Fifties mom

Gee, What an Incredibly Unbiased, Totally Spontaneous Comment about the Exercycle!

UPDATE: ibbsekndaz
My bad for not noticing this note was written by a man, not a mom. And could it be he holds the patent?

Wow, this sure does seem like a regular ol’ mom just writing in about a toy — the Fisher-Price Exercycle we were discussing in yesterday’s post. I’m sure there was no corporate brand manager behind this at all!

Lenore and Naomi have lost touch with their inner child and apparently not studied on the subject of active/interactive/virtual learning.

It is well known that activity spurs a child’s endocrine system to produce Brain Growth Hormones (i.e.BDNF).  Smart Cycle IS genius because it ADDS to a child’s tools for learning.  Real bikes are terrific fun but a child must own one, know how to ride it and have a safe, paved area to pedal; knee and elbow pads and a hemut may be required, as well as a helmet and a supervising adult.  Furthermore, the weather must cooperate (rain, snow, heat, cold).

Smart Cycle’s compelling virtual content and aspirational bike form-factor makes for an exciting new platform for learning.  The child pedals to advance in a virtual learning environment, theyvare immersed, engaged and having fun while learning via on screen content and verbalized directives.  Children are also learning hand-eye coordination, balance and pedaling/steering maneuverers. There is a. confidence  a child enjoys controlling this learning system which grows their brain and solidifies this new ephemeral growth with neuroplastic events (establish a memory).

The Smart Cycle works with iOS and Android tablets and or OTT systems such as AppleTV, FireStick, Chromecast!  It can be used any time night or day, requires no adult supervision, and is especially effective for learners with ADHD or who are on the spectrum.

Read HUNDRRDS of positive reviews on Amazon as this is a more compact version of the hugely successful, award winning BlockBuster Smart Cycle launched in 2007!  Back then It was Innovative Toy of the Year and Educational Toy of The Year and won EVERY MAJOR industry  award while selling out and proving to be one of FisherPrice’s bestselling new products ever!

Parents can ration this fun and effective activity inducing system so children can read a book, play hide & seek, build with blocks or play make-believe if they prefer!

Like I always say, what a kid really wants is virtual content and an aspirational bike form.

And of course, what with the weather sometimes being hot or cold, they really shouldn’t go out at all.

This spontaneous comment, dashed off by some loving mom, made me realize just how much my kids missed out by not solidifying their ephemeral growth on an exciting new learning platform like the Exercycle.



This is more fun than a barrel full of (dead) monkeys!


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48 Responses to Gee, What an Incredibly Unbiased, Totally Spontaneous Comment about the Exercycle!

  1. JA January 18, 2017 at 9:00 am #

    I love that they threw in a few “typos” to make it seem spontaneous.

  2. diane January 18, 2017 at 9:03 am #

    Yeah, if it’s the same guy whose name comes up top when googled, he seems to hold the patent on it:

  3. James Pollock January 18, 2017 at 9:17 am #

    Yeah, the guy popped up, posted under his real name, and defended his work against what he saw as unfair criticism. What a loser!

    “…this sure does seem like a regular ol’ mom…”
    “…dashed off by some loving mom…”
    The guy posted under his real name. Do you get a LOT of regular ol’ moms who post under men’s names?

  4. Ater January 18, 2017 at 9:21 am #

    I recently picked up a toy stationary bike at a goodwill. Of course, it’s missing any key components like the actual games, but that doesn’t stop them from sitting on it and pedaling, which is apparently the greatest game ever.

    I’ve been feeling terribly for my kids the past few months. We went from living on nearly an acre, right next to a park and walking trails and all sorts of fun things, to an apartment complex with nothing. No yard, no parks, no trees to climb (we tried, management was not happy with us). Before we moved, the kids (2 and 3) would ride their bikes on the street in front of the house, or drag it to the grassy hill and go down as fast as they possibly could. Now they simply don’t have the same opportunities, so we do what we can.

    I understand the idea that kids should be free, but sometimes circumstances change. I’d rather kids sit on a bike and play video games than sit on the couch and do the same.

  5. ebohlman January 18, 2017 at 9:35 am #

    I love how the first listed disadvantage of a real bike is “the child must own one.” The exercycle avoids this how?

