A growing cycle path network
Each year sees an increase in the number of cycle paths in cities. The largest towns and cities offer popular cycle rental schemes and there are a growing number of cycle parking areas alongside car parks for office blocks. We are certainly still a long way to becoming a second Holland, but these trends prove that we are beginning to feel at home with bicycles and treat them both as an alternative means of transport and an excellent way to spend free time. If cyclists had no need for this infrastructure, it would not have been built.
Cycling is great
Nobody has to prove that riding a bike – an excellent aerobic exercise – has a hugely beneficial effect on our health, fitness and immunity, nor that it is also great fun! During changes in the season it is a great way of increasing our resilience to illness. Bicycle trips are not just a great way to spend time doing physical exercise, training or to strengthen resilience, they are also a great form of tourism and a way to visit both places both near and far away, as well as a way to spend a great weekend together as a family. The satisfaction from reaching our destination due to our own efforts and our own muscles cannot be compared to anything else. We can use a plane to fly to the other end of the world, but taking a cycle ride to a nearby lake can provide a lot more exciting experiences.
Before we all grab our bikes and take off, we should teach our children how to ride. Who does not remember those childhood moments when you were able to cycle around the back garden without a stick or stabiliser wheels! It was a real day of glory. Therefore, in order for your child to have similar memories, it is a good idea getting them used to bikes before they get on their own bike, and taken them for trips in a safe and attested child seat. This way, your child gets used to cycling and it’s much easier for them to get the enthusiasm to peddle for themselves. Before learning on an ordinary bike, you can let your child use a running bike, which is perfect for children who begin their adventure at a kindergarten. Thanks to this, your child will learn how to balance themselves on a bike and gain good habits.
Proper bicycle lessons can start at the age of about 5, however, children develop at different speeds and parents should decide for themselves if this is the right moment. The most important rule is safety. Make sure your child has a safe flat area without any obstacles and provide them with a helmet and pads to protect against injuries from the inevitable falls. For safety reasons, parents should remain as close as possible to the child to ensure maximum comfort. You must also have patience – you will definitely need it.
Any technique goes
A secondary aspect is technique. Whether there are stabiliser side wheels, pulled a bit higher up as the skills level of the young cyclist increases, or an old broomstick attached to the bike, depends on the preference of the parent. It is worth mentioning that the second option requires a lot of fitness, because you have to run to keep up with the child, who will love the feeling of going faster and faster.
After your child has gained some experience, and after a few falls and a few plasters, you will finally be able to set out on a trip together. Cycling could become a healthy habit for you and your child and is a great ally in the fight for effective resistance against illness. Especially, if cycling is not limited to the summer only.