The family that bikes together, stays together. Okay, maybe it’s not the cure-all for family togetherness, but it certainly can be enjoyable and it’s great exercise. Roaming the countryside together on bikes as a family can be lots of fun. Best of all, it’s cheaper than going say bowling.
There are some things you will need to keep in mind when you do take the family biking, though. So here are some tips to make your family biking trips more enjoyable.
Tips for Biking as a Family
- Keep in mind the ages of your children. If you have very young ones unable to actually ride a bike, then you’ll need a trailer attached to your bike or some other protective seat. Look for one appropriate and safe for the age of your child and do not forget the protective gear (helmet) for the kids as well. Get them used to it young.
- With younger children just learning how to ride a bike, you will want to pick a trail that will be easier for them to manage. A smooth paved road will be easier to navigate than sand, dirt, and rocks.
- If you’re going to go somewhere to ride your bike and not just joyride through the neighborhood, then check to make sure you find a family-friendly biking destination. Some places have age restrictions on who can bike down certain paths. It’s for everyone’s safety so don’t be alarmed.
- A tandem bike is a bike built for two. This is a great option for making sure you all stick together on a bike outing.
- Get your bikes ready before you go. You don’t want to get out there and discover someone has a flat tire or a faulty chain. So give your bikes a good once-over and tune-up before heading out as a family to go biking. The kids should be a part of this process, too, as they should know what to look for should a problem arise. It’s just another way to spend time together doing things as a family.
- Map out where you’re going before you go. This way someone who wants to forge ahead isn’t slowed down by a less experienced bike rider and the stragglers know where to meet up. Everyone should know the course you plan on taking and no one should stray from that course.
- Talk about the ground rules ahead of time. It isn’t really realistic to expect older children to ride slower with younger ones. Even on a family biking trip it’s okay for others to forge ahead, but tell them ahead of time they have to always be in sight or they can only go a certain distance ahead. Or make a meet-up spot where they have to wait.
- Use a buddy system if you want. One parent can stick with the older children and the other with the younger children.
- Be prepared. If you’re going to venture away from home, then there are certain things everyone should have on them. One person should not be in charge of carrying stuff for everyone. Each person should have his/her own water bottle. A small first aid kit should be carried by each person as well, containing band-aids, gauze, antibiotic crËme, ace bandage, something for blisters, and pain reliever.
- A cell phone or GPS device will be useful as well as a small bicycle repair kit for those just-in-case incidences that might happen. Parents should have extra socks, sweatshirts, water, snacks, and sunscreen for everyone in their bag.
- Biking as a family can be a really rewarding and fun experience, even with the very youngest members of the family. What better way to get out together in the great outdoors, see some really great sights, and exercise together? It makes for a healthy and happy family – especially when you plan ahead.