First Gear. A Kid on a Bike is Independent and Healthy


Image credit: Specialized.

"Set a kid riding and you set them on a winning course for life: You help defeat childhood obesity and attention deficit disorders. You give them a chance to progress and even excel in a sport. And you develop healthy habits that last a lifetime."

This is rationale behind bike manufacturer Specialized's First Gear project. Their aim is to have 10,000 kids riding bikes this year, who otherwise wouldn't have had the chance. So far for 2011, the First Gear project figures that nearly 2,000 children have embraced two wheeled human powered transport. That's almost one fifth of their goal so they seem on track for the 10,000. But why not help the cause along. Their website has myriad ways to get involved, even showing how much (or little) time and/or money is required to participate.

When the project was announced at the end of 2010 Specialized's Founder and President Mike Sinyard. was quoted as saying,

"Getting kids out riding bikes is probably the most important thing we can do. A child on a bike is independent and healthy, not just for the time being, but for life. But the best part is, they don't even realize it. They're just out there having fun."

Last year Specialized dedicated $1.4 million USD to global cycling advocacy, of which a significant portion was apparently directed to youth programs. Good to see them keeping the momentum going in 2011. And whilst more kids riding bikes is obviously good for the cycling industry and major players like Specialized, the health of both kids and the environment is also a huge beneficiary.


Photo credit: Specialized.

Read amusing profiles of how well known cycling athletes started riding as kids and success stories of cycling advocacy programs from North America, Australia, South Africa, Europe and more.

First Gear by Specialized
More Cycling Advocacy
Are You a Cyclist? Join One Million Others to Improve Bicycling
Dress to Express: (the) Benefits of Cycling
Cycling Saves Australia $200 million in Health Costs

Tags: Bike Sharing | Biking | Car-Free

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