Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

July 21, 2011

Learning To Ride

learning to ride

We’ve been taking the slow route in helping Simon learn to ride his bike.

Slow and deliberate with lots and lots of confidence-building praise and support.


While visiting my brother and his family we took him to a track to get in some more practice.

He was doing so awesome…better than ever with his balance.

I had the video camera rolling so he could see that he really was doing it. He loved seeing those videos and it was such a good reminder to me that he’s a visual kid and seeing himself in action is a great teaching tool. My favorite parts of the video (which are much to shaky to share) are hearing my brother and sister-in-law cheering in the background as Chris takes his hand off the bike or Simon’s back. There’s so much love in their voices.


And then he got going a bit too fast around a corner.

There was a crash.

And lots of tears.


And lots of comfort.

And maybe even a bit of chocolate cake with the sentiment “way to go Simon” written in blue icing on top after dinner to celebrate all the awesome riding he’d been doing before the crash and maybe, just maybe encourage him to get on his bike again.


We were a bit worried he’d resist getting back on his bike after the crash but he was totally ready to try again.

Even a rainbow and a bunch of crows showed up to give him some support.


That willingness to try again after falling off…it’s so huge.


He got right back on and was totally excited all over again.

Keep practicing buddy – we know you can do it!


  • 1.
    Paula in Australia said…

    Oh Ali how sweet GO SIMON! The comfort shot of Simon and Chris made me tear up. You can literally feel the love between them in that shot. You must be so proud of your darling boy.

    • ….
      Alison said…

      This totally brought tears to my eyes. Way to go Simon! Our foster daughter has downs syndrome and she finally got the hang of a two wheeler 2 years ago at the age of 19. It was HUGE! And now she rides at least weekly – well enough that she can come with me when i jog. So cool. Thank you for sharing!

  • 2.
    Melissa said…

    How lucky are you to have a constant reminder that sometimes slow and steady really does win the race? Way to go, Simon!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I feel really, really lucky :) .

  • 3.
    Beth Ann said…

    GO SIMON!!!!!

  • 4.
    Jenni Hufford said…

    GO SIMON!!! what a great kid! :) love the rainbow– so cool :)

  • 5.
    Amy in Texas said…

    Keep at it Simon!! You’re looking great!

  • 6.
    monique said…

    What a sweet story! Your story coupled with the pictures brought tears to my eyes.

  • 7.
    ale said…

    go, simon, go!
    we are all cheering for you.

  • 8.
    amanda said…

    Simon is one cool kid. And he’s blessed with some amazing parents. I hope you’re all enjoying a little bit of summer your way…xoxo

  • 9.
    Paige said…

    Way to go Simon!

  • 10.
    WendyN said…

    Way to go Simon! I love this post as I have been trying to get my son to ride a bike and it’s not going well. He wants nothing to do with it and it’s frustrating. This post encourages me to keep trying! Thanks for sharing!

  • 11.
    Lara said…

    Wow – actually made me well up a bit with his perseverance! What a great story to tell in photos. It’s such an important lesson in life to pick yourself up, brush yourself off and get on with it. Well done Simon. x

  • 12.
    dawn said…

    Oh Ali, how sweet the story is and these pictures to go with it. How awesome to have a rainbow just for him and you captured it beautifully. Simon will love this story when he’s older and love seeing Chris out there with a steady hand and a loving heart. How lucky for both of them.


    It’s funny 2 of my kids got right on a bike and took off almost right away, that’s how they still are.
    The other two of my kids have to learn on their own. I would practice and practice with them and we all had tears. But then one day they each went out got their bikes and took off on their own without me even knowing till I peeked out the window and saw them riding around the yard. IT was so awesome!!

    So glad he’s still trying. !!!

  • 13.
    Susie Leggett said…

    This is such a heartwarming story Ali. A story filled with love and pride and patients and persistance. Way to go Simon.

  • 14.
    Jen said…

    Go Simon!! You can do it!!

  • 15.
    Melanie said…

    I love seeing this. My 6 year old is so reluctant to get on his bike (even with the training wheels – that we added back to the bigger bike he got). This gives me hope there will be a day that he’s interested in trying!

  • 16.
    Angie Ulseth said…

    Way to go, Simon! I know that learning something new is hard, but worth it!

  • 17.
    Jenny said…

    Yay! Go Simon!

  • 18.
    christen said…

    what a great picture with the rainbow in the background! those are some of my favorite memories when we were teaching our kids to ride their bikes.

  • 19.
    peanut said…

    Way to go Simon!!!!

    I was eight before I learned to ride a bike (some how on the bumpiest bit of land around where we lived; I think I was trying to keep up with my sister) and I remember being so amazed that I’d actually done it. It’s such a great feeling. Keep up the awesome work. :)

  • 20.
    Ellie A. said…

    Go Simon GO! You are SO awesome :)

  • 21.
    Laura said…

    Thanks for sharing little snippets of your life with us, Ali. It underscores the point that what makes a life is the sum of the parts–all the litle things, like learning to ride a bike and to perservers. On a practical note, has Simon ever tried a balance bike? It helps kids learn how to stay uprght and how to shift their weight–it’s basically a bike without the pedals. Kids I know who’ve used one haven’t even needed training wheels. Way to go Simon! Keep at it!

  • 22.
    Wendy said…

    Great story! Way to go Simon! At 40, I just learned to ride a bike. (I wish someone had gotten me a cake when I crashed.)

  • 23.
    Margaret said…

    Beautiful, heartfelt, post. Thanks!

  • 24.
    MonicaB said…

    This is awesome…we are in the process of teaching our little one to ride. It’s not easy, especially after a crash. Way to go Simon! Way to go Mom and Dad!

