Sales of children’s bikes are way up, reports the Washington Post. Bike riding is way down.
When kids do ride their bikes, it is often a pale version of that childhood tradition. They ride endlessly around a single block or cul-de-sac, up and down the same street or, in busier neighborhoods, up and down the driveway. It is a far cry from days gone by when generations of children arrived home from school, jumped on their 10-speeds or banana bikes and rode — no helmets, no chaperones, no deadline except dusk or dinner.
. . . In a world that feels ever more dangerous, parents drive children everywhere to make sure they’re safe. And in two-career families, less free time for parents means less free time for children as well.
“There’s soccer or swimming or music lessons,” said (Bill) Wilkinson, whose organization lobbies parents to get their children to walk and ride more bikes to combat obesity. “Most kids are never out of direct supervision of an adult.”