Kids Who Cycle Gain Independence and Sense of Community
It was Albert Einstein who so aptly reminded us that "Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. "
As someone who is an avid cyclist - alternating between mountain biking (when I am feeling brave) and road biking (when I have the necessary stamina) and doing errands around town without having to worry about parking, I have always loved the feeling of wind in my face, speed and the need for balance as I move.
When I was asked to produce a video showcasing the importance of encouraging our kids to cycle, I could not help but take a pause and remember the first time I pedaled a two wheeler on my own. When I heard the sound of my dad clapping behind me, as I bobbed and swerved in an effort not to crash, I knew I was beginning a love affair that would last forever.
Whether you are a cycling enthusiast or stare at your rusty machine leaning against the wall of your garage with guilt, make sure you get your kids cycling as much as possible - it fosters both a sense of independence and community. And with their first bike, they will become part of the more than a billion bicycles that are out there in our world - which is twice the number of cars.
These facts and figures may help you get pedaling:
- A short, four-mile round trip by bicycle keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe.
- According to the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey, 25 percent of all trips are made within 1 mile of the home, 40 percent of all trips are w/in 2 miles of the home, and 50 percent of the working population commutes 5 miles or less to work. Yet more than 82 percent of trips 5 miles or less are made by personal motor vehicle.
- Even if you only pedal 14 miles an hour, a 130 pound cyclist still burns 402 calories.
- In Holland, nearly 85% of the population owns at least 1 bicycle. There are about 16 million bicycles in Holland, slightly more than one for every inhabitant. About 1.3 million new bicycles are sold every year.
- About 18.5 million bikes were sold in US in 2007 ( 5.4 million were kids-sized).