Lukas Schmahl is my name, I like bicycles, for some reason my parents refer to me as #LittleDude on their phones, perhaps that is because I refused to cut my hair for a long time and they thought it looked kinda “cool”? I like to ride my bike as much as possible! I since had my hair cut a little bit. I’m 2 years and 4 months old now.
You see, my story starts before I could walk, at about 9 months my Mom and Dad gave me a little Y-Bike! By the 3rd attempt I was riding! I still like to ride my blue Y-bike from time to time, but Pappa said it will become Zak, my baby brother’s soon. Bicycles and my family have a long history. Oupa has been riding his whole life and has built a big business around bicycles. Pappa works with Oupa and so does Mamma, we all love bicycles. Mamma taught Pappa to ride, he was scared of riding drops, but Mamma showed him!
Pappa gets his bikes from Uncle Victor and he bought me a Muna Balance bike for my 2nd birthday, but Mamma was very cross with Pappa, when he gave me my bike early, before my birthday. I think Pappa was just too excited about giving me a new bike. Mamma and Pappa thought I would push my bike for the first few weeks, but I surprised them and rode the bike from my first go down the driveway!
“For the first couple of weeks Lukas did not leave sight of his bicycle, we had to carry it into his room at night and it was the first thing he would ask for in the morning and the last thing he would cry for at night.”
ADVENTURING BEYOND THE BACKYARD
Pappa said I was getting really good and wanted to take me on the trails. He hooked on the trailer to his bike and placed my balance bike in the back of the trailer. He then loaded up everything we needed and off we went to the bush. We are very lucky to live very close to the trails of Witfontein in our home town of George. Pappa took me to the berms and jumps section and showed me how to ride it! I asked Pappa to help me for the first couple of times. I wasn’t scared, but it felt better when Pappa was next to me. Pappa let me crash that day, he said I shouldn’t tell Mamma about the crash. I was a big boy and didn’t cry (video evidence below).
I now go to the bush with Pappa regularly on our bikes, sometimes Zulu and Thombi our dogs come as well and sometimes we swim. Pappa takes me to school on his bike most days as well. Pappa says we are training for our first overnight trip on the bikes. I told him I’m not going to fall, I promise!
“Lukas has grown tremendously in his skill set and confidence with the Balance bike. I’m actually quite impressed with his endurance as well, but I suppose all kids have endless energy when it comes to play time. It does require plenty of patience, begging and sweet talk, but the reward of him enjoying the great outdoors and the smile on his face is priceless”
TIPS FOR RIDING WITH KIDS
- Don’t go too far in the beginning, they will mislead you in thinking they can go further and would want to go further. Rather cut it short before it gets ugly.
- Go prepared, pack snacks and water.
- Make sure they wear helmets, they actually love the idea of wearing helmets, gloves and shoes. Make it part of the adventure.
- Let them fall (obviously within reason) and let them get back up themselves.
- Leave them to ride off course, or over sticks, or through the mud, they are exploring and if you observe you could learn something.
- Follow this link for more tips and resources to get your kids started riding with balance bikes.
Stay tuned for more bicycle adventures from Lukas aka Little Dude.
Words, Pics and video by Zane Schmahl
Meet the next generation of bicycle adventurer! At age 2.5, Lukas delights in riding with his dad, Zane – exploring the forest trails of the Garden Route. Two wheels brings them closer and opens a whole new world of discovery far and wide.