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How To Go on a Long Bike Ride With Kids

In recent years, several suburbs, towns and cities have created new bike-routes within their borders as a means to provide safe spaces for cyclists. At the same time, recreationally-minded groups have worked to form vast miles of smooth limestone and dirt trails nationwide. These developments expand opportunities for family bike rides that can include all ages. However, how do you prepare kids for relatively long days cycling, either as a passenger or pedaler? If you want to be sure your young child can stay on the saddle for a few hours, get into gear with these child-friendly cycling tips. 

Situating the Youngest Passenger

If you are planning to take an infant on a ride, age becomes the primary factor in whether you and they are ready for the first journey. You can place older infants in a trailer that you pull behind your bike if you are comfortable and they are physically ready. You should choose relatively smooth surfaces to avoid too much head jostling, and you should practice pulling the empty trailer several times before your baby’s first ride. Keep in mind, good comfort bikes can help you dramatically increase your trailer-pulling mileage. 

Carrying the Toddler

An older child may enthusiastically sit in a kids bike seat; options include those that attach to your handlebars, the middle of your bike or behind your seat. Any one of these seats can be a platform for creating a wonderful shared cycling experience. These choices require that your passenger has sufficient neck strength to keep the head stable and wears a helmet. And as with the trailer, practice riding with the bike seat empty initially.

Pulling the Young Child

As your child grows and develops leg strength, bump your cycling partner up to a co-pilot bike arrangement. Co-pilots, which look like bikes with the front wheel and fork removed, attach to the adult rider’s seat post. Because you pull these appendages, your child can pedal as much or as little as desired while keeping up. You can teach and encourage proper cadence, and your child will gradually adjust to sitting on a bike seat for an extended period of time. 

Riding With the Older Child

At some point, your child will be ready for the next bicycling stage. Whether you are considering hybrid bikes for sale or already have a comfortable cruiser, you can choose a kid’s model that can go the distance with your own cycle. To make sure your child can partner with you and other older riders on a long ride, follow some preparation guidelines:
  • Fit the bike appropriately to your child’s size
  • Purchase a multi-gear bike for hilly conditions
  • Teach proper pedaling cadence
  • Build endurance by systematically increasing distance
  • Pack water and snacks for any lengthy rides
The goal is to ensure your child embraces cycling without facing significant frustration along the way.
Bicycling is a natural family activity. It provides exercise, recreation and bonding experiences within a fun framework. If you manage cycling appropriately during each stage of a child’s development, you can ensure your youngsters will remain enthusiastic about family cycling for years to come.

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