For most people, one of the fondest memories they have is when they finally learned how to ride a bike. Bossing the bars on the bike and pedaling freely brings out next level joy and happiness out of everyone. Reliving those moments where you let loose and felt the adrenaline of cycling ranks up there with all the other simple pleasures of life.
For your kids, some of the most enjoyable moments in their formative years will be on those two wheels. However, they might be shy to hit the curb. This helpful guide can help you motivate kids to ride.
1. Get the bike
Kids are practical. If you want to stoke that bike riding fire in them, you have to get the bike. Even if they don’t start riding immediately, they will develop an interest in a new exciting activity.
Here, the key is to find the right bike for their age and expertise level. There are plenty of affordable options that you can explore to get to ramp up their pedaling spirit.
If you are dealing with a starter, you can begin with bikes that have training wheels or kid’s balance bike. As they progress, you can keep upgrading their bikes. Some kids like the feeling that comes with positive progress. They feel better as they see themselves graduating from training to bigger bikes.
2. Hike the interest
Kids love a winner. Lucky for you, plenty of media shows how fun riding is. When they are starting, you need to show them that they can pull off cool moves like what they see.
Watching performances by other kids or adults riding creates a mental image that makes it look easy. Kids love a challenge. They can picture themselves on their cool new bikes waiting to conquer the pavement.
3. Train them
Kids can be hesitant and self-conscious if they don’t know how to ride. Since it is mostly a social activity, they will feel the need to be good at riding before joining other kids. However, they will start to appreciate the thrill of it if they learn how to do it.
You can either start them off with training wheels. Alternatively, you can get bike/scooter crossbreeds. These have 2 wheels but provide enough balance to keep your child safe during their training sessions.
You have the coolest bike, the training wheels have come off, and your kid is rearing to go. You can motivate them to ride by getting them cool accessories for the bike. This is also a chance to get the safety equipment that gets them excited to ride.
Try out different themes. You can put fun gadgets such as lights, music appliances, and carts. They might develop a knack for riding just to show off their cool bike and gear.
5. Family activity
Create picture-perfect moments by tagging family along. The whole family can bring out their bikes and cycle when the weather is ideal for a day out.
According to Just Not Sports, if kids get tired of riding their bikes, make it a team effort by having tandem bikes. Your kids will feel included in the fun, and you will have created a lasting impression on them.
6. Fun excursions
Once in a while, you can map out areas that are bike friendly. Let the kids bring out their bikes and make it a fun day out. You can check out scenic places you think they would enjoy.
You can create learning guides as well. This is a chance to test out your kids’ cognitive skills by incorporating fun after-ride games. However, be careful not to make it look like a test. The bike rides should be fun and learn more towards exploring new places.
7. Reward system
Reward systems are arguably some of the best motivators. Whether it’s competitive or purely fun, the prospect of rewards brings out the best in people. Kids are no different.
The rewards can be anything from bike upgrades to their favorite homemade treats. It can be a tightrope, though. You want to cultivate genuine interest. Every time your child achieves something better on the pedals, make the reward bigger.
8. Set up ride dates
Solo bike rides are okay. Still, kids like environments where they can interact with peers. They can show off new moves or hip kits they were able to collect. If you live in an area where plenty of kids have bikes, you can set up ride dates for the kids to interact.
The kids can come up with quirky bike riding ideas, and you can make it a regular event. They might get motivated to sharpen their skills.
9. Get competitive
If you notice your child has a competitive streak in them, you can start with small-time bike races. This can range from circling the block to reaching a designated point. You can keep records of time to motivate them to keep improving.
You can also set up bonus points or incentives if they get creative with their bike moves. Bike parks are some of the best places to help your kid improve their riding skills. They get to meet local biking enthusiasts and learn from them.
You can set up mini-competitions with siblings as well, and ensure that the first one across the line gets their favorite treat.
10. Get them into riding programs
The best motivator is trusting your kid enough to let them conquer the curb on their own. Enroll them in riding camps or programs that tap into their knack for riding. This helps them to form close friendships. They might even form riding parties to have fun during the holidays.
Bike rides can be a rewarding activity for you and the kids to let out some steam. It is good for their health too. Kids will work up an appetite because of all the energy involved, so always make sure that snacks are waiting when they get back. Do not forget to equip their bike with hydration packs to keep them hydrated during their rides.
Kids can also be picky. If they do not pick up on cycling interest, try other equipment such as skates and scooters.