It's been almost a year since Jacob got a shiny new red 16" bike for his birthday. In that time, we've had a lot of lessons, but he has always been timid about it, even with training wheels, and never really caught on.
Lately, we'd taken a few walks around the neighborhood with a Skuut wooden balance bike (http://skuut.com/) and Jacob seemed to be getting more confidence and ability to balance. But he was getting too big for the little Skuut, so I tried taking the cranks off of his Quest to make it into a balance bike.
Rebekah's brother Dave had given me one of their old bikes - a little girls' 12" model - when I needed a handlebar for my shild stoker setup on the tandem. Anyway, I put the handlebar back on the bike and aired up the tires (and relaxed the chain tension a bit). I asked Jacob if he wanted to try - he was just a little timid starting off, but then he figured it all out. It's amazing! He's still a little shaky, but it's all finally come together for him. I think the smallness of the bike and its lower gearing made it a lot less intimidating and easier for him to pick up. As an avid cyclist, I'm very pleased and proud of him!