We know you’ll get lots of requests this year for games consoles, laptops and smart phones but if you’re looking to give a gift that is more than just a gift, go for a bike!
It’s not just a bike you see, it’s adventures, it’s freedom, it’s time spent outdoors. Jump on a bike and a child will play in the real world, exploring nature, experiencing adventures firsthand (not in a digital reality).
And did you know a study by Sport England suggests that one in three children does less than half the recommended exercise of sixty minutes a day? That’s worrying. Regular exercise helps concentration, healthy growth and development, better sleep, increased self-esteem and lower stress. All things we know you want for today’s children.
And there’s more reasons to have bikes in your sleigh this year Santa! A journey that’s too long to walk and is usually done by car can be done in quick speed on two wheels. It’s an easy way to add in some exercise and be environmentally friendly without even realising it. It might encourage Mum & Dad to join in too.
No matter who you’re delivering to, there is a bike to suit their age:
A balance bike is perfect for wee ones to learn vital balance, steering and braking skills without the need for a bike with stabilisers.
If they’ve mastered the balance bike, opt for a ‘proper’ bike. Make sure it’s lightweight though! Don’t opt for a steel framed one emblazoned with TV characters – these are heavy (and therefore much more difficult, and not as much fun, for a child to ride). They’re not always built with the same quality and safety as trusted brands like Frog Bikes either.
For confident riders, who want to ride further an on more varied terrain, a bike with gears is the way to go. Don’t over complicate things, a lightweight bike that has a single chainring will give more than enough range without becoming too fiddly.
And one more thing Santa, mountain bikes are great for older kids who like to push the limits and go off-road. There are also road bikes with drop handlebars and skinny tyres for any budding Chris Froome’s or Lizzie Deignan’s too.
It might not fit in a stocking – although we have plenty of ideas how to wrap a bike if you read our blog – but we promise, you won’t get a child’s face with bigger smile on Christmas morning if you’ve delivered a bike for them on Christmas Eve.
Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative