Wheelies or just peddling your favorite singletrack can quench the thirst of an intrigued mountain biker. But there’s so much more beyond the smile that is valuable to peddling. For youth riding their bike establishes a solid foundation for increased confidence and self esteem, strength, solid skill building on the bike and overall fun and well being. For kids and adults alike riding a bike has many physiological benefits as well as the fun factor. In this week’s post we delve deep into the benefits of mountain biking and cycling as whole.
Look At Kids To See The Benefits Of Mountain Biking
What gives me the biggest smile is watching my six year old daughter with such grit attempt again and again to pop a wheelie.
And most recently is my two year old mimicking everything her big sister is doing on and off the bike. Wheelie- Or in our technical mountain bike jargin “wheel lifts”. Everybody wants to know how to pop a wheelie. Its one of the number one skills the riders I work with either want to perfect or learn. If its learning to pop a wheelie or just to peddle around the block the FUN factor is the glue to the sport. Getting our kids out there having FUN on their bikes is the bait on the hook. Fun = adherence. The smile that sticks to kids faces when they first learn to ride a bike is irreplaceable. Watching that smile grow even bigger as they expand their skill set is unforgettable. And it just grows and grows as you become more and more accomplished on the bike. “Wheelies and tailwinds bro” so eloquently quoted by Steve Gravenites AKA Gravy, world recognized wheel builder.
Cycling Ain’t Just About Fun… It’s Good For You!
Simply put, cycling increases bilateral coordination, proprioception, balance, strength in your core, and lower and upper body extremity strength. If that’s not enough, here’s a few more physiological bells and whistles of getting on your bike:
- increased cardiovascular fitness.
- increased muscle strength and flexibility.
- improved joint mobility.
- decreased stress levels.
- improved posture and coordination.
- strengthened bones.
- decreased body fat levels.
- prevention or management of disease.
Physiological Benefits Of Mountain Biking / Cycling
Beyond the physiological benefits their are endless psychological benefits as well. Yes reduced stress, as mentioned increase in self esteem and confidence but also the motion and physical connection to the bike has been linked to helping those with ADHD.This is demonstrated In a recent study that Specialized bikes and RTSG Neuroscience conducted about the relationship between cycling and its positive effects on those with ADHD. Outcomes identified were cognitive, emotional, social, and physical status before, during, and after the program, and researchers concluded that cycling…
- enhances processing of information
- improves attention and attenuates impulsivity
- enables children to better understand their feelings
- improves kids’ mood
- decreases BMI and waist circumference
- accelerates cognitive performance even after just one ride
- is addictive! The program retained 87% of subjects initially enrolled
To read more of this study go to Singletrack’s article deep diving into the impact of cycling on ADHD.
The bottom line is yes we have FUN on out bikes and that is the number one thing to get us on the bike again and again. It starts with FUN as I see so clearly with both my 6 year old as well as my 2 year old daughters. But there are so many benefits as well to consider and to not ignore. Get on a bike and have fun and soak up all the amazing benefits along the ride!