It’s been a long time since I thought about my first “real” bicycle. By this I mean the bicycle that you first roamed your neighborhood on as a kid. For me, this first bike was a pink-framed girl’s bicycle with a white plastic-woven basket on the front of the handles, decorated with a huge white and yellow sunflower. I’m sure that sounds kind tacky by today’s standards, but in those days I thought I was the coolest thing in the world riding around on this bike.
Four reasons Why My First Bike Was So Great
- The Freedom to Go Anywhere. I grew up in a pretty strict household. I wasn’t allowed to go over to friend’s houses much or participate in any after-school activities. For some reason, this strictness did not extend to my bike riding. I’d get home from school, jump on my bike, and roam the entire neighborhood. There was an absolute feeling of freedom in this for me, and even as a kid I knew how valuable that was.
- Socializing with Friends. It’s a thing of beauty when you are a kid riding around your neighborhood accompanied by 2 or 3 other friends on their bikes. It’s as if you are some sort of “mini-biker” gang. We’d all peddle as fast as we good to the local neighborhood playground, slide our bikes onto the dirt pavement, jump off of them, and race to the swing area to see who could get there first. It was a blast!
- Beginning to Define Your Personal Style. As I mentioned above, my bike had a white basket with a huge sunflower on the front of the handles. I constantly added other items to the basket using safety pins just to give it more flair. I also remember placing stickers all over my bike in an attempt to make it more “my own”. I’m not sure if anyone else thought I was tasteful in my choice of décor, but I certainly loved adding these personalized elements to my bike.
- The Adrenaline Rush of Going Down Hills. To a kid, there’s nothing as exhilarating as flying down a steep hill on a bicycle. Of course it’s dangerous! But that’s the thrill of it. I banged myself up quite badly on more than a few occasions while doing just that, because of trying to avoid near collisions with cars turning the corner, or other obstacles that suddenly became visible on my way down. I even remember clearly the pain of crashing into the handle of my bike because of having no way of stopping myself from hitting a curbside in front of me because of the speed my bike was going. Although I pray my own daughter will have the wisdom to be more careful on her bike than I was, I still remember those incidents as good times!
Best Bikes for Girls
Parents really need to do some research when picking their child’s first real training-wheel-free bike. I was probably about 9 years old when I got my pink girl’s bike and, for me, it was a perfect fit. Experts say that a child between the ages of 7 and 10 will probably need a 20 inch bike (this size refers to the wheel diameter). You can find a few good reviews for bikes in this and other size ranges on the following consumer research website: http://www.consumersearch.com/kids_bikes/bikes-for-older-kids.
Additionally, children in the 7 to 10 year age range are beginning to care about what their peers think about them. I’ve learned from personal experience with my former boyfriend’s 9 year old daughter, and from my own family members who are entering this age group. Therefore, it’s probably also important that you get a bike that your girl will think is “cool” to be seen on. You might get an idea of her taste by looking at some bike samples on-line with her first. For instance, browse some of the best selling girl’s bicycles and read tons of parent reviews on Amazon: Bestselling Bikes for Girls