Olympian cyclist Cadel Evans talks inspiring kids to ride

Part of the Kinderling Conversation for parents. Weekdays 12pm-1pm.

Thu 11 August 2016

8 mins

Cadel Evans is a former professional racing cyclist, and he shares his tips for getting kids cycling.

“My son started with a 3-wheeled balance bike and then he shifted to two wheels,” Cadel explains, who won the Tour de France in 2011.

It was a natural, if speedy, progression, “He was around at his cousin’s house, watching his cousins ride their bikes without training wheels, and he went and took one of their bikes and started riding around completely of his own accord.”

“Whether they go to a tricycle, a balance bike, a bike with training wheels, or a normal bike, let kids choose their way and find their own path,” he says. 

Cadel recommends keeping four key cycling benefits in mind when introducing kids to bikes.

1. Balance bikes

Cadel says these are a good transition to a normal bike, without any need for training wheels.

“Balance bikes seem to be a great way to get kids started because it gives them a little bit of assistance - but not too much. They learn balance and coordination and so on, and it helps them a little bit with their stability when they’re walking as well.”

2. Let kids progress naturally

Don’t push too hard!

“They can judge for themselves when they’re ready and when they want to move on.”

3. Independence

Cycling encourages independence because kids can cycle to school and to their friends if traffic and distance allows. Plus Cadel says that you’re encouraging a future sustainable lifestyle choice that means one less car on the road.

4. Physical skills and healthy lifestyle

For Cadel, cycling is not just about balance and coordination. He says that the physical strength, robustness and active lifestyle we learn are healthy benefits that stay with us for the rest of our lives.

“For that reason I encourage any sport - obviously cycling is something I encourage because it’s my passion so I’m a little bit biased in that regard.”

We’d love to hear from you! Take a pic or a short video of your family getting active on a tricycle, bike, scooter, or skateboard, and share it on Facebook or Instagram. Don’t forget our hashtags! #screenfreechallenge #kinderling

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