  6. Kelly January 18, 2017 at 9:44 am #

    HAHAHAHA! If this is the case: “have a safe, paved area to pedal; knee and elbow pads and a hemut may be required, as well as a helmet and a supervising adult. Furthermore, the weather must cooperate (rain, snow, heat, cold),” my children will never ever have a chance to ride their bikes. The only paved area they have to ride in is our street, they usually remember to put on the helmets they have but not always, and I live in Texas. It’s always beastly hot or raining. Oh well, I guess I need to toss that investment in an actual bicycle that provides actual exercise and feedback to their growing brains and plop them in front of a video game bicycle instead!

  7. BL January 18, 2017 at 9:53 am #

    “Real bikes are terrific fun but a child must own one”

    My first bike was a hand-me-down from an older cousin.

    “know how to ride it”

    That has to be learned the first time.

    “and have a safe, paved area to pedal;”

    No riding on dirt? Or is that unsafe per se?

    “knee and elbow pads and a hemut may be required,”

    Somehow I managed without knee pads (though not without knees) and elbow pads.

    What’s a “hemut”? Is that a helmet?

    “as well as a helmet and a supervising adult.”

    Apparently a hemut is not a helmet, since a helmet is mentioned in the same sentence. I spent very little time riding with a supervising adult. Or with a helmet. Let the helmet get its own bicycle.

    “Furthermore, the weather must cooperate (rain, snow, heat, cold).”

    I rode bicycles in all those kinds of weather, so I guess the weather was cooperating!

  8. Workshop January 18, 2017 at 10:13 am #

    I’m 90% sure there are FTC guidelines about this sort of thing. Namely, you need to list your interests if you’re commenting about your own product.

    So, if I was paid by FreeRangeKids, Inc, I can’t just pop up a review and say “FreeRangeKids is the best evah!” because I have a financial interest in FRK. I have to say “FRK is the best evah and I get commissions from them / work there / etc..”

  9. M January 18, 2017 at 11:16 am #

    Another expensive gadget with a short life span, that is intent on making parents feel guilty for not spending loads of (wasted) money on an “educational” toy.

    In no time, this will be sitting in the garage or basement, then you will try to off-load it at a yard sale for a fraction of the cost to some other sucker.

    1-Bikes are relatively inexpensive, and learning to ride one is a life-time skill. Bikes can also last a decades, and still maintain some re-sell value. My son is currently riding a bike that’s well over 20 years old and functions fine. And parts are easily available.

    2-Getting out of the house and exploring is a great learning experience.

    3-Poor weather also offers learning experiences as well as physical activity. I loved walking in the rain as a child. Snow and cold you can go ice skating, x-country skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding. Once again, the equipment is something you can pass down to other kids, or re-sell.

  10. delurking January 18, 2017 at 11:34 am #

    I think we should all continue to be assholes.

  11. Rae Pica January 18, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

    I had the same thought when I read his comment but didn’t take the time to research it further. Good for you for pushing back, Lenore…and kudos to those of you who looked him up!

  12. Cat January 18, 2017 at 12:15 pm #

    I live in MN. When it’s non-biking weather (under 30 degrees) I send them into the garage to pedal in circles. Problem solved.

  13. Belladonna & Aconite January 18, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

    I dunno, Lenore, if you Google the unique phrases in the post using quotes, the only page that comes up is this one. I think it is actually a spontaneous comment, even if a bit biased.

  14. Alanna January 18, 2017 at 12:34 pm #

    I actually think this is a good idea as long as this is in addition to the exercise and outdoor activity the kids normally get. It should not be used in place of outdoor exercise and activity.

  15. diane January 18, 2017 at 12:36 pm #

    It may be a spontaneous response as opposed to previously published, but the person who made the comment appears to also hold the patent. It’s a bit disingenuous to pretend to be “random reader” and not just proudly defend his product.

  16. Christopher Byrne January 18, 2017 at 12:36 pm #

    Funny, most of my “neuroplastic events” didn’t require my parents to spend $150.

    Even though this guy provides no support for his claims, that’s not the point. As I said yesterday, people will buy this for a lot of reasons. And his reasons sounds good. People buy posters of cats with funny sayings, too. And Jell-O. People will buy anything when it’s marketed.

