My son received his first two wheel bicycle before he was one year old. My very generous neighbor gave me his son's old bike. It was in perfect condition and would only need training wheels when he was old enough. He was never that interested in his tricycle and outgrew it before he got much use out of it. We donated the tricycle last year to the thrift store.
One of the reasons for the lack of use is we do not have sidewalks here and our house is on a corner. Our driveway is very short and goes downhill straight toward the road. Not to mention the crazy teenager three houses down who never learned to brake for animals, let alone children.
So most of the time he rode his tricycle around in circles inside the garage. I know, not so much fun.
Well, I finally got around to putting the training wheels on the bicycle and off he went.
He can only ride back and forth in front of the house, and only when I'm standing out there, but at least he's peddling more than three feet. I still need to get him a helmet and then when he can go fast enough, we can bike ride together.
When I think of the amount of time I spent riding around our neighborhood when I was a child, I wonder if his bike will ever mean as much freedom to him. Of course I was nine or ten at the time, but we rode for hours away from our homes and I know my parents were never really sure where I was.
I can't imagine ever feeling secure enough to let him ride like that here. I suppose that's a sad reality, but then again he's only five so I may change my mind in a few years. Who knows, maybe the city will build sidewalks by then. Or we could just move back to Mayberry, circa 1960.