This Beginners Guide To Family Biking post was first seen on Thrifty Nifty Mommy. While sponsored, as always, all opinions are my own.
Are you wanting to get out there and start biking more but unsure on where or how to start? Well, I’m here to help! Family biking is a fun way to spend quality time together while also reaping the benefit of a little exercise. And since kids love being outdoors, it’s also a great way to incorporate nature into your day and enjoy God’s creations.
Beginners Guide To Family Biking
There are many things to consider when you introduce your family to biking and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. So we’re sharing some of our favorite tips and tricks to help your crew have successful biking endeavors so you can become a biking family!
1) Where To Begin? – Get Yourself A GREAT Bike!
We’re going to be completely honest here… one of the most important things about beginning family bike rides is to make sure that you, the ADULT, has a great bike. Because if you’re not comfortable and cruising without pain, you won’t be in the mood to take the family out. Personally, I’d love to be an avid biker but I’m just not. I never thought I could be. I get tired after several miles and then stop enjoying the experience. But to solve this issue, I’ve upgraded to an electric bike! The iZip Simi Step Through to be exact! And now, there’s hope that I just may become that biker I’ve always wanted to be!
While there are many types and styles of bikes to choose from, the quality does make a difference in how your bike will perform! If your new goal is to set your family up for long term biking, you will definitely want to consider buying yourself a high quality bike that will last for years to come.
iZip Simi Step Through – Makes Biking Life A Little More Fun!
The Simi Electric Beach Cruiser will help you fall in love with bicycling while getting you wherever you want to go—in style. You’ll be able to cruise for miles with the wind in your hair and a smile on your face as the SR Suntour Performance rear hub motor powers your hours of fun.
The Simi’s handling is relaxed yet confidence-inspiring, and the awesome design allows you to put your feet on the ground without getting off the saddle. It features seven gear speeds, accessed on the right handlebar for easy adjusting.
As you ride, you’ll quickly find this is one of the best quality entry-level electric comfort cruisers available. Just compare the motor, components, and style to other e-cruisers and it’s easy to see the Simi’s incredible value. The easy to use and read LED display features a small LCD window for numerical feedback on speed and also a battery level indicator. Located on the left side of the handlebar, it’s easy to access.
Featuring a top speed of 20 mph, the iZip Simi is a high-quality cruiser style bike featuring a beautiful custom-built frame, semi-integrated removable battery, plus modest power. As you pedal, the motor kicks in to give you just enough boost and oomph to keep you cruising along with ease. Because there is no throttle, the range on this bike is longer than most others, up to 60 miles.
Easy to charge and use, after cruising the bike trails with my family, I can’t say enough great things about this bike! For the first time ever, I arrived back home refreshed and exhilarated as opposed to exhausted and weak. If you’re on a budget and looking for an electric bike that’s comfortable to ride, easy to operate, and is definitely high quality, the iZip Simi is for you.
2) Got Littles? Get A Bike Trailer!
If you have a baby, don’t count your family out just yet! As soon as your little one can hold their head up, family biking can commence! I highly suggest you find a high quality bike trailer you can pull behind your bike. Burley has some great options including their D’Lite X and Cub X. They are available in single or double options. Including your little ones helps kids experience and enjoy the fun that family biking offers, even at a young age.
3) Toddlers Love Bike Seats
Another fun alternative for babies and toddlers is a bike seat. Mounted bike seats can be found in both rear or front/handlebar mounted options. While the front mounted option gives kids a better view, rear mounts tend to come with more functions and options to choose from. When making your decision, be sure to consider your child’s age, weight, height, and how long you plan to use. You can check out my Polisport Bike Seat Review to get started.
4) Tagalongs For Kids Who Aren’t Quite Ready To Keep Up On Their Own
Once your child reaches the age/stage where they REALLY want to bike and pedal on their own, it’s time to consider the next step. Some great options are the Burley Kazoo or Burley Piccolo. These trailercycles feature a high arc hitch so you won’t have to worry about the bar rubbing against your back tire or causing any issues. The quick attach and release also makes them a top favorite of many. Once you go Burley with your trailercycle, you’ll NEVER go back to anything else.
5) When Is It Time To Introduce My Child To Their Own Bike?
First, I want to say there is no magical age where every child should be on their own bike. I do, however, recommend beginning when they start walking by introducing a balance bike.
As for biking on their own, there are many factors to take into consideration. We all know that every every child is very different. While some kids will just hop on their bike with no fear or reservations, others may be a little more hesitant to begin bike riding…but that’s okay! As a matter of fact, our oldest had zero interest in biking and didn’t even learn how to ride till she was 10! (Although we didn’t do much family biking when she was younger either. So this made me realize how important it is to start when the kids are babies.) She was always a reluctant biker and the biggest key is patience. Now, she’s 15 and LOVES biking. She’s typically one of the first ones to suggest a family bike ride and gear up so we can head out.
6) Bike Sizes
One thing that gets overlooked often is the fact that every family member should be sized for the correct size bike. It’s actually one of the most important things you should do!
Since height can vary drastically from child to child and adult to adult, be sure to take time to measure both the height and inseam on each family member. Also, take into consideration age (for children). Most bike websites have a size and age chart for reference when shopping for bikes. However, if you still have questions, be sure to reach out to the company directly for advice on which bike and size would best suit your needs.
7) The Best Way To Keep Your Family Safe – Helmets Are NOT Optional
From the very beginning, aka- Day 1-, be sure to reinforce the importance of safe biking. This includes wearing helmets, every time you get on your bike. There are plenty of statistics and research that show how helmets have saved lives. So I suggest a ‘helmets are not optional’ rule. No helmet = no biking.
Also very important is making sure the helmets fit correctly. Our local police department typically has a yearly bike helmet fitting and giveaway. So kids can visit and receive a new helmet that has been fitted to them by an expert. Check around your city as maybe you’ll be able to find an event near you.
8) Biking Etiquette
We all know there are many rules to driving a car but biking comes with rules too. Before heading out for the first time, be sure to sit everyone down and cover the rules and etiquette of biking. Some examples are:
- Bike on the right side of the road (or trail).
- Go over proper passing etiquette.
- Cover when to yield to others.
- Practice crossing roads safely with bikes.
9) Pre-Ride Safety Checks
One final task before heading out on your family bike rides is to do a pre-ride safety check. Teach the entire family to do the ABCDE Pre-Ride Check system (Air, Brakes, Cranks & Chain, Drop and Energy). This will give you peace of mind when out on the trail as there’s nothing worse than realizing someone is low on air once you’re a couple miles out. Topeak has some great bike accessories to help you ensure your bike is up to speed as well as to help with minor fixes along the way.
10) Where To Ride
Planning is part of the fun! If you have trails near you, be sure to hit those up first as you discover your family biking dynamics. If not, ask families in your community where they ride. You can also check local park offices for suggestions. Be sure to consider distance, mileage, and terrain before making your selection. But don’t underestimate your younger kids, as they will most likely surprise you at how much stamina they will have once you get out!
Beginners Guide To Family Biking – Final Thoughts
If you are doing the research to begin family biking and have a desire to make it work, it’ll happen. There are definitely some financial investments involved but the memories you will make are absolutely worth it!
Tell me, what are your biggest obstacles to beginning biking as a family? If you have any tried and true tips, please share in the comments.