(BPT) - For kids, biking is one of the gateways to growing up. Popular films and TV hits such as “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and “Stranger Things” highlight the joy a bike can bring as a fun way to explore or spend time kicking around the neighborhood. Yet, according to a study from the Outdoor Industry Association, bike riding among kids declined 19% between 2007 and 2019.
There are plenty of good reasons for anyone to get outside and ride a bike. Especially during this time of social distancing, bike riding offers the perfect opportunity to shake off cabin fever and safely enjoy the fresh air.
Benefits of bike riding
For tweens and teens, there are many benefits of owning and riding a bike, including:
- It gets kids outside away from screens to enjoy fresh air and vitamin D–giving sunshine.
- It promotes cardiovascular health.
- It builds muscles, while improving balance and coordination.
- It improves mental health by helping to reduce anxiety or stress.
- It is good for the environment, offering an emissions-free mode of transportation.
- It helps build self-confidence and relationships with others who like cycling too.
Help for foster kids who need bikes
Unfortunately, not every kid has the opportunity to enjoy the many positive aspects of bike riding. Children in foster care, tweens and teens in particular, don't always have access to a bike, so they aren't able to experience this important milestone of growing up.
To help address this issue, Honeycomb cereal recently donated $50,000 to Together We Rise, a national nonprofit dedicated to helping improve the lives of youth in foster care. The donation will provide 600 bicycles to tweens and teens in foster care nationwide, helping them to build their confidence and experience the many physical and emotional benefits that having a bike brings.
Bikes have been part of Honeycomb’s history since the 1970s, featured in its advertising and promotions. Kids growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s fondly remember collecting Honeycomb bike-sized state license plates, which were given away free inside cereal boxes each year.
“We’re thrilled to team up with Together We Rise to give kids in foster care the chance to experience the fun and joy that biking brings,” said Michelle Titus, senior brand manager of Honeycomb cereal. “This donation will make the dream of owning a bike a reality for these kids.”
Kids heading out on their bikes should follow basic guidelines to protect their health and safety. Remind your tween or teen to:
- Always wear a helmet, even for a short trip.
- Be visible by wearing bright clothing and using reflectors or lights to ensure others can see you, especially in the early morning or around sundown.
- Always use sunscreen to protect exposed skin from UV rays.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
- Stick to bike paths, if possible, rather than riding on the street.
- Obey all traffic laws.
- Stay alert while riding.
- Don’t use ear buds or headphones that could prevent you from hearing traffic or other dangers.
- Don’t use your phone or text while riding — stop and get off the trail to use any device.
Now is the perfect time to get your kids biking and consider helping foster kids do the same. For more information about the Together We Rise Bikes for Foster Children program or how to sponsor a bike for kids who need one, visit TogetherWeRise.org.