Ride to Your Shadow!
There are days when you put on all your biking gear and are ready to feel the wind in your face and your mom or dad racing to catch up with you. Then there are days when leaving the driveway to make a trek around the neighborhood is just not what you want to do.
On days like that when you don't want to burn off the energy your parents know has to dissipate for you to get a good night's sleep, they may put on their thinking caps and come up with a way to convince you to ride as fast as you can out of the driveway and down the street.
At our house, the enticement is usually a game or a challenge or maybe a game that is challenging.
One of the games we play is called "How Fast Can You Ride to the Next Shadow."
To play this game, you will need a street lined with trees. There doesn't have to be a lot of trees--just enough to give you some shadows to ride to.
How we did it:
- protective biking gear (helmet, pads, gloves)
- trees ( with shadows cast on the road) (5+)
We started with a pep talk about how there are only a few trees on our street to ride toward. This helped my son move from slow gear to an almost fast speed. He wanted to get to the first shadow.
When the first shadow was reached, my son took a short break to cool off and enjoy the large shadow the first tree cast on the street.
A short respite can give you the incentive to make it to the next shadow even if you can see that it isn't as large as the first one. My son really started to get into the game at this point.
Once you make it to the turn-around point and head toward home, you may pick up speed. You know the shadows mapped out on your road now and you may want to speed from one to the next. The pedals on my son's bike flew at this stage of the game.
When you see the final curve in the road, you may push the pedals as quickly as you can. You can see the driveway of your house. The finish is in sight. If you are my son, you hope with all your might that when you park your bike in the garage, mom will reward your willingness to play the game with a glass of sweet tea. On this day he got his wish. I handed him a cool glass of sweet tea to celebrate his success.