First of all, I missed getting pictures of Saben's very first ride on a pedal bike with no training wheels because I didn't even bring the camera. I honestly didn't think he'd really get that far because he was whining about not wanting to do it. Obviously I was quite wrong.
We adjusted the seat and he pretty much just rode off down the hill. It was insane. Kyle just barely helped him back up the hill to home by pushing his hand on Saben's back when he struggled to get the pedaling strength. He mostly did it all by himself.
After a whopping 20 minutes of practice, he was riding through this mud puddle, no problem, not putting his feet down at all. Seriously, i was in shock. He was turning, pedaling through bumps, having a ball. Honest, he has never pedaled a bike without training wheels until this evening.
We are so extremely proud and excited for him.
I have to add that riding a glider bike is what taught him the balance & skills to just hop on a bike like that. He's been riding this one for two months and had a different one for part of last summer. He's ridden it up to 2 miles (to town & back easily), takes it down 5 ft. dirt jumps (just rides down the big dirt hill) and can do almost anything he wants on it. Uphill, downhill, it really gave him the confidence that he can ride & balance on a bike.
After our experience, it seems almost criminal to put a kid through the torture of training wheels. Seriously, go buy your kid some sort of glider or take the pedals & training wheels off the one you already had. The gliders are generally extremely lightweight, which makes them easy to get uphills, so I think they're worth the money instead of just taking pedals off a heavy one. Just make sure they learn to pedal on a tricycle or something and they should be ready to go.