Biking with kids | The Ultimate Guide
Kids love biking and doing with family and friends will only make the experience more enjoyable. Biking offers numerous benefits for families. It's an active form of exercise that gets you out in the great outdoors, helps your family get to know their community better, and is fun! Most importantly biking creates quality time together sharing the activity you love. If this sounds like something your family might be interested in, don't worry, biking with kids doesn't have to be intimidating or frustrating at all! Here's how to get started:
Get the right gear
It can be overwhelming setting up a biking trip when you're not sure what gear is necessary or even viable for young children. But do not fret, biking as a family does not require any large investment or too much training. You do however have to get yourself and your kids the right gear to be safe. Here are the gears you and your child should be wearing:
This is the most important of all gears you and your kid should have. It protects your head and face from injuries should you fall or collide with another biking rider.
The helmet is especially important for the biking-as-passenger child because they do not have control of biking direction or speed, so much more care needs to be taken when biking as a passenger.
Be sure to fit helmets correctly on both adults and children: Make sure the chin straps are buckled and tightened snugly without being too tight (a finger's width distance between chin strap buckle and chin). It should be adjusted so that it does not move sideways or backward once buckled.
These protect hands from friction burns, blisters, callouses, aches, pains, etc. These gloves also gives your hand a better grip which helps control steering and braking much easier.
Dressing for weather is always important no matter what you are going to do. It is the same when you and your kids are going to go bike riding. Dress to be seen. When biking at night or early in the morning, wear bright clothing so you can be seen by motor vehicles and others around you. Wear clothes made with reflective tape.
Knee pads and elbow pads
Knee pads and elbow pads will help to keep knees and elbow from getting hurt. These are especially important when biking on rough terrains. Knee pads and elbow pads provide added protection to your kids while biking.
Snacks and Refreshments
Biking will usually tire anyone. This is why you should bring along some snacks and refreshments. It will keep your kids energized so you can continue biking for a ngood amount of time.
Bike repair tools
Tools that are needed to help fix a bike should be brought along with you when biking with kids. This is to ensure that any unexpected accidents or problems can be taken care of immediately and effectively.
If bringing kids, bring more than one bicycle for each child so there isn't fighting over who gets to go first etc.
Bringing multiple bicycles is also important because they often get lost or broken during biking trips. This way, if something happens to one of them, you've always got another one ready for use.
Practice safety while biking
The first thing you should teach your child about biking that safety comes first. Bikes are not toys that are to be ridden without supervision, even if you're biking with kids. You should practice good biking habits like always checking behind and understanding (and enforcing) the proper hand signal for stopping.
In order to ensure that biking remains a fun, safe activity between you and your child, it's important to establish these rules of biking from the first time they ride:
- Parents are in charge at all times while biking.
- All hand signals and rules of the road should be used while riding.
- Bikes need regular maintenance and repair so parents must check on this regularly.
- Riders should ride facing traffic and not facing away from traffic.
- Stay close to each other. Never ride too far away from others.
- Never wear dark-colored clothing while you ride. Drivers and regular pedestrians should be able to see you from a distance.
Choose routes that are kid-friendly
Remember that adults are usually more energetic and stronger than kids. This means that an adult will be able to ride for much longer without getting tired. You have to keep this in mind as your kid might start to hate bike riding if biking is too tiring.
The best way to prevent biking from being too tiring for kids is by choosing routes that are kid-friendly. Kids can have fun biking even on short and easy rides. Here are some kid-friendly biking tips:
- Choose roads that allow biking: avoid busy streets and choose quiet side streets with less traffic.
- 2.) Find roads away from heavy automobile traffic. If you have no choice, try to find streets without a lot of intersections or stoplights so that biking will be easier for your child.
- Keep the distance between bikes short, preferably around 10 feet . Your child should be able to see you easily. This will keep them calm when they're tired because they'll know where you are at all times.
- An adult should lead the ride as they will be able to read the surroundings and keep the ride at a safe pace.
Trailer Bike For Kids
For kids that are too young to ride their own bike, biking with a bike trailer (or, in biking jargon, "trailer-bike") is the best option. Bike trailers are designed for kids 2–8 years old and can even hold up to 100 pounds of weight as passengers or cargo. Trailer biking has many other great benefits:
If your child wants to stop riding but you want to keep biking, they can hop out and walk around while you continue biking. This also allows for biking with multiple children who may want different things on the same ride. Have one kid sit in the trailer while another rides their own bike! The trailer bike will also help promote biking when it's too cold/wet to bike yourself without getting soaked.
Find friends or family to ride with
Kids will enjoy riding more if you invite friends or family on your rides. Set up biking playdates and biking outings with friends or family. Riding with others will help you spend more time biking as a family despite busy schedules, it also gives kids an example of how much fun biking can be when they see other people doing it.
Biking with kids is a great and wonderful experience for the whole family but biking with kids also requires extra vigilance and caution. When biking with children keep an eye on them at all times so you can avoid any potential hazards which could result in injury or worse. Be aware of your surroundings when biking as well; it's easy to get lost in conversation while biking with kids, but being attentive will allow you to react quickly should your child need assistance.