A family bike ride is the ideal activity = on a warm, summer day — it helps your family bond while providing all the benefits of exercise and fresh air. Riding bikes together as a family while your children are young is so important, as it’s a formative skill that has the potential to positively impact your child. Even if your little ones are a bit too little to pedal on their own, they can tag along in a seat on your bike and still have a great time! Before you head out on your family bike ride, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Biking as a Family Should be Fun
There are lots of things to think about, and many moving parts, but at the end of the day, the goal is to leave everyone feeling uplifted, rejuvenated, and looking forward to the next excursion. The more you prepare ahead of time, the easier accomplishing this goal will be! Do as much as you can before you leave to make the ride a smooth and safe experience, that helps you all bond as a family.
Biking Safely as a Family
Safety is one of the most important factors to consider when preparing to go biking with kids. Here are a few things you can do both before and during your ride.
1. Review basic skills and braking techniques with your little ones before heading out.
2. Encourage your younger or more inexperienced riders to use all of their senses, such as sight and hearing, to stay alert. Make sure they also remember to enjoy their surroundings!
3. Stop for a treat during your ride to keep little ones encouraged.
4. Notice if your child is overheating. If so, consider finding some shade and taking a pause.
5. Ensure your children are drinking plenty of water throughout the ride.
6. Stay positive and flexible in the event something doesn’t go to plan.
Just these simple things can help make a huge difference in your family bike riding experience!
How to Ride a Bike With a Baby
If you’ve got very young children, such as babies or small toddlers who aren’t yet big enough to ride their own bike, consider getting a bike seat. This can be placed either on the rear or the front of your bike. When choosing a seat, make sure to get one that supports them fully. The child should be able to have good head and neck control. Also, make sure that the weight and height limit of the seat is correct for your little one, and that they are wearing a helmet the entire time.
Prepping the Biking Equipment
It may be helpful to make a checklist that you can go over as a family before your ride, to ensure everything is working properly, and that you have everything you’ll need while you’re gone. Here are a few items you should include on your list:
1.ABCs - Air (in the tires), Brakes (functioning properly), and Chain (oiled)
2. Helmets - confirm that they fit snugly on all members of your family
3. Seat height - A child’s feet should just be able to touch the ground when standing on their bike
4. Clothing - make sure you and your little ones are dressed appropriately for the weather
5. Sunscreen, water and snacks
6. First aid kit, just in case!
Traffic Tips for Family Bikers
Wherever you choose to bike, there will most likely be others on the road. Whether this is other bikers, pedestrians, or cars, it’s important to prep your little ones, and take safety precautions to avoid injury. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Choose an appropriate terrain for your child’s skill level.
2. Try opting for a short ride around the block before your big ride, to help your children break in the equipment and practice riding as a group.
3. Remember that bikes are vehicles, so always obey traffic laws.
4. Wear bright colors and reflectors to make yourselves visible to other traffic.
5. Ride in a single file line, with the flow of traffic.
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Now you’re ready to head out on your biking adventure! Remember, it’s never too early to start getting your little ones ready to ride a bike. Just remember to be safe, and have fun. Happy cycling!