Ask just about anyone and they can usually –and vividly — remember when they first learned to ride a bike!
It’s just something you never forget…
No matter how long it’s been since you hopped on a bike, National Bike Month provides the perfect reason to get back out there and ride again!
Here’s how to celebrate that amazing invention, the bicycle, with your kids… and start a new, healthy habit as a family!
Begin by setting out the rules for safe biking. Even if your kids aren’t old enough to really remember everything you’re telling them, repeat the rules for safe biking to them every time you go out.
When they see you following the same rules you’re telling them to follow, it will encourage them to do the same.
Teach them the following tips for safe biking:
- Keep your tires well inflated – match the pressure that’s listed on the tire itself.
- Inspect your brakes before setting out to make sure they’re aligned and working properly
- Keep bolts, bearings, and chains greased
- Wear a helmet at all times, making sure it fits you well and isn’t too loose
- If you plan to ride at night, wear bright, reflective colors and use a light
- For trail riding, stay on the right side, pass to the left and use your voice or a horn to alert people and other riders that you’re planning to pass
- Use hand signals and obey traffic signals, always stopping at stop lights and stop signs
- Make eye contact with drivers to be sure they see you
- Ride with the traffic, not against it
Note: Before venturing out, add more reflectors to your bikes – and any clothes you’re wearing. And consider adding flashing reflectors to improve visibility
Set your course
To make National Bike Month a fun time for you and your kids, have a plan. Your activities will be determined, in large part, by the biking skills your kids have.
If, for example, you have young kids with little to no experience riding a bike, you’ll obviously be focused on teaching them how to ride a bike. Give them ample time to practice their new skill.
Older or more confident riders who may be up for a challenge might enjoy:
- setting up jumps in the backyard
- going “off-road” on nearby bike trails
- holding a “bike rodeo” with the neighborhood kids where they can take part in:
- obstacle courses
- a “balance beam” made from lines drawn on the ground that riders need to stay within
- “paper boy” – riders toss rolled up newspapers into targets such as large trash cans, baskets, tubs, etc.
- slow races – points deducted for each time their foot hits the ground before the finish line (builds up their balance and coordination)
Riding a bike is a childhood rite of passage that you don’t want your kids to miss… so get on out there and ride with them!