This summer why not go out on a family bike ride and enjoy the great outdoors? If it’s something you’re new to, we’ve got some top tips.
Choose where you’re going ahead of time
The best places for where to ride as a family depend on experience of your children. If your young ones are yet to clock up the miles, a park or car-free cycle trail may be best. That way everyone feels safe and in control and can you can all spend time enjoying the ride. If your planning on cycling on the roads, plan your route based the type of roads that suit your family and how far the smallest legs can go.
Whilst we have some local places, such as the Greenway, a train or car journey may in order before your start your days cycling. Think about whether your existing cycle carrier can serve all the family bikes, or whether you need to order something ahead of your day trip. We can talk to you about what fits your car and order a cycle rack or cycle carrier in especially for you to collect from store a few days later (subject to availability).
Check the weather
When there’s a light wind, the strength of the sun may not be quite so noticeable, so make sure everyone is protected with sun cream before you head off, or pack an emergency lotion.
Check the Bikes
Check tyres for wear, damage and pressure, pumping up the tyres to the correct pressure if needed. Check the brakes are in good working order and check to see whether the seat post needs adjusting if your child has had a growth spurt since they were last on their bike.
Pack for your day out. Essentials include
- puncture repair kits including a tyre lever and patch kit
- spare inner tube,
- lightweight pump
- mini first aid kit
- hand sanitiser
If you’ll be leaving the bikes anywhere, make sure you pack cycle locks. Cash and phone are must have essentials too!
When you’re cycling for longer than normal, consider cycling shorts for additional comfort. We find lightweight layers are best so that you can easily adapt to the ever changing weather. If there’s any chance of rain, pack waterproof jackets! Sunglasses can be handy too. And of course, don’t forget the essential cycle helmet for every member of the family.
Cycling can be hungry work, so pack plenty of snacks and plan what you’ll have lunch. Pack plenty of drinks too to keep everyone hydrated. Handy bottle cages fitted onto all your bikes means water is easy to access and that there is one less item in the backpack.
Let your children set the pace
You may be used to cycling fast and for miles, but for little legs, frequent breaks are often called for. So set the pace of the ride based on the smallest legs and stop often to give everyone a chance to refuel and enjoy the view. It’s the best way to create fond memories of spending some quality time outside, and the best way to get them to agree to the next bike ride.
Enjoy the ride
With a little preparation, a day trip cycling as a family can build lots of memories and introduce a love for the great outdoors, as well as filling a day of the long summer holidays. It’s never about the miles in the early days, but if you take a cycle computer you can celebrate how far you’ve gone and go over the route you took.
Enjoy cycling this summer.