Inspiring The Next Generation
28 June 2022
Inspiring the cycling champions of tomorrow
Professional Cyclist Michael Mørkøv shares his story
There is no doubt that bike riding is great for your emotional, mental and physical health. Children experience fresh air and outdoor life, but most importantly, it’s a fun, free activity for all the family.
For some children, cycling is more than just for leisure and to commute to school or to see friends, some really feel the spark and want it to be a part of their everyday lives, and some even want to become pros!
Cycling can be a fantastic sport for children. It is very versatile and includes disciplines such as road, track and mountain biking so that every child can find the type of cycling that they can fall in love with:
Road cycling: for children that love to ride outside at high speeds with a group.
Track cycling: for children that love even more speed!
Mountain biking: for children who like the thrill of going up and down the hills and mountains and enjoy jumps
We asked Pro cyclist and Olympic Madison Champion, Tokyo 2020, Michael Mørkøv from Denmark to share his experience and inspire children to pick up cycling as a sport.
Image Credit: Instagram @michaelmorkov
Q&A with Michael Mørkøv
When did you learn to ride a bike?
I learned to ride my bike at the age of 3-4 years since it is very common for children in Denmark to ride their bikes to school or football practice. Cycling is part of your childhood.
Image Credit: Picture from MM with permission.
When did you join a club?
I joined in 1996 at the age of 11. My first club membership was with the Lyngby Cycle Club.
When did you participate in your first race and how was this experience?
In September 96, shortly after joining my cycling club,’ I did my first race, and I loved everything about it: the anticipation, the excitement of the day and measuring myself against the others.
How did you feel after winning your first race?
I felt great - it was a very nice feeling, but winning was never the primary motivation for me. It is always about self-improvement and getting the best out of myself.
What is your favourite cycling memory from your childhood?
To watch the Six-Day of Copenhagen, which is a track cycling event. I found it particularly fascinating to watch the speed that they cycled. I am very proud to have been very successful over the past years at this event that means so much to me, finishing first or second place from 2008 until 2019 when the last edition took place.
What made you choose cycling as a sport?
After watching the Six-Day of Copenhagen, I got inspired to ride myself.
What motivates you when training?
I thrive, always to get better.
Who is your sport’s hero?
My hero is the Danish football player Michael Laudrup.
What makes cycling a team sport?
Image Credit: Instagram @michaelmorkovIt is easy to think of cyclists as individuals. However, to win and achieve big results you need a team to help you. This is true for both road and track cycling.
What do you recommend to parents when their child wants to choose cycling as a sport?
Give them the support they need. To ensure they have the equipment needed and help them to participate. But let them find their own way.
Where can parents get more information about cycling as a sport?
In Denmark, The Danish Cycling Union is a wonderful place to start researching. Their youth section has a lot of information about starting cycling as a sport and will link you to your local clubs.
What do you look for in a children’s bike?
A children’s bike needs to be light and made for children. My children recently started riding Frog Road Bikes and they absolutely love the bikes and enjoy riding them a lot. I am happy to share my passion with them. My son rides the Tour de France™ special edition Frog Road and this reminds me of my yellow Tour de France™ bike from my youth. It has come full circle!
Michael Mørkøv’s children enjoying their brand new Frog Bikes. Pictures from MM with permission.
What do you do to support cycling for children?
I always encourage kids to ride a bike, even if it is only to school and back. It is a great healthy habit.
What lessons for life did you learn from cycling?
Work hard toward your dreams!
MM races together with Kristoffer Nielson who is now with the DCU. Picture from KN with permission.
Help your child become the cycling champion of tomorrow
Whichever discipline children choose, it is often the small things that help inspire them and help them feel enthusiastic. Be a role model for your child and ride together as a family or take them to cycling events either as spectators or participants. Adult cycling events often have activities for children so that the whole family can enjoy their time.
In Denmark, the DCU is running a series of children’s races - the BørneTour where children can dip their toe into the water.
Giving children a high-quality bike that is easy for them to ride will give them the confidence that they need and make cycling more enjoyable. Frog Bikes offers specialist bikes for children including; Road, Track and MTB disciplines.
And when they are ready to participate in their first race, check our blog on how to prepare for a race!