• Rita Bratovich

Park a bike under the tree

In days not so long gone, a typical Aussie Christmas morning was made up of the shrill of cicadas, church bells ringing, and the laughter of kids in the street wobbling unsteadily on their shiny new bikes.





The bicycle with a bow that often appears in cliched depictions of Christmas reveals how ubiquitous it used to be as a gift. Now a child’s present is more likely to be a small box whose contents invariably require a charger and wi-fi.


Bicycles are a wonderful gift for any child, from the very young through to teens. Learning to ride a bike requires understanding balance, momentum, speed, turning. It’s a fun physics lesson that draws on natural instincts as well presenting new challenges and scientific discovery - albeit with some scrapes and grazes along the way.


Most people will remember the first time they rode unaided by training wheels or an attentive adult hand - the feeling of freedom and independence and accomplishment.


Kids are more likely to go outside and inadvertently exercise if it involves jumping on a bike and seeking out adventure or learning new tricks. It’s something they can enjoy doing alone or with a bunch of friends.


In fact, one of the great things about cycling is that it’s an activity the whole family can share.


Think about putting a bicycle on the Christmas list. It’s the kind of gift that helps create a childhood.


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