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Fewer kids riding bicycles worries industry

Old 06-09-19, 05:58 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by BookFinder View Post


Finally, I agree with livedarklions: as a kid I spent all day on my bike during the summers, but it was with my neighborhood gaggle of guy friends and not my parents.


And we lived in a different world in the late 1960's and early 1970's. The same in-town neighborhoods we worked our way through as older kids and early teens are now risky places to walk or cycle because of demographic changes, and the decline of morality and general decency. I wouldn't let my grandkids ride there for fear of an amber alert being issued and my family being the people trapped in the horror.


It may well be the answer to the challenge is not found in less expensive bikes, more effective marketing, or parents taking up cycling with their kids, but in a return to the traditional moral and community values that once made it safe for a kid to leave sight of the house and his parent's watchful eye.

I grew up in the early and late 70s, and I agree - it is a different world today. The crime rate is much lower now than it was back then. The difference now is that there is an entire industry devoted to selling fear, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And parents have bought into it.
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Old 06-09-19, 06:38 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
Many Kids and Parents canít afford the prices of quality bicycles. Itís getting out of hand.

Big box stores are the savior of the bicycle industry.
Ha ha huh??

Big box stores selling bikes is fine, i am not going to focus on that.

Claiming quality bikes are too expensive is complete garbage.
It's simply priority and preference as to how money is spent.

Instead of an iPhone that costs $900, spend $550 on a very capable hybrid and spend the rest on a less expensive but still very capable smart phone.

Instead of a car with $350/month payments, buy a level down and spend $300/month. Use that $600 saved in a year for a very capable hybrid.

Etc
Etc
Etc

How everyone spends their money is completely up to them and I am not suggesting anyone is spending their money wrong.
But I do see opportunity after opportunity for someone to spend a bit less in one area to get something else in another area, if they chose to. It must be important enough for them to want to do that though.
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Old 06-09-19, 06:46 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
Many Kids and Parents canít afford the prices of quality bicycles. Itís getting out of hand.

Big box stores are the savior of the bicycle industry.
Big box store bikes are what kids deserve when they throw the bike on the ground to park it, when they leave the bike out to be stolen, when the bike isn't stolen it rusts in the rain, when it doesn't rust in the rain it rusts from being ridden into a bayou or swimming pool.

I had cheap bikes as a kid and my kids had cheap bikes. Pretty much for the reasons stated above.
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Old 06-09-19, 07:16 PM
  #29  
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There are sooooooo many things this day and age that kids are either doing, not doing, believing in, not believing in, accepting or not accepting ...that doesn't make sense to people my age.
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Old 06-09-19, 08:29 PM
  #30  
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You've got to put some of the blame on the bicycling industry themselves. Their advertising focuses on the high-end road bicycles and MTBs, leaving out the recreational riders. And when you go into a bicycle shop its just a confusing mumbo-jumbo from the sales staff (as a co-worker mentioned to me). Also consider the industry promotes the 'necessity' of accessories that include bicycle-specific clothing, shoes, sunglasses . . . etc that drive up the cost further. The end result is the creation of an excessively high cost barrier, and some folks will just give up on even trying due to that high cost.
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Old 06-09-19, 09:27 PM
  #31  
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#e-kidsbikes.
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Old 06-10-19, 04:43 AM
  #32  
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What do kids want for this Christmas? An electric bike.
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Old 06-10-19, 08:15 AM
  #33  
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Maybe if they had to ride around the block to get their insulin and metformin.
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Old 06-10-19, 08:35 AM
  #34  
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When I was a kid (70's - 80's) I rode my bike to elementary school, friends' house, work, etc. It was my form of transportation and very important if I wanted to get anywhere. I would have never thought to ask my parents to drive me some place unless it was really out of my "bike range". Granted the area I lived in was fairly self contained and most things could be reached easily and safely by cycling.

Fast forward...I tried to get my own daughter interested in cycling, but it never stuck. She would go out occasionally with me for short neighborhood rides, but other than that she did not have that much incentive. In a role reversal I can see why parents, having been a parent of a youngster, would be reluctant to let there children ride around in today's environment. Things are much more spread out, roads are busier and drivers seem more distracted.
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Old 06-10-19, 08:53 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
You've got to put some of the blame on the bicycling industry themselves. Their advertising focuses on the high-end road bicycles and MTBs, leaving out the recreational riders. And when you go into a bicycle shop its just a confusing mumbo-jumbo from the sales staff (as a co-worker mentioned to me). Also consider the industry promotes the 'necessity' of accessories that include bicycle-specific clothing, shoes, sunglasses . . . etc that drive up the cost further. The end result is the creation of an excessively high cost barrier, and some folks will just give up on even trying due to that high cost.
Sure, i can see this being a bit off-putting to new riders. Off-putting or intimidating even.
At the same time, the shops around me have a wide selection of bike styles, even if they are known for one specific segment of cycling, and they all have kids bikes as well as adult family bikes(varying types of hybrid).

Any exercise activity could be done in what you happen to be wearing at the moment, but is more fun/comfortable in activity specific clothing.
- rock climbing can be done in jeans and work boots, but non-restricting clothing that is still form fitting and climbing shoes works better.
- running can be done in jeans and flip flops, but shorts that wont chafe and proper running shoes will feel a lot better.
etc etc etc.

Also, any activity is going to have accessories that increase the cost to participate. And any retail store that sells said accessories would be remiss to not try and sell to their customers since, you know, thats the point of the store.
runners- tracking watches, socks, muscle rollers, glasses, etc.
hiking- poles, shoes, gps, backpacks, hats, glasses, hydration systems, etc.
The examples could go on- horseback riding, canoeing/kayaking, fishing, boating, camping, etc etc etc. If someone is put off by an activity specific store trying to sell accessories for the activity, then they need need to step back and realize what they are complaining about.


Cycling clothing that isnt cotton and doesnt have seams at touch points will dry faster and rub less. Even general exercise clothing will work well for 80% of cyclists since they wont ride far enough to really worry about chafing or whatever. A bike computer is nice to have since not everyone wants a giant cell phone mounted on their bars, but they still want to track MPH or miles ridden. All that seems quite reasonable.

On Saturday I rode 65mi with 45 of it on paved trail and 20 of it on roads/highways. I saw a couple hundred cyclists at least. There were a ton out on bike shop quality hybrids. Lots of families. Many people on threaded stem bikes so probably 20 years old or more. Somehow, a ton of people were happy and riding, in spite of the aforementioned drawbacks of bike shops.
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Old 06-10-19, 08:56 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
What do kids want for this Christmas? An electric bike.
Well if it gets them out.. but the age limit here in the UK is 14.
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Old 06-10-19, 09:00 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I think the article inadvertently put it's finger on the problem without understanding it. It claims that the issue is in part that parents don't find time to ride with their kids.

When I was a kid, riding was something you did with your friends, not your parents. Kids just spend way less time actually hanging out together without some adult organizing the activity. When was the last time you saw a group of kids start a spontaneous game of kick the can or kickball, for example?
This. THIS is the issue.
Everything else follows.

I routinely send my kids out into the neighborhood to play and explore and especially to find other kids to play with. They're nearly always the only ones out there.
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Old 06-10-19, 09:04 AM
  #38  
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I blame Atari all downhill for kids activities since then.
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Old 06-10-19, 10:02 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Why waste time biking when there's so much fun stuff to do on your iPhone?
That's what it boils down to. In the older days TV then video games then computer IM occupied a lot of kids' time but Phones are at hand constantly. Friends' kids stay in their rooms 8-12 hours/day with their phones. Only saving grace is that Phones are so addicting, venturing to the fridge/pantry for junk food is too distracting.
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Old 06-11-19, 05:15 AM
  #40  
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I'm going out on a limb here, but does anyone else think that some of this relates to the campaigns of so-called "safety advocates" hyping up the riskiness of cycling?

If I was a parent with low information about cycling, I don't know that I'd encourage my kid to go riding in the face of ghost bikes and people incessantly talking about cell phone distracted drivers running rampant. If you keep sending out bicycling=death messages, you discourage riding more than you encourage safe driving.
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Old 06-11-19, 05:39 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I'm going out on a limb here, but does anyone else think that some of this relates to the campaigns of so-called "safety advocates" hyping up the riskiness of cycling?
Yes. The hysterical bicycling=death message campaign has had the same overall negative effect as the hysterical children missing milk carton campaign: scant benefit, big loss on healthy childhood and raising independent children.
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Old 06-11-19, 06:43 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by gear64 View Post
It sounds like this is suburbia, and maybe this gets mentioned further down, but the asinine developers of urban sprawl areas are killing kids playing outside as much or more than anything mentioned so far. You can hardly get from one subdivision to another or to a park with out getting on a major thoroughfare. Then because that major thoroughfare is the only way to get from A to B it's overcrowded with frustrated motorists before cyclists and pedestrians even enter the picture.

I developed my love of cycling in an urban residential matrix. Mostly low volume roads because there were almost infinite ways to get from A to B. Even as I got older and started venturing to older inner suburbs you could still find plenty of calm roads. A big reason why I've always lived near an urban core.
I can't speak for suburbia everywhere, but around here you can get around in suburbia just fine as a kid.

For the mid to upper scale neighborhoods, there are bike paths and green spaces aplenty. For the lower scale neighborhoods, there are streets, sidewalks in many cases, utility right of ways, and the land next to county maintained bayous and creeks.

When I was a kid growing up in suburbia we rode our bikes on the streets, sidewalks, and the upper banks of the local bayou. But that was the 1970s and smart phones and electronic social connectivity as we know it didn't exist back then.

Edit to add: I remember when I bought my first house in another part of suburbia in the early 1990s. A county maintained creek meandered nearby that passed through several neighborhoods. Also, there was an abandoned sand quarry behind my neighborhood.

In the past 15 or so years massive flood retention/detention areas have been added throughout the region which creates acres and acres of county maintained space for riding.

Granted, all this favors a mountain bike or trail bike, but if kids in suburbia want to ride, they just need to go outside.

Last edited by FiftySix; 06-11-19 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 06-11-19, 07:18 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Yes. The hysterical bicycling=death message campaign has had the same overall negative effect as the hysterical children missing milk carton campaign: scant benefit, big loss on healthy childhood and raising independent children.
Uh oh. Isn't you and me agreeing on something one of the signs of the apocalypse?

The hysterical approach is a great way to raise money and fire up a few highly-committed supporters, so it often gets adopted by activists in all sorts of policy areas with little thought as to what the side effects of it are.

Until this decade, there were several groups that could reliably make tons of money screaming about the impending "catastrophe" of same-sex marriage. Sort of the flip-side of this, their "catastrophe" came true, but when the world didn't end (literally), they lost their ability to raise a panic and money from their target donors.
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Old 06-11-19, 07:22 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
I can't speak for suburbia everywhere, but around here you can get around in suburbia just fine as a kid.

For the mid to upper scale neighborhoods, there are bike paths and green spaces aplenty. For the lower scale neighborhoods, there are streets, sidewalks in many cases, utility right of ways, and the land next to county maintained bayous and creeks.

When I was a kid growing up in suburbia we rode our bikes on the streets, sidewalks, and the upper banks of the local bayou. But that was the 1970s and smart phones and electronic social connectivity as we know it didn't exist back then.

Edit to add: I remember when I bought my first house in another part of suburbia in the early 1990s. A county maintained creek meandered nearby that passed through several neighborhoods. Also, there was an abandoned sand quarry behind my neighborhood.

In the past 15 or so years massive flood retention/detention areas have been added throughout the region which creates acres and acres of county maintained space for riding.

Granted, all this favors a mountain bike or trail bike, but if kids in suburbia want to ride, they just need to go outside.
Not to mention, the "dangers" of riding on a major thoroughfare are often exaggerated. There are streets where I can't get my car through quickly because of the congestion, but I can zip right through on my bike riding safely to the right. I just need to be super careful at the intersections, but that's true on all streets, busy or not.
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Old 06-11-19, 07:43 PM
  #45  
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I'm sure the safety aspect (real or exaggerated) plays a part. When I was a kid, very few parents would wait with kids at the school bus stop or pick them up with the car. We actually felt sorry for those few kids 'cause their parents seemed a bit crazy.

OTOH now one sees few older kids (11-16 say) riding even on safe bike paths. I don't think many parents would forbid that but few encourage it either. In the old days, some moms actually made their kids play outside during the day so the moms could get a little peace & quiet.

BTW, skiing has also declined in popularity among young folks. 6 years ago I went to the local hill with some friends & their kids...the kids really enjoyed it despite the cold windy weather. But now, pointless to even ask the kids if they want to go skiing. Thanks to Phones, they've quit all sports/outdoor activities & their bikes have long since rusted away.
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Old 06-11-19, 08:28 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by BookFinder View Post
...
Finally, I agree with livedarklions: as a kid I spent all day on my bike during the summers, but it was with my neighborhood gaggle of guy friends and not my parents.

And we lived in a different world in the late 1960's and early 1970's. The same in-town neighborhoods we worked our way through as older kids and early teens are now risky places to walk or cycle because of demographic changes, and the decline of morality and general decency. I wouldn't let my grandkids ride there for fear of an amber alert being issued and my family being the people trapped in the horror.