    The real question that the original article raised and Lenore supported is whether or not this is necessary. And clearly, it’s not. But people buy a lot of things that aren’t necessary. It’s why we have a consumer economy.

    This, and the several other products like it coming in 2017, will be bought because they’re “on trend,” and parents will think it’s a good thing and worth their $150. They buy into the belief that this will somehow make their child superior or excel or whatever. Imagine if Shakespeare or Beethoven had had one of these! It might have been the thing that would have made them great! And what they might have done! Sadly, we’ll never know.

    We always have the right to buy things consistent with our knowledge and our values. Clearly, the people on this site are less likely to be duped by the gobbledygook this guy is writing. It’s almost completely at odds with the concept of Free-Range Kids. What’s sad is he doesn’t know how to frame his argument in a way that results in anything but derision from this audience. Foolish!

  17. John B. January 18, 2017 at 12:40 pm #


    “Real bikes are terrific fun but a child must own one, know how to ride it and have a safe, paved area to pedal; knee and elbow pads and a hemut may be required, as well as a helmet and a supervising adult.”

    Knee and elbow pads? A supervising adult? Ok, I get the “hemut” or I think he meant “helmet” because a helmet protects the brain which doesn’t heal if it’s damaged. But abrasions on the knee and/or elbow will heal. Of course knee and elbow pads would save the child the discomfort of the abrasions BUT how much more will we inconvenience the child to protect him from any sort of injury before he goes off on his bike? By law, we now need to put younger children in approved car seats before allowing them to ride in a car which is probably not a bad idea. So what’s next? Will we need to don them in body armor before strapping them in a car seat? Same with the bicycle. Is it a wonder why kids don’t ride their bikes anymore? Because they’ve got to prepare for battle before they can ride their bikes anywhere!

    Why does the kid need to peddle his bike on a “safe, paved area”? Heck, us kids used to ride our bikes on grass, on gravel, over bumps, you name it AND goodness gracious, don’t get me started on a supervising adult having to be with the kid anytime he rides his bike anywhere!

  18. delurking January 18, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    Hi Diane,
    He put his full name on the post, with a link to his company, didn’t he? Should he have added his C.V. in the text as well? Can we check your credentials to make sure you aren’t being disingenuous? No, I guess we have no way to do that, unlike with Prof. Holljes.

    There is lot of vitriol here for a product that has been on the market for 3 years.

  19. delurking January 18, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    Sorry, 10 years.

  20. En Passant January 18, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

    I would post a thorough analysis of this, but I’m too busy solidifying my new ephemeral growth with neuroplastic events, and making up smarmy buzzwords.

  21. BL January 18, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

    “It may be a spontaneous response as opposed to previously published …”

    If he routinely converses in marketing-speak, I’d hate to have a conversation with him. I can use words, but “verbalized directives”?

    I think I’ll go solidify some new ephemeral growth with neuroplastic events.

  22. diane January 18, 2017 at 1:37 pm #

    @delurking, he did include his name; I saw no links or mention of his company. Starting a comment with a simple, “I’m actually the person who designed this, and these are the reasons I think it’s brilliant” wouldn’t have been amiss.
    I don’t feel any vitriol or negative feeling of any sort, mostly a level of amusement. And some surprise, at not realizing that calling for a little fuller version of the truth = extreme level of outrage and indignation.

    I have (and probably still will) buy a lot of crap for my kids. I mean, advertising works, even when you know how it works, I for one am still susceptible to it. Full, ironic disclosure: my toddler is riding around indoors on his trike, watching TV because I have it on, as I type.. . (SMH at myself)

  23. Jane January 18, 2017 at 1:38 pm #

    Pray, tell, what is a hemut??

  24. BL January 18, 2017 at 1:45 pm #

    “Pray, tell, what is a hemut??”

    A male shemut? Your guess is as good as mine.

  25. Aliza Ellen Burton January 18, 2017 at 1:47 pm #

    And who keeps their TV on the floor anyway?!

