May 28, 2017

Balance bike racing.

41 comments:

Rusty said...

Only a matter of time before somebody slaps a motor on one a them sumbitches.

mockturtle said...

Looks like only the winners--I hope!--got trophies.

madAsHell said...

I failed to endure the 30 second interstitial advertising.

madAsHell said...

Has anybody noticed the proliferation of:


Science is real
Black lives matter
No human is illegal
Love is love
Women's rights are human rights
Kindness is everything


yard signs

Achilles said...

I wonder how people cheat

AReasonableMan said...

Achilles said...
I wonder how people cheat


Use midgets as ringers.

mockturtle said...

Has anybody noticed the proliferation of:


Science is real
Black lives matter
No human is illegal
Love is love
Women's rights are human rights
Kindness is everything


yard signs


Not here, thank God!

dbp said...

Couldn't you just buy a normal bike, take off the pedals and lower the seat? Then, once the kid learns to ride, put the pedals back on and raise the seat.

Fernandinande said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
exiledonmainstreet said...

I can't find much to fault with an activity that gets kids outside and exercising.

Inga said...

Those little balance bikes are a great idea. I know what to get my three year old grandson. No pedals to hit ankles on.


"Has anybody noticed the proliferation of:

Science is real
Black lives matter
No human is illegal
Love is love
Women's rights are human rights
Kindness is everything

yard signs"

Good Lord NO! Those are terrible ideas and ideals!

CStanley said...

Couldn't you just buy a normal bike, take off the pedals and lower the seat? Then, once the kid learns to ride, put the pedals back on and raise the seat.

I would think that's far more trouble than it's worth since kids that age outgrow their bike frames very quickly.

Ann Althouse said...

"Has anybody noticed the proliferation of... yard signs."

Yes. I see them all over my neighborhood. I've considered blogging them. The insight that I wanted to share was the internal incoherence. It can't be true that "Kindness is everything," since there are those other things, and some of them don't 100% align with kindness. Notably, science. If there's a kindness vs. science conflict, which way to we go?

I guess, to strain to find coherence in this collection of thoughts, I would say "Science is real" can be believed and yet looked away from. But even still... that means kindness isn't everything. Science is also a thing, even if we ignore it when it conflicts with our commitment to kindness.

exiledonmainstreet said...

madAsHell said...
Has anybody noticed the proliferation of:


Science is real
Black lives matter
No human is illegal
Love is love
Women's rights are human rights
Kindness is everything"

I have seen a "Black Lives Matter" sign posted, hilariously, on the side of a Unitarian Church. Is there anything whiter than the Unitarian Church? The church for atheists/agnostics who still have a longing to do churchy things like hold pancake breakfasts.

Even funnier: a sign that says basically, "you're welcome in my neighborhood" in a dozen different languages, including Arabic and Spanish. The one I have seen sits on the spacious lawn of a home that must cost at least $1.5 mill. Note to Californians: that amount will still get you some very nice digs in these parts.

I am sure the owners would welcome a nice Muslim orthopedic surgeon moving in next door. The sign must also give comfort to the Hispanic guys who show up to mow the lawn - if they can read it.

madAsHell said...

Good Lord NO! Those are terrible ideas and ideals!

Who are you?...and what have you done with Inga!!

exiledonmainstreet said...

madAsHell, she was being sarcastic.

Inga thoroughly approves of virtue-signaling.

madAsHell said...

I've considered blogging them.

Well....that's why I thought it was a local phenomenon.

EDH said...

Cool, innovative approach.

Any brakes for down hills?

exiledonmainstreet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
exiledonmainstreet said...

People a few blocks away from me have put a "Gun Free Zone" sign in their front window.

I doubt that there are any "Gun Free Zone" signs in the front windows of inner city homes, since there they would be taken as an invitation: "I'm unarmed! Come on in and help yourself to my shit!"

Inga said...

The signs are simplistic. Not enough room on the placard to get into the weeds of the thought. I think they're a harmless way of promoting the idea/ideal. I'm thinking that the people who display these signs might feel that society has forgotten about or dismissed some of these thoughts. It could just be a way of pushing back against a feeling that America has become mean and ignorant, or a fear that's it becoming that way.

Henry said...

I bought a decent little balance bike for my youngest son before they became popular. I wish I had opened a franchise.

exiledonmainstreet said...

EDH said...
Cool, innovative approach.

Any brakes for down hills?

5/28/17, 11:47 AM

That would be a problem, as you know if you've ever tried to slow down going down a hill and find the brakes don't work or (as used to happen with my childhood Schwinn) the chain slipped off the sprocket. It was a scary feeling, to backpedal to brake and feel the pedals spinning uselessly as the street loomed ahead. Usually slamming your feet down worked but occasionally, you'd fly tail over tin cup.

Lucien said...

Science is real? So: your children should be vaccinated, there's nothing wrong with GMO foods, being gluten free is silly for most people, nuclear fission is a better alternative to fossil fuels than wind power, and alternative medicine that works is called "medicine"?

Yancey Ward said...

My main complaint about a bike like this is that it apparently can't be converted to a normal bike, but I think that might be kind of irrelevant since children that age would quickly outgrow it in either case.

Is it easier to learn to ride this way? I wouldn't actually believe it does- the advantage of training wheels is that you learn to ride while pedaling the bike- I am not convinced that having a foot on the ground is any more conducive to balance control than having the training wheels do the task for you.

Someone should do a large scale study on this. In any case, I applaud the entrepreneur- he definitely seems to have found a novel and rich niche for a product.

Inga said...

"So: your children should be vaccinated."

Yes absolutely. Now how to get Trump the antivaxxer behind it.

"...alternative medicine that works is called "medicine"?"

