Did you know May is National Bike Month? As this unusual school year comes to a close and the warm weather has finally arrived in Virginia, turn your studies to outdoor activities such as family biking. Develop a new interest or reignite an old one, and make bicycling your favorite family activity for this summer. Many recreational facilities may still be closed, but state parks are open and bicycling is great way to get out of the house for fun and exercise!
The Family Biking Together
This resource from Parents 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.
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.
Giving your child a love for bikes can be as simple as reading about bikes and the sport of biking together. These nine children’s books about bicycles are a great start!
The Science of Cycling and Its Mark on History
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.
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.
Follow the fascinating (and often debated) history of the invention and development of the bicycle at Interesting Engineering.com