This time around it took four sessions, according to my son. I think it was three sessions, but it's his child-brain versus my aging brain, I'll trust his memory. It was frustrating, as with all things new. It was like he never learned at all. At first, he would not even pedal. Then he did, but only moved a few meters. Next he moved, but with me holding the seat and the rightmost tip of the handlebar, he would lean into me. Maybe it's because my son and the nephew and nieces are all older, most just a few inches shorter than me, training them wasn't too physically demanding. I was able to physically support them without feeling too drained. It was a little more energy-draining with my son since he's overweight, but I managed.
Little by little, he got better. I started with letting go of the handlebar and he was able to move along briefly before going wild with the steering. He's tall enough to just put his feet down to stop. He wasn't moving too fast so braking was not absolutely needed. I made sure he knew about braking nevertheless. He thought he would need a few more days to learn how to start off on his own, but I noticed a few times he just automatically put his feet on the pedals and continue moving.
It was such a joyous moment when I finally let go of both the back and the handlebar and jog along with him! Some day he and I can go brunning, or biking and running. Even better would be both of us running, but I take things one item at a time. He still had trouble turning and was going in circle, clockwise because he didn't know how to turn left. Then for a while he would only go counter-clockwise. In the end, he got it, even if he was still a bit shaky. Then he had a crash, maybe because he got overconfident and was going too fast to chase his cousin LZ, who just became a cyclist last week. Only a scraped left knee and barely a scratch on the right elbow. I think my bike got it worse, with a out-of-whack basket and even the bike head got twisted. He's cool about it all and is eager to resume tomorrow. I so look forward to some quality time with my son on the few bike paths we have in the area!