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  1. #1
    Don't Taunt Happyfunball cyclochica's Avatar
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    Interesting Article on Children and Biking

    The Washington Post has an article on kids and biking, I thought some of you would find it interesting. The thing that worries me is that none of the parents who limit their kids biking activities ever thought of taking up the activity for themselves. It seems if you are worried about letting the little ones ride too far by themselves, you could buy a bike and ride with them. Just my .02, the link is below, tell me what you think.

    Bikes and Kids
    There can be only one.

  2. #2
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    I grew up riding bikes in a fairly large city and there were no helmets. Has biking all of a sudden become more dangerous? I don't think so,but I think people are much more fearful and that's why there's more anger out there today. The solution to pollution is cycling and all kids should ride and be free.

    Regards.

  3. #3
    Desert tortise lsits's Avatar
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    It's sad that these parents, who think they are doing the right thing and making their kids' lives safer by driving them everywhere they need to go, are actually contributing to the problem. That's part of the reason there's so much traffic. You want to see a traffic nightmare? Check out an elementary school when school lets out.

    I think that part of the problem is that people have been brainwashed into thinking that cycling is more dangerous than it really is. Therefore, in order to ride they have to put their bikes on a car rack and drive five or 10 miles to the nearest bike path to ride a couple of miles. Too much trouble. Cycling should be a get up and go activity. Parents should take the time to ride with their kids and teach them the proper technique for riding in traffic. What's the use of sitting down and watching your kid go up and down the street? The kid gets bored and soon decides to go inside and play video games.
    Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then. - Bob Seger

  4. #4
    Mercrudgeon Bikedud's Avatar
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    From the article:

    "Neighborhoods and schools are built for cars, rather than pedestrians or cyclists. In a world that feels ever more dangerous,".....

    This says it all for me. I live in a wonderful community that has grown a little too fast the last couple of decades. You can drive around town and see where the older part of town used to be. The sidewalks also end. City planners and developers do not plan for sidewalks or wide shoulders. Where ever new development exist it is obvious that the automobile was at the only consideration. When I look at the malls around metro Atlanta I am disgusted. All the development around the mall is just as nice as the mall itself but there are no provisions for people to walk or ride a bike to the mall, or from the mall, to the various buisnesses clustered around it.

    I, like many others on this forum, road my bike every where when I was in grade school. Miles and miles, everyday to and from school, all the way across town, we road our bikes. But we did on sidewalks and side streets.

    Even now, I like to ride my bike in town but I hate to ride to town. There is no "good" way to get into town. Only very busy roads with no shoulder and tons of A.D.D. (by choice) drivers.


    Oh well, I feel better now. I needed to provide some rationalization for those two nice bikes my kids have that never get ridden.
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  5. #5
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    What I find disturbing about this article is not one
    person mentions the network of bike trails in the
    DC Metro area. One parent stopped buying bikes because
    they were getting stolen,and yeah that area of Arlington
    it doesn't surprise me. That says nothing about after school activities, and again Arlington has trails that go
    out to Leesburg, Alexandria, Downtown D.C. etc.
    Its not surprising that todays kids face the problem of
    obesity. Parents scream about fitness for kids but won't
    do anything that will actually promote a healthy lifestyle,
    go figure.
    Marty
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    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  6. #6
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    When I was a kid I always road on busy streets with no sidewalks etc. now I imagine if my parents had known how far I went and the roads I used they would have flipped out, but that was the fun part, I hope we are not raising a genration of sissies, we should call on all the kids out there to break the rules, form some independence, explore, drop some weight, and raise some hell.
    Last edited by temp1; 11-17-03 at 04:41 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DMulyava's Avatar
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    Ahh... kids and bycicling. Alright, here is my story/take.

    I moved to Canada at the age of 11 from Ukraine. There, everybody walked to school, and everyone did whatever they wanted to.

    At the age of 7, I started walking to school and back - as did 99% of the kids. We would be outside playing and riding bicycles and our parents wouldn't care. There were no helmets. Most bikes were like touring bikes you see here, or imitations of the BMX bike. None of us cared. We had fun. And that's what it's all about.

