sense of balance. Mastering how to ride a LIKEaBIKE will give your child a huge boost in confidence.
As early as two years old, children can fulfill their urge to be active with this walking bike and have their first experience of riding on two wheels. A LIKEaBIKE has no pedals. When first trying to ride, kids play with their LIKEaBIKE as they would with a hobbyhorse. They become familiar with the saddle first, carefully sitting on it. Soon they start to walk with it, then run. In no time the little rider becomes more confident and by pushing off, picks up speed. If the bike starts to tip, kids instinctively regain their balance with their feet.