  26. You can't have a stationary peloton can you? January 18, 2017 at 1:59 pm #

    So, my take on this as written under a funny editorial letter headline:

    “It is well known that activity spurs a child’s endocrine system to produce Brain Growth Hormones (i.e.BDNF).  Smart Cycle IS genius because it ADDS to a child’s tools for learning.  Real bikes are terrific fun but a child must own one, know how to ride it and have a safe, paved area to pedal; knee and elbow pads and a hemut may be required, as well as a helmet and a supervising adult.  Furthermore, the weather must cooperate (rain, snow, heat, cold).”

    Well, this only really works if you are visual learning only in the sense you can watch and then do without the time proven tactic of note taking and understanding mechanically as you do the learning module lesson. Not everyone can just watch and go. Some of us, including me, need to do it as the instructing professional does it to understand the STEM concepts that are thought of being taught. Therefore, written activity helps me learn as I am learning from the person teaching the material. Am I to be slighted because they discriminate against me and my learning style in this concept shown above and the other post? Back to the proverbial drawing board (which is now all computer aided anyway and could be done a stationary cycle). Can this new learning style here include a touch pad and stylis so I can do my written learning as I cycle away?

    What if the child is not a STEM type of person, but a history, literary, or social science type? Are they to be discriminated against also because there are no modules to teach them, but only STEM?

    I rode my bike in the rain, snow, sun, clouds, hot and cold weather, so I had to cooperate with it, it did not have to cooperate with me. I live in Mother Nature, she does not live in me. Therefore, dressing appropriately was required while peddling in the real world (while also learning value skills of what to do while in traffic with cars, people, cycles, etc).

    A paved area? I learned some of my greatest bicycles skills off of the pavement and on the unimproved trails and roads where balance had to be maintained through more work as I was riding. Every time I rode my bike like I was racing in a BMX or motorcycle race, I improved greatly balancing the bike when it was time for a quick reflex maneuver.

    Helmets are nice and maybe should be required for bicycle riding, but give the kid a true motorcycle helmet with DOT standards to protect their noggin. These pansy “bicycle helmets” are pretty but teach the kid about real safety and protection with a real helmet. The speeds the bicycle can achieve through human power is actually pretty good. You could teach the child about physics and F=ma on the stationary cycle and hope they don’t practice it in real life with a helmet on a paved street. Next thing, they will want to put governors on the bicycles to slow them down as the kids race each other because speed kills, force hurts, breaks bones and leaves scars.

    Pads?! Scars baby! You ain’t lived until you have scars for stories later in life! If you are going to have the kid wear pads, then you are only encouraging them to be more dangerous in their bicycle riding. Seen the bicycle parks where trick bikes are ridden? Dress the kid in full padded clothes with helmets as well so they appear to be gladiators in the end on bicycles! Wait! They will want to start jousting then!

    I don’t have to own a bike to ride one. I can borrow one if I am allowed to.

  27. Bryan Lubbers January 18, 2017 at 2:32 pm #


    Who is helmut?

  28. Yocheved January 18, 2017 at 2:40 pm #

    Does this bike come with a supply of Vitamin D? Sunlight is crucial for growing kids!

    OK, everyone who has a toddler who sits still all day, raise you hand. Yeah, I though not. This contraption is more to get busy kids out from under your feet, than it is to get them to move more.

    Besides, the fun of being on a bike, is that you are actually GOING somewhere. The forward movement is exciting. The use of core balance muscles is needed for proper left/right integration. By sitting on a stable platform, you never get that sensory input.

    I’m not clear on whether the child needs to keep pedaling in order for the games to work. If so, I can easily see a meltdown happening if the child’s legs are tired, but they want to keep watching. What if the child is not feeling well, but still wants his favorite games, but is too tired to pedal?

    Bottom line, this thing causes way more problems than it solves – and it isn’t solving any problems at all. Kids will move and learn given any opportunity. Chasing a bug, collecting leaves in the fall, pouring water into containers in the bathtub, if there’s a way to learn, kids will find it all on their own.

  29. Jess V January 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

    Riding your bike in the snow is the best. They even make skis you can attach to your wheels so you can sled/ski while sitting on your bike. My 4 year old had a blast with those after our last snow.

    (We bought ones from strider, as that’s the brand of my kid’s bike, in cause you are interested)

    I can imagine her sitting on an exercise bike, slowly pedaling looking at the TV with the blank stare she gives when her mind turns off.