I'm all for evidence based medicine.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Great idea. A bicycle is properly controlled by leaning the bike, making use of gyroscopic action of the front wheel. To learn this, the kid must get the bike up to speed and be able to lean the frame laterally. "Training wheels" constrain the bike from leaning and so are a hindrance to learning.

Bob Ellison said...

I saw a "Lobster Festival" sign today. Do the lobsters feel festive about it? Do they put on a little dance and wave their big, tasty claws around?

My oldest son called lobsters "lumpsters".

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Very cute video--thanks for sharing. The kids with both helmets and pacifiers made me laugh.
My nephew had one of those bikes and he's an avid mountain biker today.

Mark said...

"Is it easier to learn to ride this way? I wouldn't actually believe it does- the advantage of training wheels is that you learn to ride while pedaling the bike- I am not convinced that having a foot on the ground is any more conducive to balance control than having the training wheels do the task for you."

Yes, it is much much easier. The issue with learning to ride a bike is balance, something that training wheels don't really help teach.

The local city rec department runs a wildly popular program that removes the pedals and has your kid riding with pedals by the end of the morning. Pedals off and seat a little lower for gliding, then gliding around obstacles, then for longer periods down a slight incline .... then pedals on for the same rotation [also teaching braking as a separate stop].

If you had a lot of kids I guess a balance bike would make sense, most people just use their normal bike without the pedals and the seat lowered ... with this sort of method the kid doesn't stay too long on the balance bike [unless too young to handle a real bike yet]. It's amazing what letting the kid learn to balance at their own pace and in a fashion where they won't crash can achieve.

madAsHell said...

The insight that I wanted to share was the internal incoherence.

The internal incoherence is a feature. If you embrace this conflicted theology, then it's easier re-distribute your stuff. I'm surprised this homily fails to include the it's-for-the-children idea.

If I stand back, and squint at this nonsense, then all I see is.......what's-mine-is-mine, what's-yours-is-negotiable.

CStanley said...

with this sort of method the kid doesn't stay too long on the balance bike [unless too young to handle a real bike yet].

That is part of the appeal of balance bikes- using them instead of trikes for really young kids, and as a bonus you skip the training wheels on bike stage.

The downside and reason we didn't do it is the lack of brakes. No problem if you live in a flat area, but it's just too hilly in N. GA. That's a problem with regular bikes too, necessitating a lot of trips to parks with flat trails, but it just didn't seem worth getting the kids started on balance bikes.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Those little balance bikes are a great idea. I know what to get my three year old grandson. No pedals to hit ankles on."

For once I agree with the crazy cat lady. Currently, we don't have any grandkids in the right age bracket, but are hoping for a couple more when my kid gets out of grad school. Hoping for a girl this time (after 5 grandsons). Most of us have lived through teaching their kids how to ride bicycles. Not quite as bad as teaching them to drive cars, but up there.

Yancey Ward said...

The problem I see in the video, though, is that I didn't see any gliding- they all had one foot on the ground at all times. Of course, it might be due to the fact that it was a race, so all felt the need for constant propulsion.

Inga said...

"For once I agree with the crazy cat lady."

For the love of all that is Holy, please cover those nostrils, ew.

Ralph L said...

Tricycles are no longer unfashionable.

The first thing I did after getting my training wheels off was ride down the hill into a telephone pole (in front of other kids). Got my first and only bloody nose.

No virtue signs down here. I don't remember any political signs last fall, either.

natatomic said...

Yancey Ward - here's a video of a 2 year old gliding on his balance bike!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUZ-XBnajDg

Mom2Es said...

I bought a decent little balance bike for my youngest son before they became popular. I wish I had opened a franchise.

Yes! I have "sold" so many balance bikes to other people that I have often joked that I should charge companies a referral fee.

For the skeptics, all of my kids learned to ride a bike by starting with a balance bike. All of them were confidently riding a regular bike with no training wheels by the age of five (or sooner). Yes, you could take the pedals off a regular bike and lower the seat, but good luck finding a pedal bike that is lightweight enough and designed to fit a three-year-old properly that is not insanely expensive. Much easier to find a balance bike with a seat that can be raised.

Here is the secret: the balance bike is not for them; it's for you. Specifically, for your back and legs. No spending hours and hours running alongside the child bent over with one hand on the back of a bicycle seat. No negotiations over the training wheels. No crying kids with bleeding knees (okay, there will be some of that eventually, but maybe only 1/4 as much?). When it came time for a pedal bike, the parental training involved going over to the a track at the school and spending about three minutes practicing how to push off. That's it. You're done; it's now time for you to sit on a bench in the shade.

Are there brakes? Depends on the brand. The one we used did have a hand brake, but mostly they just put their feet back down.

Curious George said...

Training wheels? Pffft. My dad sat me on a bike, gave me a push, and the rest was up to me. I'd fall, and the whole thing was repeated. Until I learned. Another generation of pussies.

Here's where this shit leads. Another generation of pussies.

Bruce Hayden said...

I wonder if a balance bike would have helped my partner learn to ride a bike. She is nearing 60, and never really learned. Partly, it was her mother believing that bicycle muscles on a woman are unattractive (and worse, when they turn to fat). So, she was adamant that her daughters weren't to ride bicycles (but the other two girls did just fine). But partly, it was balance. Which is weird because she was decent in gymnastics, and had a dance scholarship for college. I think that she may just have always overthought it. The funny thing was that her kids picked it up like ducks taking to water. Pushed her son off once, let go, and that was all it took for him. Do think that one of these would have helped my kid, who took weeks to get the basics. But all is well that ends well - in grad school in Boulder they bike to and from school even with snow on the ground.