It may well be the answer to the challenge is not found in less expensive bikes, more effective marketing, or parents taking up cycling with their kids, but in a return to the traditional moral and community values that once made it safe for a kid to leave sight of the house and his parent's watchful eye.
Hmm, I was with you up until that part of your post. During the times you mention, there was plenty of immoral, indecent, corrupt, violent, horrific behavior (and that was apparently despite the fact that the ďdemographic changesĒ to which you refer hadnít taken place yet).

There were predators living amongst your friends and neighbors then too, but we didnít hear about them as much. Or call them out for what they are. Or have the investigative or forensic techniques to prove it yet.

But anyway, back to bikes...
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Old 06-11-19, 09:00 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
I grew up in the early and late 70s, and I agree - it is a different world today. The crime rate is much lower now than it was back then. The difference now is that there is an entire industry devoted to selling fear, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And parents have bought into it.

+1K Not this parent...
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Old 06-11-19, 09:30 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by BookFinder View Post
All of these -







And especially this one -



Air-conditioning has spoiled a lot of kids. They just don't want to get out side and get hot and dirty during the summer, or cold and wet in the winter.




I'm with you on this. The neighborhood where I live is large for the area (deep south, not many large neighborhoods but lots of open country). There is another such nearby neighborhood that is not as large, but that boast some hellish hills that I can easily get to after crossing a 4-lane. If I cover my flat neighborhood and then venture over to that one I can get a decent workout within 8 to 10 miles.

So for me to rack up true "road miles" (as opposed to leisurely hybrid miles in the hood) I have to get out on the rural highways and roads, which raises the risk factors exponentially. To wit: on the rural 4-lane that basically "cradles" my neighborhood at the north and west quadrant, a good friend was hit on his bike by a pickup truck in broad daylight. High viz jersey, flashing tail light, everything. He spent weeks in ICU and has never fully recovery physically - all because one doofus cager had to check his text messages.

That particular road does not have a wide shoulder, however, an adjoining road does. Even so, no thoughtful bicyclist will ride it more than once out of respect for his or her tires. Seriously, the nails, tacks, bits of glass, and other trash would guarantee a flat a mile.

America's love affair with the automobile and the advent of paved roads has some corollary down-sides that we all see, but very few local and state governments truly acts to accommodate the needs of cyclists. My answer to that is to limit my close to home riding to the neighborhood, and transport my bike to less risky settings in the nearby town where there are several decent paths.

Finally, I agree with livedarklions: as a kid I spent all day on my bike during the summers, but it was with my neighborhood gaggle of guy friends and not my parents.

And we lived in a different world in the late 1960's and early 1970's. The same in-town neighborhoods we worked our way through as older kids and early teens are now risky places to walk or cycle because of demographic changes, and the decline of morality and general decency. I wouldn't let my grandkids ride there for fear of an amber alert being issued and my family being the people trapped in the horror.

It may well be the answer to the challenge is not found in less expensive bikes, more effective marketing, or parents taking up cycling with their kids, but in a return to the traditional moral and community values that once made it safe for a kid to leave sight of the house and his parent's watchful eye.
My point was that she CAN'T do leisurely miles (or anything) in the neighborhood, it is unsafe due to the number of inattentive automobile drivers. We have to get 1.5 miles out of the local environs just to have a safe ride. That's 3 mi of high risk high stress riding for what, 5 miles of MUP? She can't do it feeling safe without me riding behind and into the roadway, behind her. No wonder she's lost interest. Luckily my folks live in a better biking area. (250 miles away)
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Old 06-11-19, 10:03 PM
  #49  
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I blame you.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:19 AM
  #50  
livedarklions
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Originally Posted by Last ride 76 View Post
My point was that she CAN'T do leisurely miles (or anything) in the neighborhood, it is unsafe due to the number of inattentive automobile drivers. We have to get 1.5 miles out of the local environs just to have a safe ride. That's 3 mi of high risk high stress riding for what, 5 miles of MUP? She can't do it feeling safe without me riding behind and into the roadway, behind her. No wonder she's lost interest. Luckily my folks live in a better biking area. (250 miles away)
It sounds like your neighborhood is unusual in not having any back roads around the shopping centers.

What got me into biking at a young age was precisely that I could ride around without my parents on city streets and go out on my own, which I was doing plenty of by the time I was 11.

I really don't buy any arguments that drivers were safer then, I think it's nonsense. There's a helicopter parenting ethos that's in place now that is driving kids towards electronics their parents can't really monitor to get any sense of independence.

I've never been to your neighborhood--I won't second-guess you on whether you would do better by teaching your kid how to deal with the inattentive drivers herself--given the layout you describe, that might be an impossible task at her age. She will, however, need to learn it eventually.
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