Going on a Family Bike Tour? − Keep These 11 Things in Mind
The benefits of planning family bike ride are aplenty! You and kids can have a great time during the ride, whether it’s through the city or the country. You should plan such tours as often as you can.
Things to Keep in Mind on a Family Bike Ride
To make your ride fun and exciting for the whole family, there are some things that you need to consider first. Here are some tips for making your family bike ride a memorable one:
Plan Your Route Wisely
The first step in planning a successful ride is choosing the right route. If you are traveling with kids, then you need to select a route that is free from people and traffic. It would be dangerous to bring them to a place where there are a lot of cars and pedestrians.
Also Read: How to plan long bike tours?
Furthermore, you should consider the kind of road you will travel on. Is it going to be a smooth ride all the way, or will you encounter some rocky terrain? It might be a good idea to check the place out before you bring your kids there.
Choose a Good Set of Wheels
If you are really serious about biking, then you know the importance of having a good set of wheels. For teenagers and adults, choose bikes that are strong enough to ride on any terrain.
These should also be strong enough to pull child trailers or trail bikes in case you need to attach them.
For young kids, consider whether they will be using a bicycle with training wheels or a balance bike. Young children who are just beginning to learn how to balance can ride better with training wheels. Meanwhile, older kids may be ready to try balance bikes.
Avoid Tandem Rides
If your kids are younger than 12, riding tandem with them is not a wise idea. For one thing, they will not be able to keep up with your speed. Remember that their legs are shorter than yours and you will not be able to pedal at the same speed.
Moreover, riding a tandem bike with young kids will only make them tired or even stressed. You can consider going tandem when your children reach their teenage years. But while they are young, then the tandem bike needs to wait.
Check the Weather Forecasts
Your family bike ride may be in the spring or summer but you shouldn’t rely on general weather patterns. You have to be attuned to the weather forecasts along your route and be prepared for changes.
Even on long bike rides, you must pack your panniers as lightly as possible. Your group should proceed along your route without worrying about heavy luggage.
But you should never forget these essential items, too:
You will be able to give pointers about the best ways to maneuver over various terrains. You can also make adjustments to their bikes based on their riding observations.
Discuss the Safety Measures Before and During the Ride
You cannot be complacent about safety on your family bike ride. You should discuss the safety rules before and during the practice runs. You should also remind the children about them during the ride itself.
The more you remind the kids about the safety rules, the more likely they will remember it. You should also be their role model by following these rules including:
When riding in traffic, everybody should keep to your side of the road. You should “shield” your children from overtaking vehicles by riding behind them. You can keep a little to their right to keep an eye on them.
When riding in off-road routes, you can let them roam ahead. You should still be able to see your children so that you can react to their actions straight away.
Everybody should be informed about the signals used for various situations. These include informing them of dangers ahead, stopping for breaks, and overtaking.
Set the Pace for the Group
You have to observe the pace of your group during your practice runs. Your group may be slower or faster now than in your last family bike ride. You can then set the pace for the entire group during the actual ride based on your observations.
The pace of your family bike ride should be based according to the speed of the slowest family member. You will enjoy the ride as a group and encourage everybody else to pitch in. You will also find that demoralizing the younger kids by leaving them behind isn’t a good idea.
Coordinate With Your Spouse
Bike riding is fun especially when the family is complete. And so, you need to plan ahead with your spouse. You should see to it that both of you are available on the date that you have set for the bike ride.
But if something comes up or your spouse cannot make it, then consider your options. If you only have one or two kids, then perhaps you can manage the trip alone. But if you think you won’t be able to handle everything, then you might need to move the trip for another date.
Take Short Breaks
During a long trip with kids, it is important to take a break every hour at least. Bring some paper and crayons, and plenty of light snacks. Riding continuously can be boring for young kids, so don’t forget to stop every now and then.
If you are familiar with the bike route, you can plan your breaks beforehand. You can stop at a famous landmark, snack shop, or a place with a nice view. On the other hand, you can always stop for breaks as you go along.
Bring along Some Music
In this age of portable speakers, you have the option to bring some music to make the ride a more pleasant experience. Just be sure to agree on the kind of music that you will bring. After all, you wouldn’t want to fight over what song to play on the road!
Take a Lot of Pictures
Of course, a family trip would not be complete without a camera. Don’t forget to bring your cameras along and capture unforgettable moments!
Planning a family bike ride can be stressful but once you’re on the road, you can say goodbye to most of your stressors. You and your family should just enjoy the bike ride with the knowledge that you’re together as a group.
Your main considerations should be a balance between safety and enjoyment for everybody – everything else is just secondary. These 11 things to know about family bike rides are general guidelines. You have to be alert for learnings unique to your own family situation.