Tips for Summer Bike Rides with the Kids
The long days of summer are a fantastic opportunity to get out and enjoy a bike ride with the kids. Whether you’ve been inspired by Le Tour de France, or fancy something a bit more leisurely, the whole family can enjoy cycling together.
You’re never too young to go on a family bike ride!
If your children are too young to pedal themselves they don’t need to be left out of a family bike ride. Trailers, bike seats and tagalongs are all great ways to enjoy cycling together – and cycling is a great way to lose those final post-pregnancy pounds!
Balance Bikes are a great way to get your kid ready to ride themselves, as they teach balance and co-ordination from the age of 3. The distances might be short, but they’ll be great fun!
Once your child can pedal, they’re able to join in short, traffic-free family bike rides themselves. A cycle hitch can be useful to attach them to your own bike when their legs get tired, or you need to go on road.
Once your children have progressed beyond their first bike, then you can start to consider longer and more adventurous rides by increasing the length of your bike ride each time.
Learning to ride on the road
When they reach Year 5, your child can take part in Level 2 of the Bikeability scheme, which teaches basic road awareness skills. Level 3 covers more complex situations, and is aimed at secondary pupils. Don’t forget Bikeability also do lots of adult courses, ideal if you’ve never learnt to ride yourself, or need a quick refresher course.
There are a growing number of companies and charities providing adaptive cycles, meaning everyone can enjoy the sense of freedom that comes from cycling.
There’s more to cycling than your local cycle path
There are so many types of cycling for your kids to try, including mountain biking, cyclo-cross, track and road cycling. Go Sky Ride organise events for families, including races, rides and lessons.
Try before you buy
If you’re not sure whether cycling is for you, or you know you won’t cycle that often, there are plenty of places to hire bikes and accessories for all ages. A phone call beforehand to reserve the right size is a good idea.
Get help and advice at every stage
Your local bike shop is a great place to get advice, from the best bike for your child through to family friendly routes nearby. They can also give your bikes a maintenance check if they’ve been languishing in the shed all winter.
Thank you to Cycle Sprog for putting together these great tips. Cycle Sprog is a website devoted to family cycling, with advice on cycling with young children, product reviews and route ideas. Cycle Sprog is written by parents, for parents and is a great place to find inspiration for your next ride.
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