What to consider when cycling with children
Cycling can be fun. And just because you are a parent, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it with the whole family. After all, bikes do come in kiddy sizes too!
Although taking your kids out on a ride may seem like something so easy, there is a lot of thought that needs to go into to ensure that you and your children are ready.
When it comes to kitting out your child with their biking gear, you need to make sure it fits. You need to choose the correct bike and frame for their size. You can find out what size you’ll need here.
To keep your child protected, you’ll also need to invest in a good quality helmet that fits snug on their head.
Just like you would normally, you should dress your child appropriately. If it is summer, try to dress your child in lightweight, long sleeved clothing to prevent sunburn. Also try to cover their neck as much as possible as that will burn quickly.
In winter, you should wrap your child up as much as possible. Dress them in multiple warm layers, a scarf, gloves and waterproof. You should also consider a balaclava to keep their ears warm.
If you are taking any kids that don’t know how to ride a bike or are too young, you can get bike trailers and child seats that you can attach to adult bikes. With a trailer your child can just sit and be towed the entire time, ideal for any toddlers or smaller children.
A child seat, a small seat that attaches to the back of an adult bike, tends to be cheaper than a trailer and requires less leg and lung power from the person cycling.
When in a group, you should try to communicate as much as possible. This will help keep you, and the rest of the group as safe as possible. You should try to constantly talk to your kids to see if they are okay or if they need to stop. If you are the rider at the front, you should also warn everyone if there is any upcoming traffic such as walkers or other cyclists. That way, the rest of the group can prepare for if they need to stop or move out of the way. Similarly, if you are at the back, you should warn the rest of the group if there is anything coming up behind you.
Food and water
If you are planning on going on a long ride, or out for the day, it is a good idea to take some snacks and water, or even a full picnic, with you so you can stop off and refuel.
Choose the right route
When cycling with kids, you have to be more thoughtful when choosing your cycle route. Your children won’t have the same stamina as you, so they won’t be able to go on long and difficult routes. Instead, plan routes that are shorter and flatter – parks are perfect for this.