Why should kids cycle?

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Why should kids cycle? Because it’s fun. They can slog uphill then whizz downhill, legs splayed, screaming ‘whhheeeeeeee!’ at the tops of their voices. Bacause it’s healthy. They could spend hours in front of the gogglebox or playing ‘Minecraft’ on the iPad, but neither of those will set them up for a happy and healthy life (for all the complex problem solving skills of the latter). And because it teaches them to be self sufficient, getting places under their own steam, not tied to the vagaries of the parental lift  (adios, school run). The reasons are legion and I haven’t even touched upon the advantages of joining a club and enjoying all the social benefits that go with it.

At Cardiff JIF, we believe strongly that the best way to learn about cycling and cycle racing is by developing skills and having fun

With that in mind we’ve tried to articulate all that for our own kids club, building fun and games into what  – in a club context – is a effectively a sports pursuit.  We’ve heard that there is currently a problem with sports injuries and burn out amongst kids, with physios reporting an increase in the numbers of young people coming through their practise doors. Whether this evidence is anecdotal or real, what we definitely don’t want to do is burn out kids with training that leads to tiredness, boredom and regret. They’ve got their whole lives ahead of them to train hard and get race fit (if that’s what they choose to do). Give ‘em skills. Give ‘em games. But most of all give ‘em fun. You’ll probably make those kids cyclists for life.

For more details of the activities of the JIF kids, follow this link.

4 replies »

  1. Couldn’t agree more with the sentiments here Simon. I will never forget the look of wonderment on my son’s face after we tackled his first ever ‘proper’ road climb and descent. He was terrified as we started the downhill….. then he relaxed and began to feel in control. We then hit a flat section and he looked up at me and didn’t say a word. He didn’t need to, his eyes said it all. In the space of 3 or so minutes he had learnt a life lesson or two…..

    • Thanks Darren. Good to hear that the sentiment is shared. The best thing we can do for our kids is to give them good opportunities, loads of fun and a guiding hand – and there’s no finer way to do that, than with the bike (because all kids love to ride).

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