One of my happiest childhood memories is of riding my bike. My friends and I would coast down the huge hill on the street we lived in, then race each other back up to the top. I remember making paths in a field near where we lived that we could ride through, almost hidden from each other in the tall grass as we criss-crossed across the field.
I loved my bike and spent countless days riding it as a child.
Now that I have children of my own, I want them to have a similar experience. I want them to get outside, have fun with friends, and get some fresh air and exercise.
My son has been riding his bike more over the past year and enjoys it much like I did. He’s not old enough to ride off with friends yet, so he often asks my younger daughter to ride. Although she will ride bikes with him every once in a while, she’s never seemed to love riding her bike. For a couple of years, I just thought that she preferred to do other things. She’s not really into sports and physical activity, preferring instead to play quietly or read a book.
When I asked her recently if she wanted to go on a bike ride with us, she mentioned that she’s “not good at bike riding”.
It was the first time that I’d even considered that something else might be going on other than a dislike for riding bikes. I’d always assumed that once a child learned to ride a bike, they were pretty much set. She never seemed to really get going on her bike though, wobbling and struggling to pedal hard enough to stay upright and move forward. I realized that her bike might actually be the problem and that she might love riding if it wasn’t so difficult for her.
Because my son already has a Schwinn SmartStart bike, I knew that his bike was the perfect size for him. His bike riding improved right after he started riding it and he was soon zipping around effortlessly. I decided that we’d get my daughter her own Schwinn SmartStart bike to see if there might be an easier way to teach bike riding.
She wasn’t even interested. In a brand new bike.
I literally had to talk her into going to Target with me to choose a bicycle – I couldn’t believe it.
Once she realized that we were not negotiating, she agreed to go so that she could choose the bike color. We headed to Target and I led her straight toward the Schwinn SmartStart bikes. She saw the purple and pink bike from far away and I could tell that she liked it. We took the pretty purple bike down from the rack and let her check it out.
She did admit that she liked the bike but was adamant that she wasn’t good at bike riding so she didn’t need it. I told her that I wanted her to give it a try. I truly believe that the right bike can make a difference and I wanted her to give it a chance. She agreed to try the bike and we headed over to get a brand new Schwinn helmet to match the bike.
It’s important to be certain you have the right helmet size for your child. People are sometimes tempted to buy a larger helmet or larger bike that their child can “grow into”, but incorrect helmet and bike sizes are unsafe. Instead, use the Schwinn SmartStart Ride Guide to determine the perfect fit for your child’s comfort and safety, even as he grows.
When we got home with the new bike, my son was more excited than anyone. He grabbed his bike and quickly got his helmet on too, hoping to finally have someone to ride bikes with.
My daughter put on her new helmet and stood quietly as we took off the tags and adjusted her seat height.
When the bike was ready to go, she slowly walked it up the driveway to the street then got on. She wobbled a bit and kept putting her foot down when she started. It was clear that she wasn’t confident at all.
But as she gave it a few tries, I could see that changing. She started going a little bit farther and a little bit faster with each try. Instead of wobbling and turning the steering wheel too far, she was able to keep the bike heading straight and move forward completely upright. Within a few minutes, she clearly was getting the hang of it.
My little girl is like a different person on her bike now.
Since we bought her new bike, she has wanted to ride bikes with my son every day. Every.Single.Day.
I don’t know if she’s more confident on the Schwinn SmartStart because it feels more comfortable, or the bike moves more easily when she pedals, or if it’s a combination of factors. I do know that both children took to bike riding on their Schwinn SmartStart bikes like ducks to water. That had not happened with their previous bicycles.
Schwinn SmartStart bikes
– 16” to 20″ wheel sizes to match the appropriate child height
– Complete redesign of bike geometry to match a child’s body
– A more comfortable, ideal riding position
– Lighter bike frame for added control
– Smaller grip diameters to match smaller hands
– A more narrow pedal position to match children’s smaller hips
– Less wobble means more confidence in learning to ride
– The seat is shaped and sized to fit a child
– When a SmartStart seat is raised to fit a growing child, the reach distance to the handlebar also increases so the bike will fit your child longer.
– Like all Schwinn bikes, SmartStart bikes have a limited lifetime warranty for as long as you own the bike
I am so excited about them riding together and loving bike riding just like I did as a child!
I’m thrilled that both of my kids love riding their bikes now. It’s great exercise and such a wonderful way for them to spend time with each other. We’re able to take biking trips around the neighborhood and to the playground now that they’re biking so well.
Schwinn SmartStart bikes and Schwinn helmets can by purchased at many of your favorite local retailers (like Target!) and at various retailers online. Be sure to download the Schwinn SmartStart Ride guide below to help you find the perfect size for your kids!
Schwinn Family Sweepstakes
Want to win a Schwinn SmartStart prize pack? Show us your family helmet selfie!
Head over to SchwinnFamilySweeps.com to enter or enter using the widget below. You could win a Schwinn bike (worth up to $400) and Schwinn prize pack full of awesome accessories!
Schwinn SmartStart Family Fun Ahead Sweepstakes