When You’re Way Bigger Than Your Bike

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

When You’re Way Bigger Than Your Bike

June 19, 2017

What the heck is this guy doing? He’s riding the world’s smallest bike. Usually when people break bike-riding records, it’s for riding really fast or really far. But not this bike! Most bikes are 4-5 feet long, while this bike is only about 12 inches long. The 2-inch wheels are almost as thick as they are wide, otherwise the rider would tip over. As we see in the video, the man really does turn the teeny pedals with his feet to ride. It looks silly, and it’ll take him a long time to get anywhere, but it still counts as a bike ride.

Wee ones: What shape is a bike wheel? Can you find that shape in your room?

Little kids: If a regular bike is 5 feet long and this one is only 1 foot long, how much longer is a regular bike?  Bonus: If the bike can hold up to 200 pounds without breaking, can you piggyback on a 100-pound person to ride it?

Big kids: If you can ride to school in 10 minutes on a regular bike, but it takes 10 times as long on the teeny bike, how long does your ride take now — in hours and minutes?  Bonus: In the world’s highest bunny hop on a bike, Rick Koekoek popped up 4 feet 8 inches. If the world’s teeniest bike can hop only 1/4 as high, how high can it hop?

 

 

 

Answers:
Wee ones: A circle, or in 3D, a “torus.” Circles in your room might include buttons or clock faces.

Little kids: 4 feet longer.  Bonus: Different for everyone: if you weigh 100 pounds or less, then yes!

Big kids: 100 minutes, which is 1 hour 40 minutes.  Bonus: 1 foot 2 inches, or 14 inches.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking while still in diapers, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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