Look Ma, No Pedals!

Got bear?

If you’re thinking, “Wait a minute, Mbot and Junepbear are both only 3 1/2, surely they are too young for a bike,” you are embarrassingly ignorant of the latest in velo-technology: the pedal-free two-wheeler or, as the inventor Ryan McFarland calls it, “the no-pedal balance bike.”

This “pre-bike” is the greatest thing to come along since spandex. Instead of pedals, there are foot rests, and as soon as I figure out how to link my Youtube account to my blog, I’ll post a short video that ends well of the pair shown above cruising downhill at speed. But let’s not hold our breath for my original footage; in the meantime, click here.

Several companies make similar bikes, but the first model we bought had a convex top tube, making it difficult to stride with the bike between legs that have a sixteen inch inseam. So we splurged for the original Strider, and Mbot hasn’t been seen since. I suspect he’s in Europe training for the spring classics.

They’re marketed for kids as young as eighteen months, and Gbot and his animal-du-jour travel the neighborhood, although he hasn’t yet got the balance to cruise, footless.

But my parents report that their neighbor’s son, who is 2 1/2, has been doing it since before he turned two, and will give Mbot a run for his money in Belgium. This child’s grandfather has ridden his bike across most of the continents, and so I’m thinking the kid’s got a genetic headstart.

But does he have a bear?

It's best to choose a cycling partner who never complains.

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4 thoughts on “Look Ma, No Pedals!

  1. Update, four months later: Gbot is moving at close to the speed of light. And both boys “mountain biking” up and down dirt hills. We have had several practice sessions in STOPPING at my bellowed command. So far, so good!

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