    I think here, in Canada, kids are 'babied' too much.
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  8. #8
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    yes, this is sad. I am 17, and I have experienced that whole change going on before my eyes. In elementary school, my mother drove me to school for the first few years, up to about third or fourth grade, mostly becuase they had to be there to sign me into before school care. (school started @ 9, my parents had to be at work at 8, so I went to school at 7, dropped me off along the way)

    However, as I got older, I started riding my bike everywhere. to school, from school, after school, to the movie store, etc. My parents realized that I was responsible enough.

    My sister, though, is a different story. they never let her ride her bike on the bike trails by herself, never let her ride to school, etc. Since, I got my lisence, she has been B*tching at me to drive her everywhere. WHEN I WAS A FRESHMAN IN HS, I DIDN'T BOTHER MY OLDER BROTHER TO DRIVE ME! I BIKED! she doesn't like that idea, and my parents probably wouldn't let her anyway. I end up using MY MONEY to pay for the gas to drive her lazy self around. I suppose I'm lucky i drive a 30 mpg car...

    the injustices of a bike-impared society.

  9. #9
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    Ha, many similarities. Being 17, riding most places, using our gas for our siblingís transportation

    Iíve definitely noticed that trend with my sister as well. Not so much with the school part, but on the weekends Iím constantly being nagged to driver her places I used to ride to on a semi-daily basis. I donít really even know if she has ridden a bike in the past 7 years after all the restrictions my parents put on her (must ride with someone, must call when you get there, just a lot of limits). rather sad since she is much more social than I am and incessantly needs rides.

  10. #10
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsits
    It's sad that these parents, who think they are doing the right thing and making their kids' lives safer by driving them everywhere they need to go, are actually contributing to the problem. That's part of the reason there's so much traffic. You want to see a traffic nightmare? Check out an elementary school when school lets out.
    The same goes for a high school too. I used to commute past one in my old university days - occasionally I went past right on "the bell". Of course, the parents here have also overlooked the number of people killed in automobiles every year. It seems they're quite happy to subject their children to that particular risk.

    Quote Originally Posted by lsits
    I think that part of the problem is that people have been brainwashed into thinking that cycling is more dangerous than it really is. Therefore, in order to ride they have to put their bikes on a car rack and drive five or 10 miles to the nearest bike path to ride a couple of miles. Too much trouble. Cycling should be a get up and go activity. Parents should take the time to ride with their kids and teach them the proper technique for riding in traffic.
    Word up! When I was a kid growing up in Werris Creek, that's exactly what they taught us to do. I also noticed that people did ride everywhere, and that aggression between drivers and cyclists was virtually non-existent. Granted, Werris Creek isn't exactly a major city, but I can't help thinking a little education would go a long long way.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  11. #11
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    "Parents just don't feel comfortable anymore letting their children go out and ride their bikes alone,"

    Why don't these parents get up and go out with the kids on a bike?

    I always rode with the kids to school instead of drive. They were safer and learned how to ride in/with traffic.

    These parents fear is based on ignorance because they don't have the desire to help out and get involved.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 11-21-03 at 08:47 AM.
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  12. #12
    60mph in the 42 ring! Dave Stohler's Avatar
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    You know, kids today are just too darn fat!!!

    Funny thing I saw in the paper today: A theater group was staging Dicke's A Christmas Carol, and they had pictures of the cast. The young man that played "Tiny Tim" looked like he was about 80 lbs overweight!
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Stohler
    You know, kids today are just too darn fat!!!
    How charming. NOT!


  14. #14
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    You know, kids today are just too darn fat!!!


    How charming. NOT!

    perhaps not charming, but accurate obesity just passed smoking as the #1 cause of preventable death in the US.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by temp1
    You know, kids today are just too darn fat!!!


    How charming. NOT!

    perhaps not charming, but accurate obesity just passed smoking as the #1 cause of preventable death in the US.

