Kids Riding Bikes – 5 Reasons Why Biking is Good for Kids

kids-bike-gear
By Vaughn

Do you remember trying to ride a bike for the first time? I do. I was an 80’s kid, there wasn’t much to do except explore, climb tree’s and of course ride my bike.

Learning to ride it didn’t happen overnight, and also because it was way too big for me it took a while. The confidence gained from persevering and reaching my goal to do it is what lots of kids go through, it’s an important part of growing up and teaches children the value of setting goals and working towards them, not just about riding a bike but other things in their life.

Integrating biking, or any sport into a child’s recreation time can give them valuable core skills they will use for many years to come.

 

Balance

The level of a child’s balance and development will help them with everything from climbing a tree, playing with friends and maintaining energy and team sports skills.

Taking the next step up from a trike, the balance or runner bikes are an excellent way to develop your child’s balance without even thinking about it.

They learn how to control their movements and the result of their body weight shifting and guiding their direction. Judging their speed and estimating their lines all while trying to control the little bike and keep it upright. The push -off movements and coasting bit by bit builds a good sense of how their balance works and by the time they step up to a larger bike, they will already be a step ahead.

The balance and stability skills learned here will be used in your child’s everyday life from playing on the playground and sports equipment to walking and more efficient control of their body.

 

red balance bike

 

Physical Fitness and Activity

It’s a natural part of a child’s development, to be active and on the move. The pre-school years are the perfect time to introduce them to a physical activity that is both fun and will help them grow in strength and coordination.

Kids are spending more time playing on devices or sometimes avoiding physical play altogether, introducing them to something as simple as a family bike ride, whether on a child seat when they are young or out on their own bike when older can give them excitement and a strong feeling of independence while developing skills they can apply to other sports.

Of course, kids this age are constantly moving around and always looking for the next new thing, I have walked many a mile with my daughter in the buggy when she was ready I started riding with her in the bike seat, now she’s old enough, the balance bike is getting good use. It helps her develop better strength and stability, and the best thing of all is she actually wants to go biking because it always been ‘fun’.

 

Mental Toughness

Life ain’t easy and what happens in the early development years when a child is growing up can shape the way they spend their later years. Goal setting, perseverance and the will to push yourself will be something your child will use every day and it will help them reach their full potential.

I remember one of my first rides without trainer wheels, I got pushed off and it didn’t end well. I knew as a kid I wanted to ride that bike even if it was way too big for me, so I jumped back on and tried again. I could see the end goal and understood this was only a temporary setback.

So mental toughness is the strength of the mind, dealing with setbacks and pushing through to that next level when you can see the outcome at the end.

Learning it’s ok to make mistakes and anything worthwhile is usually something you have to work for.

“Research shows that mentally tough children perform up to 25% better in exams” Source KidSpot.com.au, the simple act of trying to master riding a bike is a massive achievement for them and I believe it teaches them more than just that.

 

sticking plaster

 

Family Fun Time

It seems everything is busier these days and finding extra time to spend together can be tricky. Maybe try making a point of getting together as a family and spend some time out on two wheels.

There are many child seats available if you have a young one and maybe you’re looking to get out and get some fresh air and exercise yourself? Going to the playground or heading down to the park can all be done on the bike if you’re close enough. Letting your child ride in a seat gives them some fun and excitement.

They will see biking as a fun activity and when their turn comes for their own bike they will have the drive to be out there doing it themselves, and they may be less inclined to spend time say sitting on the couch.

So the time and fitness spent together is a bonus for everyone!

 

Freedom

Working in the cycle industry I have seen many times the sheer excitement that comes when a child knows that he or she is taking their new bike home. Either young or older children, you can see their faces thinking about what they are going to do and where they’re going to go.

Even if it’s only round the backyard for now, the feeling they get when they know they are independent and can travel to where they want to go is awesome.

It’s their first little journey and maybe, later on, they will ride to school or hang out with friends on their bikes, it’s a great period of their life and something I have fond memories of.

 

In Conclusion

There are my five reasons your kids should start biking, its a fun way to help them learn valuable skills and give them an outlet for their interests which will transfer to other sports or ventures in their life.

What do you think? are there any other tips or things you have come across with your children or maybe you have memories from your childhood that stay with you?

