Guest blogger Phoebe Doyle’s daughter Rosie tested the 14 inch Raleigh Molly bike for us. Phoebe Doyle blogs about parenting and education at www.tremendouslytwo.blogspot.com

My 5 year old daughter Rosie spent last summer riding a balance bike which was great. She’s a cautious child (unlike her crazy 2 year old brother) and the balance bike was perfect for building her confidence; she felt like she could ride well without the fear of toppling over.

We’d discussed getting “a big girl’s bike” (as in one with pedals and no stabilisers) and, as could have been predicted from when we were recently buying our new family car, all she cared about was what colour it would be.  Being a long-suffering big sister who’s had so many items (wellies, bedding etc.) bought in neutral so as can be handed down (I know, deprived child!), this purchase had to be one thing only, you’ve guessed it – PINK!

So, whilst this bike, the Raleigh Molly, will not be handed down to young Charles, it could have been designed with Rosie’s dreams in mind! Not only is the frame pink, we’ve got shiny ribbons, a shocking pink fury seat cover, dangly beads and a purple fury Molly bag! A bike with accessories – you can’t go wrong! What’s more there’s a cute Molly dolly which Rosie has enjoyed transporting as her new baby whilst she embarks on this “learning to ride” business. In fact Rosie has personally asked me to relay to you all that Molly is the bestest thing in the world ever!

It’s such a momentous occasion, learning to ride your first proper bike. Perhaps even more so when you’re the type of child that sends her toddler brother down slides first to test how fast they go! Whilst Rosie oozes confidence in her school work, physical skills are not usually her forte. This bike, however, seems remarkably sturdy. And, right from the outset, she felt steadier than I think either of us had imagined she would.

So the time came to get to a local park and go for it! She instinctively wanted us to hold onto the saddle, yet once she started peddling she soon realised she could do it much better without us. Of course there was some serious wobbling, the steering took some getting used to, and whilst my heart was in my mouth, I understand that this is how we all learnt. Having your mother panicking at your side is all a part of it.

After a couple of these park sessions she began to really get the hang of it and her confidence has grown dramatically. The attractiveness of this bike has certainly added to her incentive to ride. Evan’s Cycles gave us immaculate, prompt service and I will definitely recommend them to friends who will also be getting their little ones vehicled-up this Spring!

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Images by Clive Doyle www.clivedoyle.com