Lift the Kickstand, and Keep Pedaling Forward.

One of the most memorable failures is the first time we fell off of our bicycle as a child. After which, normally I would have scraped knees or elbows, lots of tears, and very little motivation to get back on the bike again. As a child, it is hard to understand that, with hard work and dedication, you will concur how to ride your bike and be able to cruise around and get outdoors with a few of your neighboring friends.

Riding your bike is something that everyone can enjoy, anytime and anywhere.

Not only is it fun, but it has many health, environmental, and economical benefits. Riding your bike for an exercise helps your body’s balance, energy, flexibility, strength, while also lowering your blood pressure and stress levels. Since cycling is a type of physical exercise it improves your health and well-being. Cycling will help you get a “breath of fresh air” while getting outside and enjoying nature. Not only are you enjoying nature, you are picking one of the eco-friendliest ways of transport for it reduces not only air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions but also reduces the need for new parking lots and roads along with reducing a person’s ecological footprint. While cutting down on your impact on the environment, you will also cut down on the impact on your wallet. Motor vehicles cost thousands of dollars to operate per year, by choosing to cycle you are saving money on operating a motor vehicle and prevent more wear and tear on roads preventing high tax dollar repairs.

I know what you’re thinking, I live in Siouxland where the weather is constantly changing. How would I use a bike to replace my vehicle? They have made many advances to bikes to make them durable on different terrains, weather conditions, and uses. You can find people using them in the steepest of mountains, to the snowiest days in the winter, but also be found in skate parks for recreational tricks, and for a fun ride across Iowa. As a great bonus, Siouxland has many trails made to be used for things like bicycling.

Out at our local parks here in Siouxland you are able to find nice bike paths for off ages found at Adams Homestead, Snyder Bend, Little Sioux Park plus many more even within Sioux City limits. By hitting these trails you won’t only be able to take your family outdoors but you will also get involved in the community that uses and maintains these trails! 

Getting outdoors with the family is fun with different types of activities. Riding their bike is a memory every child could grow up loving. Though it may be hard to teach them about the balance and the strength they need to be able to ride a bike, helping them through the experience with positive words will eventually help them gather the motivation to keep trying. The best opportunities come from your failures, and to be the encouragement behind a failure will help people around you “get back on the bicycle and keep moving forward.”

By: Olivia Parks, AmeriCorps 4-H Environmental Education Naturalist, Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center

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