  30. Donna January 18, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

    “Real bikes are terrific fun but a child must own one,”

    Does this toy magically appear in houses that want it on loan for free? I missed that in the other ad.

    “know how to ride it”

    This is a toy geared to 3-6 year olds. That is predominantly a trike, training wheels or balance bike audience. You really think that riding a tricycle takes some skill beyond pedaling that this doesn’t?

    “and have a safe, paved area to pedal;”

    Yes, children should ride bikes in a safe place. I’m not sure why paved is considered a necessity.

    “knee and elbow pads and a hemut may be required, as well as a helmet”

    Not sure what a hemut is considering helmet is also mentioned, but again 3-6 year old children. Why on earth would they need all this equipment to ride a tricycle? Downhill mountain biking maybe, but that seems a tad extreme for most of the 3-6 age range.

    “and a supervising adult.”

    3-6 year olds do tend to need supervision of some level whether riding a bike or playing on this toy. It is not as though you will go to the grocery store and leave your 4 year old home alone because he is playing on this toy rather than biking outside.

  31. lollipoplover January 18, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

    “Parents can ration this fun and effective activity inducing system so children can read a book, play hide & seek, build with blocks or play make-believe if they prefer!”

    I get to ration…fun??? Who knew!

    Activity inducing system? It sounds like a disorder.

    Fake plastic toys like this are probably fun for a few weeks, but like Christmas gifts that loose their luster, they soon become tripping hazards for adults walking in the dark.

    We have regular bikes. They get used for transportation and recreational rides all year (except snow and ice-but I like the suggestion to get skis for the bikes!). Kids on bikes tend to find more kids on bikes.
    Kids biking to TV set educational programs or “Activity inducing system” win the high score.

  32. EricS January 18, 2017 at 5:09 pm #

    ” Real bikes are terrific fun but a child must own one, know how to ride it and have a safe, paved area to pedal; knee and elbow pads and a hemut may be required, as well as a helmet and a supervising adult. Furthermore, the weather must cooperate (rain, snow, heat, cold).”

    Says who? When I was growing up, kids learned to ride bikes on their own. And once they did, they were riding around the neighborhood on their own. A bunch of us. One would even consider us a “biker gang”. lol No “hemuts”, no pads of any kind. And certainly no parents supervising us. Those that did come out, we left them in the dust. And we wouldn’t see them again till we got home before the street lights came on. Personally, I believe learning to ride a bicycle on your own, helps to develop the brain much more than apps. For one thing, you are using both mind and motor skills. Which anyone knows is very difficult to master when first started. To be able to figure out balance, speed, timing, and awareness all at once, is a feat on it’s own. Sitting in front of a tv playing an educational video game, no so much. There are no consequences. So the child doesn’t learn that. There are no physical enjoyment of exploring the neighborhood, and there is no interaction with other children.

    Yes, I agree that educational apps are a great tool in helping kids learn. But for me, real life learning, is far more important than academic learning. Not saying academic learning isn’t important. But my kids having common sense, reason, being able to pick up on queues around them will serve them much more in the real world than A is for Apple. And who says, they can’t learn the same thing when they are out and about. Whenever I go riding with mine (yes they ride ahead of me), I would have them stop periodically and teach them certain things that they haven’t seen or come across before. Last summer, we stopped by a creek. They hadn’t been. Got off our bicycles, and I let them explore. And answered their questions. They had a lot of them. Then I would grill them to what they just learned. I even taught them to be careful if they decide to ever go there again on their own. The consequences, the benefits, and when in doubt…avoid. Till you can figure it out.

    Math, and spelling won’t teach your kids to keep themselves safe and self sufficient. And won’t teach them to be common sense smart. Save the $150. Use it to send your kids to camp. And I’m not talking about Day Camp. I’m talking about real camp. Where they leave your sight for a few days, and learn what they need to learn about life, nature, and people around them.

  33. Beanie January 18, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

    Christopher Byrne, I do not appreciate you making fun of Jell-O.
    Jell-O is awesome, with or without hard liquor.

  34. James Pollock January 18, 2017 at 6:09 pm #

    “@delurking, he did include his name; I saw no links or mention of his company.”

