Last Thursday at our weekly club practice both of my kids attempted to pass
off level one. Sara (4) passed with flying colors. James (6) had no
problems with the mount and riding but he hadn’t developed graceful
dismounting ability so failed at that. Since learning to ride he always
just leaps off the front to dismount. This is apparent if you look at the
front bumper of his seat. Compared to his little sister’s uni his is really
We’ve been working on improving James’s freemounting and dismounting.
Tonight he succesfully freemounted on every attempt. His dismounts have
improved as well. He’s able to dismount with the uni in front about 90% of
the time. It still requires a little concentration on his part but he’s
started to make it his “default” dismount.
Now we’re on to level two. The 15cm drop is, I think, going to be the
hardest part for the kids. As small as my kids are and with a 16" wheel
that seems like a big drop.
I also had a bit of a breakthrough. Today I transitioned from riding to
wheel-walk and back succesfully about 75% of the time. Getting back to
pedals has really been hard for me to get. For those who are experienced
with this I have a question: Do you look at the pedal position as you go
back to pedals? I find that my success rate goes up when I look at my feet
and wait for the right pedal to come up around to the top. I then drop my
right foot, and quickly follow with my left.
I have a question about level testing. Must each skill be performed without
dismounting between skills? For example, is it appropriate in level 1 to
mount unassisted and ride only 3 revolutions then fall off. Then mount
assisted and ride 50m and fall off. And finally, mount assisted ride three
revolutions and dismount gracefully.
Perhaps a simpler way to ask the question is: can each skill in a given
skill level be demonstrated independently of the others?