For my son’s third birthday, woom gifted us a bike. I could not have been more excited! We already knew and loved this company thanks to my niece having one of their bikes. I was honestly shocked when little old me reached out and they said they’d be sending Ollie a bike. I legitimately think I did a happy dance in my cube at work. This was going to be Ollie’s birthday gift either way, along with balloons and granola balls, as those were his only birthday requests. I tell you this in full disclosure because yes, they did give us this bike, but we were for sure getting it either way. Plans were actually already in place for all immediate family members to go in on the gift together.
why we love biking
This may sound a bit on the cheesy side, but I recently came to the realization that part of the reason I love Ollie biking is because it’s a time where he’s not at all different. He is safely contained on his own bike, free to travel down the path just like any other kid. There’s no casually following him on the playground, no pestering him to keep his hands out of his mouth, no different snack he has to have. He can just GO.
Sure, technically speaking he could quite literally bike through an allergen. I promise you that’s already crossed my mind. Somehow it doesn’t weigh on me as heavily as all the other worries. There are a lot of other really random dangerous things that could happen to anyone. We can’t live life in fear of everything. For us, biking is something that the level of safety and protection around Ollie is enough to let us all relax.
That relaxation is such a beautiful thing. It’s for sure what makes biking our favorite allergy-friendly activity. I remember biking everywhere as a child. My friend and I had a store and park we were allowed to go to on our own and I think we biked there daily most summers. Biking as a family brings back fond memories and makes me excited for all of the adventures we have to come.
What’s even more exciting is how much this bike from woom will help Ollie on these adventures. We started Ollie on a balance bike last summer when he was just under two years old. I don’t get much credit for this. I followed in my sister-in-law’s footsteps. For a few months, Ollie would scoot himself about two feet and then be done. It stressed me out some to see him barely moving as his cousins zoomed past. One day, he got it! I can’t share any tips or tricks there. We always had it as an option and tried not to pressure him too much. Eventually, balance biking just clicked. By the start of this summer, he was pushing himself down our driveway, trying to go as fast as possible to coast across the whole cul-de-sac.
I tell you all of that about the balance bike because it is key to what’s next. A pedal bike with no training wheels! A super high-quality, kid-friendly one to be exact. This is where woom comes into play. Ollie has the woom 2, which is designed specifically to provide an easy transition from balance bike to pedal bike. Here is a bit right from their site:
“We love bicycles and we love to make children happy. It started with a search for the perfect bike; we wanted to know exactly what makes the ideal children’s bike. Our goal: build bikes that inspire children and their parents.
As designers with eyes for detail, we spent six years (and counting) crafting an ideal bike for children. The result: six lightweight, high-quality woom bikes for children of all ages, starting at one and half and going up to 14-year-old young adults. And we still have plenty to do!”
why we love woom
They truly are always improving their bikes. Ollie and his cousin are only a year apart, yet the new bike has a chain with a protector that goes directly on the chain around the entire thing, to ensure optimum safety (and cleanliness!).
They mean it when they say lightweight too. I’ve learned that when going right from a balance bike to a two-wheeler without training wheels, weight is a huge factor. If a bike is heavy, it’s going to be really hard for a small child to power it. This is key when you’re teaching a three-year-old. The first day Ollie got on his woom, he took off. It took him a few tries to get the pedaling concept but once he did, we had to run to keep up. We have video of him cruising away from us on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. It was only his fourth time EVER on the bike.
Woom sells a freewheel attachment to make their bikes the real deal. Did you know it’s the law for kids’ bikes to have coaster brakes even though most legit bike sites don’t recommend them? Woom has colored-coded hand brakes. More importantly, the hand brakes are designed to be used by children’s hands. When he remembers, he can actually squeeze them easily. As a seasoned balance-biker, braking is what has been most tricky for Ollie. We keep reminding him to squeeze the hand brakes, which he is doing more and more, but it is still a work in progress.
not light on fun
The bike doesn’t lack in fun either. Reflectors and a bell come standard. Yes, I did just include reflectors in the fun category. Ollie thinks the ability to do “night biking” is so exciting. I assure you we don’t send our three-year-old into the dark to pedal. The bell is of course fun as well. We added a cloth basket from Electra. It holds the allergy-friendly fuel you need while biking. Also, rocks. It stores a lot of rocks.
With the easy adjusting seat and durable materials, I know Ollie will be using this bike for at least two years. After that, we will pass it on and upgrade him to the next size. Right after college, Erik and I both invested in high-quality bikes for ourselves. Erik actually used his to bike to and from work every day for almost a year. Our bikes are still going strong six years later. We all know I’m a deal-lover, but for me, something like this that is safe and empowering for a child is well worth the investment. And sometimes it can be a deal too! I see woom bikes pop up on Craig’s List from time to time.
Have I inspired you to go out and bike? Do you have a different favorite allergy-friendly activity that leaves your child feeling included and empowered? Please share!