  • 25.
    Julie S. said…

    I’ve got tears in my eyes! I’m cheering him on too! LOVE the rainbow! Tell him not everyone gets a rainbow when they do a great job! GO SIMON!

  • 26.
    Halle G said…

    My boy had a ton of trouble as well learning to ride. We lowered his seat down all the way and just let him scoot with his feet. He really got to “feel” the balance that was on his own without the fear taking over that he was going to fall. All of a sudden he just put his feet on and started going all on his own. It was amazing! His younger sister learned to ride the same day…3yr age difference but she is NT not ASD.

  • 27.
    Lisa W. said…

    Those pictures are so priceless, and Simon will NEVER forgot his Dad helping him. Go Simon go!!!!!!!!!! You know its so much more than learning to ride his bike:) And that rainbow, amazing!!!

  • 28.
    Imene said…

    This is so sweet. I love how you document it! Go Simon!!

  • 29.

    Absolutely fabulous capture of Chris’ hand on Simon’s hand…and the look of deep concern in Chris’ eyes as he’s about to fall. Precious picture.

  • 30.
    Tina J. said…

    Very, very sweet. I had a very similar experience with my son and the swimming pool yesterday. I thought he’d be done after swallowing a bunch of water and choking pretty badly… but he got right back in and tried again (after a few minutes and tears.) Thanks for sharing, Ali! I was so proud – I couldn’t wait to give him a big hug!

  • 31.
    Kathi said…

    One thing that helped my daughter who learned in 4th grade was to go to a very slight hill, aiming downward and just coast down. That helped her develop balance.

  • 32.
    Emma said…

    Way to go simon, It took my son awhile to ride his bike he was about 8 1/2 before he could ride his bike and a year on he does about 10 miles, keep going as one day soon it will all come together xxx

  • 33.
    Mary in IL said…

    Your pix and stories are why I am a long-time daily fan of your blog. Thank you for sharing Ali!

  • 34.
    jan from Canada said…

    that rainbow is a sign that someone else is also cheering him on :)

    Way to go Simon!


  • 35.
    Elaine said…

    awesome. way to go Simon! And great storytelling :)

  • 36.
    Damiane Lucas said…

    What an endearing story, Ali. I love how you documented this touching experience through photos and words. You put us right into the action. You are a gifted storyteller, a blessed mom and wife, and a wonderful person for sharing these moments.

    We are proud of Simon! We cheer him on, too! Way to go, Simon! Even the crows and the rainbow delighted in the story.

    As always, both you and Chris deserve a big applause and a pat on the back for being such loving, patient, awesome parents. Hooray to all!

  • 37.
    Debbie S. said…

    You go, Simon! What an amazing and courageous kid! :)

  • 38.
    Linda Binder said…

    Way to go Simon!

  • 39.
    Charity G. said…

    What a wonderful story to share. I love that photo of him with his bike and the rainbow and crows.

  • 40.
    Tona said…

    Wtg Simon!

  • 41.
    BF said…

    That is very sweet. Love the picture of the two of their backs and their arms around each other!

  • 42.
    sarah said…

    love this post. love your approach to the learning (video, love, encouragement, cake). go simon!

  • 43.
    Beth said…

    Great post…the picture of Simon hugging Chris made me tear up!

    • ….
      Maureen said…

      Me too. Pure love.

  • 44.
    Shawna said…

    WOO HOO Simon!!! Awesome job getting back on your bike and giving it another try! GO GO GO!!! Love love love the pics, but maybe the story even more.
    On a side note, Ali, I want to say thank you. I went to my first full body skin cancer screening (local dermatologist was offering free screenings). I go back to have 4+ suspicious spots biopsied. Thank you for giving me the info, strength, and courage to go and get what I have been avoiding for so many years taken care of.

  • 45.
    Sabrina said…

    You mentioning how Simon is such a visual person reminded me of the movie Temple Grandin. I just watched that show and loved it. Totally not a movie I’d watch but I kept seeing it on Netflix. I loved it. If you haven’t seen it you should. Sorry this is just so random to mention that movie but I really enjoyed it and I guess it’s just a movie that’s been on my mind a lot this week.

    • ….
      Christine said…

      I bought Temple Grandin after I saw that it was nominated for an Emmy last summer. This film went on to win an Emmy in 2010 as well as a Golden Globe. One of the best movies I have ever watched. This is an unlifting movie for the whole family to enjoy. Teachers especially could benefit from this movie. Buy it, rent it or get it at your local library.

    • .
      Ali said…

      We loved it too.

    • ….
      craftstea said…

      I am a Kindergarten teacher and using video of students to see themselves in action is SUCH a great idea. What is good for autistic kids is good for ALL KIDS! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 46.
    Adele said…

    Your post brought tears to my eyes; such love and devotion in your family.

  • 47.
    Ellen said…

    Way to go Simon! I love this story. My son was a little later than most kids to ride a bike as well – interestingly, the thing that seemed to help him was buying a larger one – while the bike shop people had sold us an appropriate one, we were having him learn on his first bike because we thought being lower to the ground was better in case he crashed! Turns out it was making it harder for him to maintain balance. just a thought?!

  • 48.
    Paula G said…

    Tears in my eyes, smile on my face, you have the best boy ever. My one little word is Soul- and please let Simon know he did my soul good today. He already is a success – his efforts are superior.

  • 49.
    Leilani said…

    Ali, your story is so beautifully told and captured. Way to go, Simon! You brought tears to my eyes as well in reading of the love and support you bring to Simon. What a fantastic accomplishment, esp. to literally and proverbially keep getting back on the bike and trying again.

  • 50.
    Mrs. V said…

    What a great, powerful post!

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