Kids and Christmas

Yesterday I was listening to a radio show and the host was Jilian, the trainer from Big Fat Loser. She was talking about a study she recently read that stated the best presents for kids this season would be fitness equipment such as dumbells and treadmills. She went on about how she disagrees with it and thinks that giving a kid dumbells for Christmas is not only cruel, but it will make them resentful towards fitness in general.

I do agree with her and I wish I could find the study she was talking about to read more about it. What sucks to me is the fact that bicycles are not being marketed enough as “this season’s hottest gift!” Usually it’s the Wii or a new laptop or anything technology related.

Here’s the deal, if you have kids and are dead set on getting a Wii, well first of all, good luck! Those things are harder to find than a Leprechaun. If you still can’t find the Wii by next week, consider going to your LBS. What kid wouldn’t want a brand new bicycle for Christmas? That has to be one of the best presents any kid could get! Sure the Wii or any tech gadget would be cool, but a bike can literally change a child’s life. You know all the health benefits as well as the confidence they get from riding a bike. But think about grooming the next generation of riders that will eventually be the people that will be leading our current bicycle companies.

Take for example gOrk Barette, He works for Seattle Bicycle Supply, the parent company of Redline Bicycles, Torker and La Pierre. Gork got into bikes as a kid. He raced BMX most of his life, and look at him now, he’s the Marketing Director for SBS. Talk about cultivating kids to take over!

So what’s my point? Well, it’s simple really: rather than getting something that is technology related as a present, get something that will be more rewarding than going to the next level of a video game….get your kid on a bicycle!


  1. Ghost Rider

    Amen! A bike keeps on giving long after a tech gift has crapped out or become obsolete!

  2. Moe

    Guess what my 7 year old is getting??? Yep, that nice Electra Little Betty (from another LBS, of course). My 4 year old will inherit her sister’s, but she is really stoked about it!!!

    But, what do you think of this?:

    It’s a stationary bike hooked up to a video game…

  3. Moe

    Here’s another one… Do you buy your kid a bicycle from a bike shop or from a Big Box store?

  4. RL Policar (Post author)

    I’m an LBS kinda guy, better assembled than the big box bikes.

  5. RL Policar (Post author)


    At the price of that game you could easily get a Betty or Rat Rod for child.


  6. Ghost Rider

    If you really love your child, you’ll buy a bike from an LBS. It’s like the old saying goes: “friends don’t let friends ride ‘bike-shaped objects’.”

  7. Moe

    But… Bike Shop bikes are 3-4 times as much as Big Box Stores and my kid will outgrow it in less than a year…

  8. RL Policar (Post author)

    Moe’s playing the Devil’s Advocate….or should I say, Walmart’s Advocate….

    True, but you and I both know that if you were to go to Walmart of Targe now, and push down on the bars, apply the brakes, or do anything to the bike, that it would either slip out of place, not work right and it may even have a flat tire.

    When you buy a bike at an LBS, it costs more because the bikes are assembled to the highest standard…even though the bike builder is some highschool kid. But the they usually have some sort of guidelines on how a bike should be built.

  9. RL Policar (Post author)

    I forgot to add that bikes cost more at the lbs because they don’t suck like the Pacific, Next, Triax or Mongoose brands you buy at WalMart or Target.

  10. Moe

    I’m not playing Devil’s advocate.. . I bought a Wally World bike for my 7 year old 2 years ago and I haven’t had an issue with it. I struggled with my decision, but I believe it was the right one. Now that she no longer needs training wheels she will be getting a ‘real’ bike.

  11. Mike

    My son TC is getting a bike for Christmas this year. Tomorrow, my dad and I are going to pick one out at the LBS (Berger’s Bikes, York ME). TC lives on a farm and is pretty rough on his bikes. Department store bikes don’t last a year–his cousin goes through a different one every season. Bike shop bikes (mainly Treks) have always lasted until he’s outgrown them.

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