When my brother and I were young, our family vacationed on Lake Erie. It was a tradition started on my dad’s side of the family that became a favorite family destination. Of all the things we did in Erie, bike riding was my favorite.
We’d rent bikes along the lake and I’d ride so fast I felt like I was flying. As a kid, it was just fun. Today as a parent, I recognize it as a fantastic chance to bond while enjoying the outdoors and creating lasting memories my children. I’m not saying jump in and commit 100%, browsing Edmunds for your next SUV to strap your family bikes to. But it’s definitely worth giving family bike riding a try!
Cycling with a toddler
You can’t expect a toddler to hop a bike and come with you. Though they will absolutely try because they’re crazy. Ditch the strider bike and use a bicycle trailer, where your child will be able to sit comfortably during the ride. Children up to 6-years-old will be comfortable in a trailer, and they’re best suited for city rides and flat surfaces.
Another option for small children
Let’s say you have a “I do it myself!” kind of kid like I did. Right, then they’ll insist on having their own pedals so look into child-mounted tandem solutions, which allow them to rest when their legs get tired, but it doesn’t stop the ride. Avoid uneven terrain, as your “I do it myself” kid won’t appreciate the bumpy ride.
Cycling with stabilizers
Bike stabilizers are a fantastic solution for children who may have the stamina but still lack the balancing skills. Every child has their own learning pace, so you might find confident 4 or 5 year-olds who are going around without training wheels, and older kids who still rely on them for confidence. And the best way to help your child learn how to handle their bike better is to plan long rides together! You can start with easy terrains and gradually move towards more challenging paths as they get more confident.
Cycling with a confident mini rider
When your child can manage their bike independently, the possibilities become endless. You can tackle longer distance and more challenging trails without worries. You know your kid best–what can they handle before having one of those infamous public meltdowns? When they’ve arrived at the place that is independence and confidence on their bike, that’s when their love of biking will truly blossom.
Biking is such a fun, easy way to spend time together as a family. Happy trails!