Start 'Em Young.

All of my kids have nice bikes. Bike shop-quality bikes that stay aligned, roll well, and don't weigh as much as a F-350. No Walmart bikes for my kids. Even the cheapest bikes in the inventory were bike-shop bikes purchased off of Craigslist, rebuilt from the ground up, and passed from child to child. I'd rather make the experience as pleasant as possible for them so that perhaps they will continue riding even when they have other means of transportation at their disposal.
 
In my enthusiasm to ensure a great start to what I hope will be a long relationship with cycling, I bought the two-year-old a Trek Trikester before he could walk. That was another Craigslist find, because I couldn't justify paying full retail ($200) for a tricycle, but I can't deny that I was tempted. When it popped up, I jumped on the opportunity, getting in a fender bender in the process. It wasn't my fault, but I was in the wife's car with the children in the back seat, so momma-bear was less than thrilled with my new acquisition. Fortunately, my son was, even if he had no idea how to use it. A year and a half later, I don't think he has the whole concept down, but he's getting there.
 
Time for the next stage.
 
My daughter learned on a very nice bike store bike with training wheels. She rides just fine today, but apparently I severely hindered her cycling development by hamstringing here with training wheels. The current methodology is to use a balance bike and then graduate to a bike with a crankset and no training wheels. I'm sure Social Services is waiting at my doorstep this very moment to haul me off to prison for my willful neglect.
 
Not willing to risk another child's development or incarceration, I stepped up my game for my son. After talking to other cycling parents about what they purchased for their toddlers in vain attempts to turn them into the next Greg LeMond, I settled on an Early Rider Limited Road Runner.
Of course I'm going to push the whole roadie thing on him as early as possible. Sure, it was twice as expensive as most perfectly suitable balance bikes, but... drop bars. The build quality is better than anything else I've seen, and I've looked at a lot of them. Tires that aren't solid rubber. Threadless headset. A light aluminum frame. Carbon seatpost to take the buzz off during four hour training rides. A faux Brooks Saddle with rivets for him to be on during the aforementioned four hour training rides. And again, drop bars. I almost want to keep it for myself.
 
To be honest, he's still a little small for it, so it's going to be a Christmas present. Kinda cruel to give a kid a present he can't really use that day, but I never claimed to be a particularly good dad.
 
Egocentric douchebag dad is more like it.
 
Gotta be a proper role model if you want them to grow up to be a roadie.

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