Sunday, August 22, 2010

Masha Rides Her Bike

Masha got a brand new hot pink Barbie Bike for her 7th birthday.  And roller blades.

Across the street from her apartment block is a park that runs between two streets like a very wide boulevard.  It has several squares paved with cement sidewalk blocks and a wide paved walk way up the centre.  Perfect for bikes, roller blades, skate boards and pedestrian traffic.

Tanya and I went to see how she was making out learning to ride.  I'd been there a week ago and she was using the training wheels, learning how to peddle and steer.  Masha decided today she would show us her roller blades first, then practice on her bike.  The roller blades come with a backpack to carry them which holds all the protective gear too.

Roller Blade Backpack
 She buckled them on tightly, all by herself, strapped on her knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards and away she went.  She is not much for speed but works hard at turns, stops, running on the spot and standing jumps.  She circled one way for a while, then turned and circled the other way ensuring her legs and her turning skills got equal workouts.

I'm coming at you!!
Circling the Square
Then it was on to the bike. No training wheels today.  Tania held the bike for a few rounds then let her go on her own.  She was pretty shaky with managing the pedals but kept at it.  Trying to convince her that she needed to KEEP PEDALING was the hard part.  Again, going in circles, working on turning, working on stops, working on not hitting anybody.  But so shaky with the pedaling.

Getting her started

Circling the Square again, on her own steam.
Pretty Shaky but Determined
 Finally to get her headed down the straight away and build some speed, I "raced" beside her.  She laughed so hard she almost piled it up but it got her pedaling and away we went.  Elephant and child.  Three trips up and back and she would go on her own.  My Tanya said to Masha's Mom that she was bringing me to play with Masha every day.

After about an hour she had it mastered.  Could start and go, turn in a smaller radius, build speed, not hit anyone and slam on her brakes, screeching to a halt.  She is a determined little imp.  Like her Babushka!

Considering it took a year of intensive physiotherapy beginning when she was a year old before she could do anything but drag her left arm and left leg, she has come a long way.  I am so proud of her!!!


  1. Good work, Masha!

  2. Wow. She is doing great. We just need the video to you racing along beside.

  3. Amazing, determined kid. Kinda like you, BF.

  4. DC, it ain't gonna happen (without a massive cash transfer in my favour).

  5. To have her riding without training wheels in so short a time is a testimony to her determination and Tania's and your patience. Excellent. Training wheels are an invention of the Devil. I hate the damn things.

    My only comment would be that it is great that you want to protect her knees and elbows, but what about her noggin?

  6. Thanks Crum you beat me to it. We've had some really bad accidents here with skateboarders who won't be playing anymore because they had no helmet. Let's not make her next set of wheels a wheel chair.

  7. Agree totally about the helmet. Yesterday was the first I knew that she didn't have one and said to Tanya we better buy one for her.

    Tanya and I will look for one for her this week. I am pretty sure that even with the cultural fatalistic attitude towards death and injury, that her parents will make her wear it.

  8. She looks great!!! Good for her.

  9. Yay Masha!! She did so well. She is too precious!


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