There are few family activities as fun as a good bike ride. Between the satisfaction of a good workout, the exhaustion of a few hours in the great outdoors, and the freedom of the trail, a bike ride is a great way to enjoy the getting outside with your whole family.
But before you go, you need to make sure you’re properly prepared to ensure your fun adventure doesn’t go off the rails. Biking with kids requires a little more effort than biking with adults, so before you head out make sure you’ve got the following bases covered.
If you have a little one who isn’t riding a bike yet, check out these great tips for teaching kids how to ride a bike.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.
Six Tips for a Successful Family Bike Ride This Fall
Adjust your expectations. Before you head out on your first family bike ride, make sure you pack your patience. Don’t get upset with your kids for not keeping up, for complaining, or for needing frequent stops.
Biking with kids is a whole lot different than biking with adults, and their endurance is different, too. Expect that they might have trouble along the trip, and don’t let it frustrate you.
If you get easily flustered with your family while you’re out and about, they’ll quickly learn that biking isn’t fun and you’ll have trouble convincing them to take trips in the future.
Choose a flat route. You’re not going to be doing the Tour de France on your first family outing. You probably shouldn’t even attempt some low-grade hills.
If you want your family to be on board for this – and any future – adventure, pick a route that is as flat as they come.
Let your family fall in love with the idea of biking before you introduce them to the potential exertion.
Have the Right Gear. If you’re biking with kids, it’s more important than ever that you have the right gear for them. If you’re heading out with babies, make sure you have an infant seat or kangaroo seat.
If you’ve got toddlers or preschoolers, bring a bike trailer so you can throw both them and their bikes in the back when they run out of steam.
If you’re biking with young school-agers, a co-pilot bike trailer might be your best bet so they can feel like they’re biking along with the rest of the family without having to worry about their individual safety or be mindful of their low endurance level.
You’ll be amazed at how much more enjoyable your bike trip will be if you’ve got the right gear.
Have the Right Accessories. If you’re planning to bike with kids, you’re going to need to pack all of the extra stuff.
Your kids are going to get hungry and thirsty along the route, and you’re going to need to be fully prepared.
Identify a Destination. You might think you’re being super flexible by saying that you’re just going to “go as far as you can until you need to turn around.” However, your kids need a goal.
They need to know that there’s an end destination in mind where you’ll then begin the trek back. To avoid the nerve-grinding “are we there yet?” questions, identify a solid turn-around point so your kids know exactly what their goal is for your bike trip.
Make it Fun. You might be totally happy with the idea of getting in a good workout and a good family bike ride, but kids need a little more motivation than that.
Make your bike ride kid friendly by promising milkshakes at the end, incorporating a picnic mid-ride, or making the end point a super fun playground. Keep their needs in mind when planning your family outing and make sure they have something to look forward to, too.
Summing It Up
Biking with kids is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but it still takes a little bit of preparation to make it enjoyable for the whole family. Before you head out make sure you’ve got the right gear and accessories, and are ready to exercise patience with little ones who have less endurance than you; don’t expect that a family bike ride will look anything like a ride with your peers.
What tips do you have for people that want to start taking family rides with their kids? Share this with an adventurous mom that you know.
Jenny is a mother of two, a coffee addict, and a lover of the great outdoors. You can find her writing guides to swimming safety, parenting tips & more on her blog Mom Loves Best, or Pinning up a storm on Pinterest.