Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think kids should ride bikes. Like, all the time. They should ride bikes to school, to the park, to their friend’s house, to the corner store to get me snacks…kids should spend entire afternoons building and riding jumps out of scrap plywood and cinder blocks. They should hold bunny hop competitions and see who can ride the longest without touching the handlebars.
Kids should ride bikes. My kids ride their bikes a lot, but not as much as I want them to, so when we had a free afternoon I organized an impromptu bar crawl with several families—we’d ride bikes as a group to breweries and bars and parks, stopping for snacks and beer and to play Frisbee and soccer…the idea was to make riding bikes as fun as possible for the kids so they’d want to do it more often.
And it was pretty great. We rode mostly greenway and singletrack to connect the beer stops and parks. It’s basically the same route as our standard Whiskey Wednesday bike-driven bar crawl, but with no whiskey and more ice cream. The kids raced each other from stop to stop, because Strava, while the parents yelled at them to watch out for pedestrians and road crossings.
There’s a serious climb at the end of the ride, heading back into our neighborhood, so we thought it would be best to stop at one last brewery to recharge. The parents got beers and the kids got sparkling waters, but they didn’t drink them. While the parents sat on concrete benches outside the brewery, the kids explored the surrounding warehouses on their bikes, cruising around to see the graffiti and looking for different materials to build jumps and drops. They rode non-stop until it was starting to get dark, and then on that terrible climb home, none of them complained. Nobody bitched about the long, difficult hill. They just kept pedaling and smiling. The only complaints came when we reached our house and I told them it was too dark to ride bikes anymore. And that’s the kind of complaining I like to hear.