Share your thoughts below.

kids-bike-gear
Vaughn

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Kids Riding Bikes – 5 Reasons Why Biking is Good for Kids

  • August 28, 2018 at 10:19 pm
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    Reading your blog really brought a smile to my face. It brings back so many great memories of discovery from my own childhood.
    I really feel bad when I see kids today planted in front of computer screens. My childhood was spent outdoors exploring, and my bike took me great distances even though it was an old hand-me-down with worn tires.
    I always knew that riding my bike gave me greater freedom and balance, I never thought about the fact that learning to ride a bike also taught me resilience and made me able to learn better. It makes sense but it never was something I would have considered as a kid. Now, as an adult, I can truly see that this would be the case and hope that more parents will encourage this activity in their family.
    I’d love to see more families riding together on bikes and less planted in front of their tubes. Now, I better start seeing how I can get a bike again and recapture this part of my childhood! I hope my computer doesn’t become too jealous.

    Reply
    • August 29, 2018 at 6:35 am
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      Hi Mk

      Ha, yeah, poor computer! I agree things have changed since then, so many more distractions, sure there’s a place for fun and learning through technology as it’s vital now kids are kept up to date with learning methods but it makes sense to balance it out with old fashioned exploring and discovery outdoors, it’s what I remember the most.

      Reply
  • August 25, 2018 at 6:47 am
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    Hey Vaughn,

    Like you, I was also a child of the 80s. Now, I found myself teaching my own children how to ride bikes, and I agree fully that it is a phenomenal activity for kids to do for many reasons.

    I appreciate the five you listed above, but I do have a question for you. What do you think about training wheels?

    I’ve been told by several other parents the training wheels make children dependent on the wheels, and that it ultimately slows down how quickly they can learn to ride in a long-term. Personally, I still remember having training wheels at the age of four or five and recall appreciating them while I had them but couldn’t wait to take them off.

    My personal belief is that it allows for children to develop the key skills necessary for writing but still gives them a little bit more freedom than what they would feel without having the training wheels at all, but I would really appreciate the opinion of an expert.

    Several of my friends have told me that their children became so dependent on training wheels but they would refuse to ride without them, but personally I think that encouraging young children to remove training will so that they could “be big kids and ride more places” would be enough for them to want to take the wheels off later.

    Thanks for the great article and I anxiously await your response.

    Cheers,
    Tony

    Reply
    • August 25, 2018 at 7:14 am
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      Hi Tony

      We must be of a similar age then, like you say it’s interesting to hear from other parents experiences with their kids while learning to ride. Of course, every child is different and confidence levels vary quite a lot. 

      When we were younger the style and sizing of bikes were limited compared to the options today and sometimes the older bike were less than ideal.

      About trainer wheels, they have their place and are useful but children can put too much reliance on them hindering their progress with balance, I had trainer wheels but remember moving off them o.k but it’s not the same for every child. Another thing to remember is the Benefits of balance bikes to almost skip the trainer wheels in some situations. 

      Balance Bikes allow the child to feel how a bike behaves, they can gradually get the coasting down and get a better feel for balance and handling which makes the step to a regular pedal bike so much easier as the skills are there, they just need to learn the pedaling motion.

      I have just bought a balance bike instead of a 12″ style bike with trainer wheels, as my girls only a bit over two, she can be impatient and temperamental so I just keep the sessions with it short so she doesn’t get to disillusioned with it, she will get it but it will take longer. Also I ride with her in my bike seat to keep the interest going for her.

      Have you considered a balance bike at all? it might be worthwhile, they have an age range of around two years up to 4 or 5

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
      • August 25, 2018 at 12:10 pm
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        Thanks Vaughn, that really does help! I honestly had never heard of a balance bike before. They sound really interesting. I’ll definitely have to do a bit more research on the topic as I do agree that if possible, I’d prefer to skip the trainers altogether.

        Thanks again and I’ll check back to see if more info comes up about balance bikes.

        Cheers,
        Tony

        Reply
        • August 25, 2018 at 8:14 pm
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          Hi Tony
          There definately will be content on balance bikes coming soon so its in the pipeline

          Reply
  • August 18, 2018 at 2:22 am
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    Couldn’t agree more. Bike riding is great for physical growth and confidence. It also encourages exploration, and also builds camaraderie and bonding between friends. Additionally, I biked a lot as a kid and I definitely think the experience helped me when learning to ride a motorcycle, as there’s a better “feel” when you’re on the road and navigating through busy streets and obstacles.

    Reply
    • August 18, 2018 at 6:33 am
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      Hi Mike

      Good points, skills learned that stay with them for life, exploring with friends and building social skills. I agree with the motorbike skills, learning the behaviour of two wheels and the freedom that comes with it. With or without a motor!

      Reply

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