#3- You Can Not Teach Kids How To Ride In The City.
It is time for the last of the kids to learn the streets. Cameron and Úna both learned at about the same time and were older when we started teaching them. Between the changes in the City and getting our Xtracycle we have been able to start early with the wee monster. Declan is so proud of himself. He tells me it makes him feel like he is 6!
This last weekend was so lovely and quiet in the City we decided to give Declan a chance at a longer than usual street stint. We were able to let him ride with us for about 2 miles before we had to put his bicycle on the Xtracycle because of traffic. Declan was not happy about it, he wanted to keep riding. He gets very frustrated with all of the traffic in the City. He always points out when it is quiet out and the cars are absent. He always remembers which streets are the least trafficked and always asks that we use those streets.
It is funny how something so simple could make something like teaching a five year old the rules of the road easy and convenient. Once we got through Stonestown and the crazy traffic, Declan was able to have his bicycle back to ride on Ocean Ave. I was surprised how far he was able to go and how positive the people who drove by were when they saw him riding his little bicycle.
Declan has been learning the rules of the road for a little while now. A couple of times a week we ride down to the library or the grocery store together. We have been riding on the sidewalk so that Declan gets the feel for his brakes and listening to directions. Doing this he has learned how to ride in a straight line, stop at intersections, stay with me at my side... by the time he is in 3rd grade I am sure he will be able to ride almost anywhere in the City with us without a problem.
We are not the only people in SF who are teaching their children how to get around. More and more I am seeing people get their kids out on bicycles. Even if it is just on the sidewalk it is the beginning of these kids learning how to be independent.
Did you know you can sign up your kids for classes on how to become a bicycle commuter through the YMCA in San Francisco? A little myth busting group-style. Maybe by the time these kids are teenagers they will have a completely transformed city that riding a bicycle in will be simple fact of life and not something to blog about.