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Old 07-02-02, 05:10 AM   #1
nathank
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children's view of bikes

i am often amazed at the excitement and attention i often get from kids when i ride by - they point, they jump around excitedly or whatever - and it seems even more from young kids in the 2-6 age range before most even have learned to ride a bicycle. anyway, it got me thinking... do kids naturally relate better to bicycles than cars? do they identify with bikes b/c they see cars as 'boring adult stuff' and bikes as something cool the 'older' kids use? or do they just like biikes b/c they can imagine themselves using one? (although if so, then why don't kids get excited IMAGINING driving a car?)

i try and think back to when i was a kid and i remember being fascinated with fire trucks and bicycles, but had no interest in fast cars or muscle cars or pickup trucks or wanting to drive a car or whatever... then after learning the social 'value' that is placed on autos i became auto-crazed starting about age 14 in expectation of earning a driver's license and getting to drive... and when i got my car i abandoned my bicycle for 3 years.

so can this be thought of simply the 'natural' progression of first wanting a bicycle and then 'grduating' to a car? or as a natural human interest in bicycles that is then overridden by society's value of the car? (i.e. peer pressure overcoming the natural and innate)

i would imagine most people guessing the former, but i favor more the latter. it's too bad children's natural interest in bicycles is more often discouraged in the interests of safety than encourage these days.
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Old 07-02-02, 05:16 AM   #2
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Originally posted by nathank
so can this be thought of simply the 'natural' progression of first wanting a bicycle and then 'grduating' to a car? or as a natural human interest in bicycles that is then overridden by society's value of the car? (i.e. peer pressure overcoming the natural and innate)

i would imagine most people guessing the former, but i favor more the latter. it's too bad children's natural interest in bicycles is more often discouraged in the interests of safety than encourage these days.
To put it in simple terms: children under the age of 6 haven't yet been brainwashed. As far as an interest being discouraged in the interests of safety, perhaps you might like to read my piece on "Learning to ride in Werris Creek".
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Old 07-02-02, 07:09 AM   #3
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I am not sure that kids are not fascinated with cars. I have a six year old brother who has a fascination with both bikes and cars. He has a ton of match box cars which he plays with for hours at a time. The fascination is about speed, I think. He for some reason decided that fast cars and riding his bike fast are both incredibly cool. So he gets excited when seeing a car speeding, then says "that's not safe". It is pretty hilarious. He loves going fast on his bike. If he is riding at a slow pace for him he finds this pleasant but would rather go down hill at a zillion miles an hour.

The only brainwashing he has recieved has been to love the Red Sox--which failed miserably, he has turned into a Yankee fan--and to believe that that Lance (along with all cyclists) is the greatest athlete ever--which he believes.

We had a great time watching the Giro d'Italia this May and he loves watching race cars. The fascination with cars started when he was about 4 and the fascination with bikes started last year. I don't think he knows about different brands of cars or bikes, he just knows what looks fast.
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Old 07-02-02, 10:35 AM   #4
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My son just turned three and got a new Schwinn for his birthday. He rides it constantly. When he got the bike, Nate was excited to get his "big bike". That's what he calls his bike now. I think he sees the bike as something obtainable and also a little as a rite of passage.

At any rate...he rides like a madman!
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Old 07-02-02, 01:15 PM   #5
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My son (5) is just now learning to read. We drove past a car dealership the other day named "Fun Stuff Auto Sales". My son then asked me where the "fun stuff" was. After telling him that it was the cars, he said something like "You have fun driving?"
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Old 07-02-02, 02:54 PM   #6
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Whenever I get a friendly, "Hi!" or a wave on the bike, it's always a child. It really makes me think about my example. I want them to see me riding, but I don't want them to see me riding foolishly.
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Old 07-03-02, 02:23 AM   #7
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My son then asked me where the "fun stuff" was. After telling him that it was the cars, he said something like "You have fun driving?"
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hmm... i like that! although i have to admit that i do at times enjoy driving, just not very frequently mostly b/c of traffic
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