    Go back to yesterday’s post, scroll down until you see the guy’s name. Notice that it’s blue? That’s because it’s a link to his company. You can click on it and see.

    There’s just no basis for claiming this guy was “pretending to be a regular mom”. He used his real name. His comment is full of academic verbiage.

    His defense of the product doesn’t make me any more likely to buy one than does the original article make me likely to condemn anyone who does.

  35. Chas S. Clifton January 18, 2017 at 6:21 pm #

    “exciting new platform.”

    Yup, that’s corporate-speak.

    On the plus side, Lenore, the p.r. flacks *are* reading you.

  36. jan smith January 18, 2017 at 7:38 pm #

    What a wooz! What’s wrong with going out the cold and rain on your bike?
    Jan Smith

  37. diane January 18, 2017 at 7:48 pm #

    @James, I had no idea that’s why some of the names were blue; thanks for clueing me in.

    I agree, he wasn’t trying to deceive anyone, but way to bury the lead, you know? If I were to walk up to a group at a party who was discussing a book that I happened to have written, and join the discussion (especially with glowing reviews of it!) I would certainly disclose that I’d written it.

    And I’m skeptical of some of the academic verbiage; it’d be interesting to have a developmental psychologist dissect it for us.

  38. James Pollock January 18, 2017 at 8:05 pm #

    ” If I were to walk up to a group at a party who was discussing a book that I happened to have written, and join the discussion (especially with glowing reviews of it!) I would certainly disclose that I’d written it.”

    To give the extreme benefit of the doubt, he may have thought that’s what he did when he included a website link with his posting. I’m pretty sure most people picked up that he was involved in the development and marketing of the product from his text…. it wasn’t hit-you-in-the-head obvious that this is “the” guy behind the product, but he wasn’t exactly hiding any cards, either.

    I think the criticism of the guy AND his product was a bit over-the-top… and I don’t exactly hold back on criticism when I think it is deserved, so that (hopefully) says something.

    I think I’m going to end with the statement that best expresses my opinion of the product AND the kerfuffle over it.


  39. Serena Milan January 18, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

    Remember in Superfudge when Fudge and his little friend actually learned to ride their bikes on the grass so that if they fell it wouldn’t hurt as bad or cause any scrapes or scratches? I taught my older son the same way. You don’t need to have a paved surface. Also, my kids walk or ride their bikes to school in all sorts of weather.

  40. MichaelF January 19, 2017 at 6:09 am #

    I could buy 2 or more bikes for the price of this “gadget”.

  41. marie January 19, 2017 at 9:57 am #

    “His comment is full of academic verbiage.”

    LOL. When I was a kid learning to ride a bike barefoot on gravel, we would have called it “bullshit.”

  42. Kesha January 19, 2017 at 10:04 am #

    So many people are bashing this, and the man who wrote in defense of it, but I don’t think this is a bad toy. I am a free-range parent, like you, and I grew up roaming freely, like you, getting into all kinds of scrapes. I also rode my bike in all kinds of weather. However, as a mom of 4, I can tell you that I would have LOVED to have a toy like this, especially for my oldest child, who is now 14 and still refuses to ride a bike and doesn’t even like to go outside. All of my children love electronics (what kid doesn’t?), and there have been studies showing how the brain learns best under certain circumstances (i.e. engaging body and mind simultaneously is one of the best ways a person of any age learns! The more senses engaged, the better!). I have boys who knew how to count and recognize numbers by sight by 18 months simply because of an app I allowed them to play with on my iPad. Yes, free-ranging is great, and I am an advocate and supporter for it! But so is electronic learning, which I am also an advocate and supporter of.

    Sometimes a parent cannot go outside with their 4-year-old to help them learn to ride a bike because they need to be inside with the infant or are busy working or something. Some kids don’t have room to ride a bicycle for fun whenever they feel like it. A stationary bike inside the home that the child can begin to use to learn how to pedal, steer, stop, etc. and takes the child on virtual adventures/explorations would be a great help to parents in these positions. In fact, to me it seems to ENCOURAGE free-ranging when they have outgrown the stationary bike. We should be viewing this bike as a helpful tool and teaching aide that helps get children to free-range bike-riding. Why would we trash-talk an inside toy meant for children too young to free-range (by themselves), anyway? It is for ages 3-6, fellow free-rangers, not 6-12. Let’s give them props for such an innovative way to encourage getting out and moving, and stop giving them a hard time.