    I know lots and lots of kids, and not there is not one I would consider fat. I would say that his statement was a generalization.

  16. #16
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  17. #17
    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmilyGrace
    I know lots and lots of kids, and not there is not one I would consider fat. I would say that his statement was a generalization.
    I try not to generalize... but as I look around at kids these days.. I would say a fair majority of them are overweight... compared to when I was a kid... not liek I am that old.. I'm almost 29... a majority of kids these days stay inside playing video games, watching TV... when I was a kid.. we were always outside, riding our bikes, skateboarding, causing trouble... well not real trouble... but screwing around...

    I blame a lot on the parents... most parents ar so scared to let their kids out in the world... always driving them everywhere they want to go... my parents hardly ever drove me anyplace... I usually rode my bike, or walked... I had freedom when I was on my bike... kids these days are soft and too dependant on other people...

    ack.. I sound like I'm 70

    Jeff

    p.s. no offense to 70 year olds... I just picture myself as some old guy yelling at kids to stay off the lawn
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  18. #18
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SipperPhoto
    I blame a lot on the parents... most parents ar so scared to let their kids out in the world...
    Partly, but there is also the problem of parents being to scared to say 'no' to their kids, and let them eat and drink as much of whatever they want. Simply sitting in front of tv doesn't make you fat, it only makes your body weak, it's the steady diet of chips, soft drinks and greasy burgers that does that.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  19. #19
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister
    Partly, but there is also the problem of parents being to scared to say 'no' to their kids, and let them eat and drink as much of whatever they want. Simply sitting in front of tv doesn't make you fat, it only makes your body weak, it's the steady diet of chips, soft drinks and greasy burgers that does that.
    Again, it's just laziness on the part of the parents. Heaven forbid that anyone actually take the time to prepare a semi-reasonable meal for dinner when there's a McDonalds just around the corner! Marketing is also a problem here: when was the last time you saw a passionfruit vendor come up with a catchy jingle?
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  20. #20
    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister
    Partly, but there is also the problem of parents being to scared to say 'no' to their kids, and let them eat and drink as much of whatever they want. Simply sitting in front of tv doesn't make you fat, it only makes your body weak, it's the steady diet of chips, soft drinks and greasy burgers that does that.
    Allister,

    I fully agree... parents let their kids run wild these days, afriad to say anything... I used to work in a camera store, and one day this parent and her 4 year old come in, and the kid is going crazy.. knocking stuff over, pulling things off the racks... generally being a nuisance... I asked the parent, politely (although I was ready to beat that kid), to please contain their child while he is in the store.. the parent just looked at me and laughed, saying "But look how cute Little Johnny is"

    If that was me at 4 years old.. my dad would have given me the beat down... I'm not for hitting kids, but kids need to be disciplined... you discipline a kid, and they won;t do it again...

    Jeff


    p.s. sorry for swerving off the main subject here... but it sorta ties in, and it kinda irks me
    Jeff

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  21. #21
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SipperPhoto
    Allister,

    I fully agree... parents let their kids run wild these days, afriad to say anything... I used to work in a camera store, and one day this parent and her 4 year old come in, and the kid is going crazy.. knocking stuff over, pulling things off the racks... generally being a nuisance... I asked the parent, politely (although I was ready to beat that kid), to please contain their child while he is in the store.. the parent just looked at me and laughed, saying "But look how cute Little Johnny is"
    What you need is a sign saying "if your kid breaks it, you pay for it". Not far from here there was recently a residential development that actually banned children outright. Going a little far possibly, but I can understand their motives sometimes.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  22. #22
    Member Owen's Avatar
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    We have adult or senior communities all over down here, Tucson, AZ. There is actually one in my neighborhood if that makes sense. 5 or 6 blocks walled in. No kids at all and other rules like no house parties ever. It doesn't exclude young couples but why live there if you plan on having a family someday. The funny part is that half the homes are empty half the year because the owners are snowbirds.
    (a little more off-topic)

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