24 Jun You ain’t Dutch if you can’t ride a bike!
Our daughter, 3,5 years old by the time of writing this blog, is a very Dutch looking girl: pale blonde hair and fiery blue eyes. Tall for her age and running around on wooden shoes. No, that’s a joke… She might not have wooden shoes (yet), running around is one of her favorite things as is her wooden balance bike. We bought her this bike in San José, Costa Rica in january of 2019 and it has traveled with her to Puerto Viejo ánd back to Holland. We try to bring things in her life that are durable ánd that travel with her, so that she has things around her that are always there, no matter where she goes. Think of it as our way to make her life predictable and stable, besides us being there all the time ;-).
So, her balance bike and she were pretty much inseparable. I read on the internet somewhere that when a kid on a balance bike manages to make turns in balance, feet off the ground, without falling over. It is time for the real thing: a bike! So we went out to research the possibility to give her a bike that travels with us. Somthing light that can travel with us in a big bag and something easy to manage for her so she quickly knows how to ride a bike without the need of putting training wheels on the side of the bike. This research has led us to a guy from Austria who was looking for the exact same thing: a light bike that breaks easily and enables a child (who is ready for it) to ride it within a day or so. He did not find this bike so decided to build it himself. This led to the start of his company Woom Bikes.
We decided to buy Isa a Woom bike as well: less than 5kg, easy to travel with, easy to learn how to ride. I took Isa to Harderwijk, to a small outfit in a small town in the center of Holland to fit the bike. She managed to ride it all by herself the very same day! Which was a delight, made us proud and it has been such an easy introduction into riding a bike. It made her not only look Dutch but feel Dutch too we imagine.
Our son, Vesper (1,5 by the time of writing this blog), is practicing his bike riding skills on his trike and tractor. Next year it is his turn to try the wooden balance bike and later the yellow Woom of his sister. The Woom bike is going with us when we leave for Costa Rica in a few weeks. She’ll hopefully ride it in San José, ride it in Puerto Viejo like she did the wooden balance bike, and maybe even ride her own bike to her school in the jungle. That would be awesome and I am sure that will make her super proud! (and very Dutch ;-)).
Besides learning how to ride a bike and speak Dutch, there were many things for the kids to be experienced here in Holland. Playing outside, sitting at a campfire, being picked up by the animation team right here on the campsite with a huge tractor and children’s wagon , swimming in a recreational lake, sailing in Friesland, playing with nieces and nephews, sleepovers with grandparents. Both Isa and Vesper go to the farm aka kindergarten in St Isidorushoeve like last year. Find an overview of pictures of a Dutch summer below: