This spring, we spent a lot of time and money getting our entire family onto bikes. Cycling is a hobby I’ve enjoyed since childhood and it has been fun to pass it on to my daughters. Here, my fellow cycling enthusiast David shares 10 great reasons why children should learn to ride a bike. I can personally attest to most of these reasons!
Are your children cyclists? If not, they are really missing out not only on the fun but also on a whole other awesome aspects. Below are 10 reasons why you should get your kids on a bike.
1. Cycling boosts your child’s health
Researchers have proven that kids who usually cycle to school are more alert than kids who come by bus or their parent’s car. It’s recommended that children get 60 minutes of physical activity every day. They can achieve this by biking daily. Cycling generally improves kids’ fitness and also boosts their positive mental attitude. If your child learns to cycle from a very young age, they grow up valuing the good health and fitness which they will get from cycling.
2. The fun is so real
To kids, a bicycle is more than a toy; it is a machine. The enjoyment that kids derive from controlling this “machine” is amazing. Unfortunately, many parents discourage their kids from cycling due to fear of hurting themselves. On the contrary, kids enjoy themselves so much that they will learn cycling doesn’t have to be dangerous. As a parent, all you need to do is relax and trust that all the hard work that you put into training them did not go to waste.
3. Get to bond more as a family
If you love cycling, then you will pass it on to your kids. Once in a while join them and cycle together. This way, you also get to exercise and keep fit as a family. Another plus is that you are likely to learn more cycling tricks that your kids have probably picked up from their friends.
During the holidays, take it a level higher. Try mountain biking with your kids (choose a trail that fits your ability level!) or go on a cycling tour (many cities offer a variety of bike paths in scenic areas). Such encounters not only let your child test new grounds but will make you stick closer as you see more places on two wheels. Your kids will look forward to cycling with you every single chance you get.
4. Cycling makes you kids more responsible
There is a lot of responsibility that comes with owning a bicycle, from cleaning it to seeing that it is repaired when broken. Your kid will have no excuse for getting late to school.
Cycling and owning a bike also comes with a lot of freedom and independence. Your kids will thus learn how to respect the independence and freedom accorded to them. As they grow up to the point of owning a car, the same positive attitude will be carried on simply because they acquired responsibility from a young age.
5. It will save you money
Have you ever done the math just to see how much you spend on paying for gas or transit to have your kids picked up from school or dropped off at their friends? You would be surprised. Riding a bike is way cheaper. Bicycles cost less than cars, are cheaper to maintain and do not need gas.
Your kids will literary be traveling around for free.
6. A better environment
Research has shown that cycling promotes most of the existing climate solutions in the entire world. Since bicycles do not consume any gas, they do not emit any harmful gases to the environment. The fact that bicycles bring about traffic decongestion helps to promote climate change. What’s even more amazing is that the amount of energy and materials that can be used to construct an automobile can be used to make 100 bikes. In addition to climate change, bicycles are not associated with the noise made by vehicles.
7. A better state of mind and body
Cycling is a sure stress reliever. It doesn’t matter if you are cycling for pleasure or as a sport; you always get to your destination feeling so much happier and refreshed. The amount of cardiovascular activity involved in cycling is also right for your heart as it is not as intense and hence promotes overall body wellness. The majority of the people who take part in cycling attest to increased body strength, increased balance and flexibility as well as increased stamina and endurance.
Your kids will appreciate their bike over being driven around because it is more convenient. It is very fast and your kids will no longer have to depend on you for lifts. Cyclists always get front-row parking spaces anywhere they go. Also with a bike, your kids can make many short trips with less chances of being caught up in traffic jams.
9. Good citizenship
In order for your kids to be perfect riders, they have to have a good understanding of the traffic and road safety rules. Apart from that, they will also have to abide by these rules throughout. As a result, they will find it even easier if and when they transition to driving because from the past they have learned the dos and don’ts of traffic.
10. Boosts confidence
Mastering the art of riding a bicycle takes a lot of commitment and confidence. Before being perfect at it, kids will usually fall over quite a number of times. As they get to learn more they build on their confidence which will be a bit harder to acquire if they learn later in life.
Cycling does a lot of good for your children. It a better way to have fun compared to spending endless hours watching TV. It makes them more responsible and confident. It also boosts their alertness and general performance in class. Another plus is that you get to interact more as a family as you make many fun memories. And to top it all up, your kids will be at their best in terms of health and fitness.
Just give it a try and see your kids flourish!
Do you agree with these reasons why children should learn to ride a bike? Do your children enjoy cycling?
David is an avid cyclist. He’s traveled to over 10 countries with his bike. He writes a lot on bikes and biking at his blog. When not attending to his blog, he’s biking in the neighborhood.