I think every kid loves to cycle – not only is it just about the very fastest they can go without someone else being in control, but it also gives them an enormous sense of independence and freedom. And what parent objects when their child says “I’d like to go out on my bike”?
“No, you may not go out in the fresh air and get some really good exercise.” said no parent, ever.
And of course it’s an activity that the whole family can enjoy together, which is another huge bonus; some of our very best holiday memories have been the times we’ve hired bikes and headed out together off-road. Even with smaller babies (as long as they’re sitting unaided) and pre-schoolers there’s loads of options – from seats on your bike to pull-along trailers that allow them to ride (and nap) in roomy style through to tag-along bikes of their own.
Get ’em out on their own two wheels…
Of course cycling is great exercise – and that’s perennially in the news as something our current generation simply don’t get enough of. And unlike so many kids activities, it’s CHEAP! Once they have a bike and a helmet, they’re good to go; that’s a tiny amount of ongoing investment for the years of joy and activity they’ll get in return.
- kids who walk and cycle to school have woken up their brain – they’re alert and ready for the school day to begin. Compare that endorphine-fizzing exercised body to the one to clambering out of a lovely snoozey-warm car into the playground…
- Kids learn their local area – there’s nothing like walking and cycling the roads for kids to not only absorb an inbuilt road-sense but also to really learn their own neighbourhood. Being driven somewhere is zero help for your internal map-making, is it?
- It’s fun – and it’s not just about getting from A to B (though that’s a lifetime’s worth of great habit right there), it’s about doing it ‘just because’. Just going to see where a left-right-left-right-left will take you. How far you can get down the old railway track. Can you make it to the ice-cream place in under an hour this time?
And of course, cycling is for everyone – you don’t need to be young and fit to cycle. It’s a low-impact activity for anyone who’s in need of dropping more than a few pounds – and even if you’re really unfit you can go further, and genuinely enjoy much more than you possibly would if you just headed to the park to kick a football around. And of course grandparents can join in on the action too – it’s a multi-generational activity that everyone can enjoy on the weekends.
And if you’re looking form something a little more sociable than just your family heading out to the woods/quieter back roads, take a look at Evan’s RIDE IT scheme – their ‘Ride Together‘ events are a brilliant way for the whole family to enjoy a great day out cycling, with organised rides enabling you to explore a new area without the hassle of planning a route.
The 10-15 mile fun routes are just £7.50, and under 18s ride free. These shorter rides are great – they still pack in some hills and great descents, but keep the route attainable for shorter legs and family groups to enjoy together. The fully catered and way-marked RIDE IT events are a fantastic way to introduce children to cycling, encouraging their independence and increasing their confidence.