May is National Bike Month. As the school year comes to a close and the warm weather has finally arrived in Virginia, homeschoolers across the state can turn their studies to outdoor activities such as biking. Check out some awesome reasons to adopt this family hobby and teaching ideas and buying guides, and explore the science and history of bicycles in this Homeschool Classroom.

 

The Family That Bikes Together

This resource from Parents.com explains the benefits of family biking, how to buy the correct bike for your child, and how to make biking a pleasant experience for the entire family. A video on how to teach someone how to ride a bicycle is also available.

This article at Bikemunk provides clear, thorough information on the numerous health benefits of cycling.

Allstate Insurance wants to ensure you have the information you need to keep your children safe while biking.

If your summer vacation takes you away from home, you can find the biking laws for each state at the Bike League website.

Trail Link has a searchable database for trails to explore throughout the United States.

The C&O Canal bike trail might be a bit of a challenge for the smaller bikers in your family. This guide will give you options for making at least part of it manageable for your family.

The Virginia Creeper Trail is another possible trail for family biking. It runs along an abandoned railroad bed in the western part of the state.

The High Bridge Trail is a 31-mile long trail on a former rail bed featuring a spectacular 2,400 foot long bridge high over the Appomattox River. There are parking lots with trail access within three miles of the bridge and bicycle rentals are also available.

 

Bikes, Trikes, Books, and Buying Guides

This preschool lesson plan about bicycles could help your preschooler learn the basics of biking.

You can make learning about bikes and bike safety fun with these activities for preschoolers.

Buying the right bike for your child’s size and developmental stage does not have to be difficult. You can use this guide to help you get the right bike.

Your kids might enjoy these projects for decorating their bikes. A bike parade for Memorial Day sounds like a fun neighborhood event.

Giving your child a love for bikes can be as simple as reading about bikes and the sport of biking together. This list of books about biking is a great start.

Duck on a Bike by David Shannon

Gracie Goat’s Big Bike Race by Erin Mirabella

His Finest Hour by David Neuhaus

Along a Long Road by Frank Viva

Eric’s Big Day: A Bicycle Race Like No Other by Rod Waters

The Bike Lesson by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Mrs. Armitage on Wheels by Quentin Blake

Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes

The Best Bike Ride Ever by James Proimos

The Bicycle Man by Allen Say

Friends by Helme Heine

 

The Science of Cycling and Its Mark On History

Bicycles are compound machines. You can teach your elementary students about simple machines and then challenge them to find all the simple machines used in a bicycle.

The history of the bicycle is fascinating. You can use this infographic to introduce your students to the significant events leading to today’s bike.

You and your children can explore this virtual museum exhibit on the science of cycling. You can investigate the wheels, drives and gears, frames and materials, braking and steering, aerodynamics, and human power involved in biking.

Your high school student may enjoy this article by Explain That Stuff on the science of bicycles. It covers just about every aspect of cycling and has links for deeper study. It also has a challenging section on why it is so hard to fall off a bicycle and a link to the scientific study, Linearized dynamics equations for the balance and steer of a bicycle: a benchmark and review.

The history of the invention of the bicycle and its influence on history is fascinating. You can find out who invented the bicycle with this article.

In this article, you will find the industrial revolution’s influence on the invention of the bike. Be aware that there is a reference to the supposed evolution of the human species very early on in the article.

How did bicycles affect history? The article Women on Wheels: The Bicycle and the Women’s Movement of the 1890s” explains the effect bicycles had on the suffragette movement.

How did the invention of the bicycle influence the push for flight? This excerpt from The Mechanical Horse: How the Bicycle Reshaped American Life by Margaret Guroff describes flight as the next natural step beyond cycling.

Your high school student may enjoy this guide to bicycle maintenance. After all, if you are going to own equipment, you should know how to maintain it properly.

It’s as easy as riding a bike, or so they say! This video of the backwards brain bike experiment boggles the mind. Destin, from Smarter Everyday, was challenged to try riding a bike specially engineered to react oppositely from a standard bike. When you turn the handlebars to the right, the bike goes left, and vice versa. Can your brain simply adjust to this “small’ change, or does this really complicate matters? Watch this video to see how difficult it is to conquer this change.

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