As an avid cyclist you probably hope your kids will share your passion so that you can enjoy some good times together. We’ve all seen those parents dragging their reluctant and disinterested offspring to various sports activities. Parents and kids both end up frustrated and unhappy.
Rule #1: Your job as a parent is to introduce your kids to other worlds not drag them unwillingly into yours.
So how can you do this?
Kids today can get started almost as soon as they can walk. Balance bikes are a great way for kids to get going. Don’t forget the helmet. These are just bikes without pedals. They are faster than walking or running. Soon they’ll be gliding and ready for pedals.
Get a Good Bike
Get a good bike and quality helmet for your kid when they’re ready. The cheap ones aren’t that great to ride so they’re not much fun. You’ll be able to resell it easily and it’ll hold value. If you buy it here we’d be happy to resell for you, if that works.
Don’t Force It
Don’t force your kid to go cycling. When they want to join in, let them. Teach them about safety. Teach them hand signals. Take it all in steps. Take them on rides suited to their abilities. Rides that are too hard will kill their interest and motivation before its even had a chance to catch fire.
Food works with kids. “We’ll have a snack at the halfway mark” can be a great motivator.
Don’t be Overprotective
Sure kids are going to fall, get scrapes and bruises. Let them get right back on that bike as soon as they can. Once they have shown you that they can go around the block safely, let them. Later, when they can ride in traffic, let them. Soon they’ll be heading out to soccer practice, school and the swimming pool without you having to drive them. The bike is a child’s first chance to choose their own adventure. Let them do it! (within reason)
Praise goes a long way with kids. Use it. Tell them how proud you are of them, again and again.
Get a cushioned saddle if your child is complaining. Kids need to be comfortable to enjoy something and really get into it. Adjust the handlebars if needed. Do whatever you can to make the ride better.
Join a Cycling Club
You can find one for parents/kids and enjoy rides with other kids and parents. The rides will be skill level based and a great opportunity to learn group riding skills. It’s also a great venue to pick up a new bike and helmet and sell the outgrown stuff.
We’ve got some great kids bikes here at the shop that we’d love to show you. Drop in to either of our locations and check them out.
Get out there with you kids. Sometimes it works in reverse too! Your kids get you into cycling.