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?