Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring Fever: Ride it out!

Last night we pulled up to my in-laws' house just in time to see our 8-year-old niece go zipping past the driveway on what was once my sister-in-law's bike.  There were 3 other kids (7 total kids once ours were added to the mix) playing on an assortment of bikes and ride-ons and scurrying around the front yard.  Crazy Mammaw actually says she likes it when the grandkids, which currently number 11 (with one of those still being on the inside), all come over to spend the night!

It fascinated me, though, to see that out of those 7 kids in the yard, there were 4 toys they were fighting over: a toddler push mower (note to self: Stinky loves mowing grass), an ancient pink "big wheel", a 14" bike with training wheels, and that bike my 8-year-old niece was streaking by on, a 20+ year old purple Schwinn bike!  There was so much yard to be traversed, yet those kids were all drawn to the bikes!  Why is that??  (Oh, and Mammaw seriously needs more bikes!)

So, I got to thinking.  Why do we ride bikes anyway?  I mean, when I was a kid I rode everywhere.  My sister and I used to ride the 5 miles into town just to buy an ice cream cone, and then ride home.  I can't imagine sending my own kids on a five mile trip, but if we ever live in the country like I did, and they're a little older like I was, I supposed I'd at least consider letting them!  Anyway, I'm sitting here pondering why anyone rides anyway.  It's really a lot more work than just jumping in the car, you know?  So what did I do?  I asked my old friend Swagbucks!  (I used to ask Google.  Then I learned I can earn actual MONEY by asking Swagbucks, and I've never looked back!)  Mr. Swagbucks has all sorts of ideas about why we ride!

We ride for our bodies!  I'm pretty sure you knew that.  It's great for your cardiovascular health.  In fact, according to a whole slew of websites, it's the best cardiovascular exercise out there.

We ride for convenience!  It's so much easier to find a parking spot, or to zip through "traffic" at a festival, or to  get through a traffic jam!  You never have to gas up on a bike.

We ride for savings.  Foot power doesn't cost $4 a gallon.  Gas power does!

We ride for the environment!  Since we don't have to gas up, we're also not spewing our toxins into the air every time we make a trip.  We don't have to dig out new paths for a bike.  Sure, it's easier to ride on the road or a trail, but we can really ride bikes anywhere, even through grass and rocks!

We ride for causes!  Many causes, like Bike MS, have riding events every year to help raise money for their research and patients.  It makes us feel good to ride for causes, like we are actually doing something--and we ARE actually doing something!  I can tell you with 100% certainty that even if your ride or your dollar seems miniscule in the wide scope of the event, it makes a huge difference in the mind of at least the one person you're supporting!  (If you want to donate to a cause, I'd love for you to drop a dollar or two into my WalkMS bucket!  You can read why here!)

We ride because it's FUN!  Nothing gives you the same exhilaration as the wind whipping through your hair on a long stretch of a good ride!  When you're a kid, it's a way to get to your friends' houses or the park or the ice cream store.  When you're an adult, it's a free way to clear your mind!  Nothing but you and the world.  Refreshing.


I want to throw this out there, though: ride responsibly and teach your kids to do the same.

Maybe it wasn't irresponsible, but when I was a kid we didn't wear helmets and knee or elbow pads.  I'm pretty sure they weren't as big of a "thing" as they are now.  People, teach your kids to wear helmets!  It's so much safer!  PLEASE make sure your bike is the right fit!  

If you're not sure how to get a good fit on a bike helmet, visit Schwinn.  They have a great tutorial! We're actually trying right now to figure out a good trip for Bugsy.  His cranial reconstructions have given him a very oddly shaped head! 

Learn how to signal a turn!  They'll need to know the information for driver's ed someday anyway, but teach your kids to signal turns!  My parents taught us to signal.  Do the drivers around us know what we're doing when we're motioning?  Some do.  Doesn't matter, though.  We're doing what we can to keep ourselves safe.  Schwinn has tons of tips about bicycle safety.

Make sure you and your kids are riding the correct size bikes!  There are different sizes, as much for ease of ride as for safety.

 My 3 kids are all different sizes, and according to the Schwinn website, they should all ride different sizes of bikes!  Stinky is so little Schwinn says he should ride a 12 inch bike, but on the 12 inch bike at our house, he can't even begin to reach the pedals yet.  He'll be there soon, because I'm pretty sure he's going to grow.  Bugsy needs a 16 inch Schwinn bike.  He doesn't have a Schwinn, though, and the hand-me-down he was given a couple weeks ago works for him.  It's a 14 incher.  Little Lou's "size" is a 20 inch.  She actually owns an 18 inch bike, but it's probably a little small for her.  Good grief!  She's only 6!  How can she need a 20 inch bike??


When you're looking for a bike this summer, be sure to check out Schwinn!  Not only can you look at the great variety of Schwinn bikes, they have SO many tutorials and tips!  Even if you have a bike, it's definitely worth perusing Schwinn's trusted website!


I know some of you are looking for bikes this summer.  You're going to want to stick around next week!  Starting at midnight tonight, you'll have a chance at winning one of Schwinn's kids' bikes!  You even get to choose whether you want a bike for a boy or a girl!  These bikes are very cute, and Schwinn is a very trusted name in bikes!  Check these out:

Introducing: Schwinn Throttle

·         Sturdy steel freestyle frame
·         Coaster brake w/front & rear caliper brakes for stopping power
·         1-Piece crank w/cutout chain wheel gives freestyle feel
·         Fan spoke wheels w/painted rims for custom look
·         Handlebar pad for safety
·         Printed saddle adds style
·         $101.95 on  

and Schwinn Mist!

·         Schwinn girls low stand-over frame for easy starting
·         Coaster brake w/front& rear caliper brakes stops securely
·         1-Piece crank with steel chain guard adds durability
·         Colored rims w/ knobby tires for stability
·         Custom handlebar bag offers convenience
·         Quick release saddle to easily adjust seat height
        Also available on!

Schwinn will be giving away the choice of these two bikes to my super DUPER lucky Spring Fever prize package winner!  Be watching!!

I was not compensated in any way for this post.  All opinions are my own.


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