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Why Kids Should Ride Bikes

Television, Internet, Social Media – kids spend so much time surfing the digital wave that they sometimes threaten to swim away from us. The best counter-current mechanism is to get them moving out into the fresh air, preferably on a mountain bike. Mountain biking means freedom, adventure – and fun!

Mountain biking is the fastest and most effective way for kids to let off steam – and to get to know themselves better at the same time. Light years better than any video game session! Mountain biking is all about being outside, not inside, being active, being authentic, not virtual. But most importantly, mountain biking is just a lot of fun! Kids love playing with their peers, trying things out together. They want to keep practising until the curb is no longer something to fear. They love to measure themselves against their peers. Who will win the dual slalom in the courtyard entrance, and who will “only” get silver? Playing in and of itself has no particular purpose. But it does offer the chance to learn, free from threats and punishment. When playing, time and space lose all meaning. So when they are playing, our children are the true Zen masters of flow. Omm!

THE GREATEST TOY IN THE WORLD – AND THE MOST NATURAL PLAYGROUND IN THE WORLD

What is a mountain bike other than the greatest toy in the world? Youngsters keep discovering new horizons, in the truest sense of the word. And in playing, they keep getting better and better. Best of all: nature’s playground doesn’t charge an entry fee or close at five o’clock on the dot. Outdoors you learn life lessons. Preferably from a young age. Forgotten your beanie? Then you’ll get cold ears. Summer thunderstorm on the horizon? Let’s get out of here! Bent rear derailleur? Then your journey home will take a little longer. The experiences that children get on their bikes in the great outdoors are direct and consistent. But above all, they are their own experiences. Not like the second-hand experiences they get from gaming consoles. This means that even if they crash, lose a race or walk the long way home with a broken rear derailleur, there’s nothing quite like experiencing things for themselves.

PEDALING OFF TOGETHER: IT’S A WIN-WIN SITUATION FOR PARENTS AND CHILDREN

Biking isn’t just a whole load of fun for children, but for parents too. Whether you’re in the local neighbourhood, the forest, or the Dolomites – you can have fun everywhere. And sharing that time with the whole family is one of the best things ever. “I’m learning to value the simple things about the biking experience so much more again,” says Holger Meyer, professional biker for 30 years and father of two. “Bike tours, which used to be really dull for me, are suddenly a whole load of fun with the kids!” His wife Karen, three-time winner of the Transalp Challenge, says: “What have I learned through my children? Not to take myself so seriously, to step back, to be patient, to abandon carefully forged plans. What have I got in return? Happiness!”

MOUNTAIN BIKING IS THE HEALTHIEST THING WE CAN GIVE TO OUR CHILDREN

A nice side effect that especially pleases parents is that mountain biking is healthy. Hardly any other sport has such a positive impact on endurance, speed and balance. And yet kids don’t even see it as training, but rather as play. Kids have a natural desire to be outdoors. But spare them the boring hike through a desperately dull valley. They want fun, excitement and single trails! This demands fitness and coordination in equal measure. “The skills learned through biking can often be applied in other areas of life later on,” explains sports scientist and mountain biker Michael Kley from Garmisch. So, whoever wants to stay fit for their whole life long should start young!

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