Learning to ride a bike is a rite of passage in childhood.
Reflecting back to their youth, most people have fond – or funny – memories of that time of growth and learning.
A bike ride down memory lane
While some kids pick up the art of riding a bike right away, many struggle to find their balance. It can be very discouraging for children that really want to learn to ride a bike to stumble and fall rather than riding off gracefully.
Traditionally, kids have started off with training wheels, but more and more parents are moving towards the use of balance bikes. If you’re not familiar with them yet, balance bikes are bicycles without pedals or training wheels. To make them go, the child needs to use their feet to create momentum and move themselves forward.
While no official research study has been commissioned, one of the arguments for balance bikes is that they take away the fear of falling since the child can simply put their feet down to avert a tumble to the ground. That sense of control leads to greater confidence, which in turn leads to better balance, steering and coordination.
Parents that have used balance bikes rather than training wheels claim their children easily transitioned to pedal bikes. Instead of trying to learn balance and pedaling at the same time, they can focus their energy on learning to pedal since they have already mastered balance.
Other benefits of choosing a balance bike are economics and environmental. Instead of purchasing a tricycle and a 12-inch pedal bike, parents only need to invest in a balance bike. 1 product versus 2.
Balancing Nature And Nuture
Balance bikes are becoming so popular that major bicycle manufacturers are getting in on the game.
There are even eco-conscious brands making balance bikes now, like GreenChamp Bikes.
The GreenChamp balance bike’s frame is constructed from bamboo that’s infused with honey and coated with bamboo wax to keep the bamboo frame from deteriorating. Now that’s cool.
Build It Yourself (BIY) Bike Kit
Calling all DIY peeps. The same people behind GreenChamp have even created a kickstarter campaign centered around a Build It Yourself (BIY) Bike Kit.
In what is being billed as the ‘world’s first build it yourself bicycle kit’, the creators state that you’ll not only gain a whole new cycling experience, but a very strong sense of achievement.
Ready to tackle this unique DIY project yourself? Check out the kickstarter campaign and video at the end of this post. Balance bikes are sure to be a popular gift this holiday season, so be sure to scout one out for the child on your list. Does your child use a balance bike? Why or why not?
Feature image courtesy of Movement Six