As parents, I think we’ve all been there before. We plan a fun outing with our children, we hype it up to be the most exciting part of the week, and then it turns into a disaster. I remember one time we took our kids to a local wildlife preserve. They were so excited to get out and enjoy hiking but the minute we got there they started complaining about the bugs….and the dirt….and just about anything else they could complain about. At least, it seemed that way!
As you gear up for your next family bike trip, I can’t guarantee this list will help keep the complaints at bay, but it will surely help! Here are my 10 best tips for successful and fun family bike rides!
The Best Tips for Family Bike Rides
1. Make Sure Everyone Has a Bike That Fits Them Well
Going on a long (or even short) bike ride can get rather uncomfortable if you don’t have a bike that’s the right size for you. Make sure that everyone has a bike for their correct height and that the seat is adjusted accordingly. This will go a long way in keep complaints at bay!
2. Make Sure Bikes are in Good Repair
No one wants to start riding only to find out their tires are only halfway filled with air or ride on a seat whose cushion has seen a better life. Check out everyone’s bikes before heading out to make sure they are in tip-top shape!
3. Wear Helmets
This seems like a no-brainer (no pun intended) but I still see people out on their bikes without helmets. They aren’t very expensive and they are SO important! I have purchased helmets from Amazon before for less than $10! Even if you can’t find them that cheap, you should be able to find them for under $20 a piece. Make sure everyone’s helmet fits them well too before hitting the road (or trail).
4. Apply Sunscreen
No one wants to come home with sunburn! It leads to a lot of discomforts plus contributes to your chances of acquiring skin cancer. It is SO important to apply sunscreen before you go out in the sun. If you don’t want to use sunscreen, you could opt for full coverage sun shirts.
5. Adequately Prepare For the Youngest Riders
Will you be bike riding with a child under the age of 4? If so, you need to make special precautions. They will tire easily, so if the bike ride will be very long, you’ll want to take a bike trailer for them, like the Burley D’Lite X, Joovy Cocoon X2, or the Zumu. Another option would be a child’s seat that you mount directly to the bike, like the Polisport Groovy RS Plus Child Bicycle Seat or the WeeRide Kangaroo Child Bike Seat.
If your child has a good amount of energy and is old enough to ride, consider a bike with training wheels for him or her, like this 16″ Hot Wheels Bike or this 16″ Barbie Bike, both from Dynacraft. This 12″ Thomas and Friends Bike is a great choice for even younger kids. For the youngest rides, a balance bike is a great way to begin learning, like this Bicycoo Balance Bike from Joovy.
6. Apply Bug Repellent
Nothing ruins a bike ride quicker than a bunch of mosquito bites, gnats flying into your eyes, or bugs flying into your mouth. Yuck! Find some good bug repellent. Babyganics makes a great, natural bug repellent for little ones.
7. Start Out Slow
Don’t plan to take a 10-mile bike ride on your first trip out. Start small, maybe with trips around your neighborhood, initially and then work your way up to longer and longer bike rides as a family.
8. Wear Comfortable Clothes and Accessories
Make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothing for your bike rides. Make sure you wear quality sneakers and not flip flops! Also, wearing sunglasses will help keep the sun out of your eyes.
9. Accessories Your Bike
There are lots of great accessories you can get for your bike to make the trip more enjoyable! Topeak offers some great accessories that any bike riding family should check out! You can find things like baskets, cellphone holders, and so much more to customize your bike to suit all of your unique family needs!
10. Stay Hydrated
It is so easy to dehydrate and that’s the last thing you want! Pack water and drink frequently! It’s a good idea to set an alarm reminder and then everyone can stop together and drink water. There are so many great water bottles out there, you’re sure to find one that suits your style!
With these tips, your family will have a great bike ride, making memories and sharing laughs and smiles along the way, while also getting valuable exercise!
Here’s a list of some of our favorite bicycle products you should check out!