May 24 , 2022
Give or take the odd rainy day, the weather is getting warmer and more conducive to outdoor activities! There are millions of reasons to start cycling (OK, slight exaggeration, but we do love it!), so here are our favourite five…
We believe, much like swimming, riding a bike is an essential skill for a child to learn. It teaches balance, a love of the outdoors, gross motor skills, it fires up the brain in too many ways to mention and brings family and friends together. And if they need to let off steam, why not do it at the same time as getting fresh air, a dose of vitamin D and some gentle exercise?
- Cycling gets kids away from sources of blue light
Talking of letting off steam, many kids seek out adventure, thrills, even communication with friends via screens like mobile phones and computers consoles or TV. But the blue light emitted from such devices can actually disrupt the production of certain hormones that maintain natural brain activity rhythms and sleep patterns. It has been documented that blue light can be detrimental to a child’s mental health (Block Blue Light). Whatever happened to kids knocking on their friends door and asking if they can come out to play?
- Improve motor skills, balance, strength and coordination
While your kids are in bike seats, particularly front mounted seats without shoulder restraints like ours, they begin developing these skills without even realising it! Their bodies move in a natural way with your bike, building core stability, they watch the road or track and begin to make links with how your bike reacts with handlebar movement, and being able to see ahead, and communicate with you as you ride together switches on their little inquisitive brains to the things they see whizzing by!
- Building bonds and positive relationships
Whether they’re still small and riding with you, with the whole family or bombing about with friends, cycling brings people together. Commuting to and from school? The non-direct eye contact and forward motion of the ride encourages conversation and may help your child open up about their day at school. Planning a picnic? Get there by bike and make the experience last even longer. And of course, we’re all for kids getting together with friends IRL for building healthy relationships with others - you never know, a flat tyre, or getting a bit lost might even develop problem solving skills!
- Environmentally friendly and cost saving
In today’s climate of both financial and ecological stress, cycling is a great way to save on petrol and reduce your emissions. The National Travel Survey, admittedly from 2020, showed a reduction of car trips overall with fewer trips for short journeys, and an increase in cycling and walking. The number of miles travelled by bike has been increasing for 10 years though. Let’s keep this going!
Dr Christian Brand of Oxford University said, “By following nearly 2,000 urban dwellers over time, we found that those who switch just one trip per day from car driving to cycling reduce their carbon footprint by about 0.5 tonnes over a year” Get on your bike: Active transport makes a significant impact on carbon emissions
- Improve fitness
Once again, by reducing unhealthy, or inactive pastimes with active ones, health and fitness will improve quicker and with greater impact than just adding in that activity. Cycling is fun, gets you places and can be done with friends and family, so it’s hardly even noticeable that you’re taking exercise!
Final thought on cycling and why it’s so great
Starting your kids young and taking them with you on bike seats, bike trailers and balance bikes teaches by example. Be the best example to your little ones and encourage an active, environmentally friendly, and fun method of transport, play and exercise.