All the camping gear

Last-gasp camping

The summer holidays are nearly at an end, but way back in spring I booked us a last-gasp weekend camping to finish them off in style.

I’ve always wanted to stay at a Camping In The Forest site (it’s a division of the Forestry Commission) as I loved the idea of literally being in the forest and everything that adds up to. They sell the idea of paths and cycling trails as well as having activities run by their forest rangers.

In my rose-tinted vision we ride around the paths as a foursome, Buddy with his stabilisers on and Mimi on the “big bike” which Father Christmas brought for her. The only catch is that Mimi is steadfastly refusing to ride her sans-stabilisers bike.

She’s actually pretty capable of doing it, but the last time she wobbled along on her own she had an argument with a thorny hedge and got a scratch that was all but invisible to the naked eye. You’d have thought she’d amputated her hand at the wrist and since then she’s spent only 10 minutes on her bike, all of which were punctuated with cries of “I can’t do it!”

I’ve tried every trick in my toolbox. Positive reinforcement (I had her chanting “I can, I can” pre-hedge), running alongside her holding the saddle, and we’ve been at various locations to try to give her the space to wobble and not argue with the plants, but all to no avail.

So, for this year at least, we won’t be buzzing around the paths and trails of the forest. Got any tips for helping Mimi’s confidence? At this rate Buddy will ride a bike without stabilisers before she does!

This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own (I’m not that cheap!)


7 thoughts on “Last-gasp camping

  1. Cat Yaffe

    Put one stabiliser back on – it won’t be doing anything but it will give her a bit of confidence back – false sense of security I believe it’s called.

  2. Hazel

    I had exactly this problem with my youngest the other day, she is entirely capable but has bacically forgotten she can do it as it’s been ages! Also she got a bit freaked out by me moving her onto bigger bike where she could only just touch the floor. So I moved her back onto smaller bike then resorted to bribery with smarties. It worked.though I still can’t see her going far as the little bike has such annoying little wheels it takes her so much energy to get anywhere!

    1. Louise Post author

      Nothing in principle, but my September diary is chock-full of other stuff so we don’t have a free weekend. If it’s an Indian Summer I’ll be most annoyed that we can’t get away. Husband may have a different view however…

  3. Sylvia

    Stabilizers are a terribly inefficient way to get kids on 2 wheels and really destroys their confidence when the stabilizers are removed. There are little bikes around these days which are very low so kids can have feet on the ground, and no brakes, pedals or chain. Kids scoot along VERY FAST, very confident, and with great BALANCE – which is the whole deal about cycling. These are FABULOUS. Not only did my son learn on one (it took him just 4 weeks to graduate to a 2 wheel bike and never had any need for stabilizers), but I then lent the bike to loads of his friends – some much older than him who were struggling without stabilisers – and they all go the hang in just a couple of weeks. Company I bought from was Like-a-bike in Bristol, but there are other much cheaper versions around these days.

    1. Louise Post author

      Thanks Sylvia. She’s since got the hang of it, but will only ride in a straight line. Sigh.

      Buddy had a balance bike but it didn’t seem to suit him. Funny they can both balance on a two-wheeled scooter but it doesn’t translate to bikes. Kids eh?

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