    I am not affiliated with Fisher-Price or the Exercycle in any way. I am a free-range mom of 4 (ages 14, 8, 8,and 5). Our 14-year-old has been free-ranging since she was 5-6. Our “littles” (5-year-old girl and two 8-year-old boys) go out, by themselves, very regularly, and have been doing it since they were 4-5. The boys have learned how to ride their bikes and both now ride without training wheels/stabilizers. The youngest is still learning to ride. They all have friends all over our neighborhood, and frequently go out to play. However, when it is raining or super-hot (as it pretty much always is here in coastal Texas from May to October), they don’t really want to be out in it, and I don’t want the rain mess being trekked into the house any more than necessary. An inside option for them would be great in those times.

  43. Papilio January 19, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

    “Lenore [has] lost touch with [her] inner child” Hahaha – he clearly doesn’t know you… 😉

    I must have learned to ride a bike when I was 4 or 5 (don’t remember. Do know it was on tarmac – no soft landings for me :-E ). I have never worn any personal protective gear while cycling, except for one time with school when we went mountainbiking in a hilly area and were made to wear a helmet. Somehow I’m still alive 😛

    “Children are also learning hand-eye coordination, balance and pedaling/steering maneuverers.”

    How on earth do they learn balance and steering maneuvers on a *stationary* bike? You can’t learn that unless you can fall over!

  44. BL January 19, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

    “(i.e. engaging body and mind simultaneously is one of the best ways a person of any age learns! The more senses engaged, the better!)”

    So how is watching allegedly educational cartoons engaging? Learning numbers involves writing them out by hand among other things. That’s the M is STEM, which this thing supposedly focuses on.

    S=science – look at stars to learn astronomy? Use levers to begin learning physics?

    T= technology – how about programming a computer rather than staring at computer-generated cartoons? You don’t learn any more about computers by watching graphics than you do about agriculture by eating fast food.

    E=engineering – Build something? An Erector Set (are those still made?)

    M (already mentioned)

    It’s tough to think of anything meaningful other than basic arithmetic to present to this age group that’s more than a cartoonish attempt at “STEM”. That’s part of the problem. It promises to be educational and can’t deliver. Real bicycles don’t pretend to teach “STEM” but they do what they’re supposed to do.

  45. bee January 19, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

    Wait, wait, wait… Was this thing $150-? …and this is the good alternative for kids who don’t own a bike? I could just stop reading right there. Last bike purchased for my 4 y/o was $48- brand new at WalMart (on clearance). I could buy three clearance bikes for the price of this “educational system”. Ugh. I don’t even have to get into the why add to the screen time of the pre-k set argument.

  46. Tina January 20, 2017 at 8:42 am #

    Why would a kid need a “hemut” (whatever that’s supposed to be) and a helmet? And – do you really need knee and elbow pads to ride a bicycle? Living in Germany, I’m glad my daughter only needs a helmet (or hemut?) and off she goes…

  47. Papilio January 20, 2017 at 4:40 pm #

    Lenore – since we’re on the subject of learning how to ride – one well-known quote of yours is about ‘the day your dad let go of the handlebars’. So I tried to remember that day/moment, but honestly, I have no memory of it whatsoever. What I know is from Little Brother learning it and stories later on.
    So I wondered: do YOU actually remember that moment? How old were you? 🙂

  48. SKL January 22, 2017 at 3:50 am #

    He’s taking a big risk saying that the kid doesn’t need supervision when playing with this toy. Lawsuit city here we come!

    Also – that is BS that it teaches kids balance. Stationary bikes and training wheels teach kids lies about how an actual bike operates, making it take longer for kids to actually learn how to ride, and increasing fear for some kids.

    Unlike traditional kiddy activity, this bike neither encourages nor allows any intelligent thought regarding how to use one’s body, which is actually important at that age. There is one leg movement that is repeated over and over. Even doing yoga in front of a TV (what my kids & I used to do in inclement weather) is better than that.