Do you remember the first time you rode a bicycle? Learning to ride a bike is a rite of passage, and for good reason. Riding a bicycle not only promotes a healthy lifestyle, but also teaches us some really great life lessons.
Hopping on a bike for the first time is no easy feat. It requires courage, persistence to keep trying (even when you fall and skin your knee) and a bit of muscle! Like most things in life, biking takes lots of practice, and if you’re biking in a city, it requires some street smarts. The rewards of learning to ride a bike are well worth the effort for a number of reasons. It keeps your body healthy, your mind clear and focused, and who can resist that feeling of excitement when you’re flying downhill on two wheels!?
A few of my favorite children’s books are about bicycles. In Chris Raschka’s Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle (ages 4-8), a little girl shows grit until she successfully masters the art of riding. In this picture book Raschka’s watercolor and ink illustrations warmly depict a father encouraging his daughter to “find the courage to try it again, and again, again, and again…until by luck, grace, and determination you are riding a bicycle!”
In The Red Bicycle : The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle (ages 8-12) by Jude Isabella, a beloved red bicycle finds a new purpose after it is donated to a family in Burkina Faso. Its journey doesn’t end there, and eventually “Big Red” becomes a bicycle ambulance for a village hospital. An informative picture book geared towards older readers, The Red Bicycle shows how one bicycle can change many lives.
If you’re looking for fun bike-themed events, check out BikePGH’s upcoming BikeFest on August 19-28th. BikeFest is BikePGH’s largest fundraiser and annual celebration with events and rides organized by local organizations. If you’re looking for a family-friendly event, PedalPGH, the region’s biggest bicycle ride, may be for you. Sign up for the all-ages ride, the Peoples Local Loop, and get those bikes primed and ready to go!
To learn more about BikePGH’s work in helping to make Pittsburgh’s streets safe and accessible for people who bike and walk, check out their website.
Now get out there and ride your bike!
Jessica is a Children’s Specialist at CLP – Squirrel Hill. An avid reader of all things Moomin, Jessica also enjoys beekeeping, biking and digging in the dirt.
Check out these other bike books and enjoy the ride!Learn More