Can’t think of a better way to spend time with the kids, than to go bicycle riding. I have spent many hours riding with my kids. I have pulled my kids in trailers and trailing bikes. My oldest can now ride right along side of me. Just because you have kids, doesn’t mean you have to give up your cycling addiction. TAKE YOUR KIDS RIDING! Here are some tips that may help you begin to get your whole family involved with cycling.
For Yourself, Consider A Bike With Flat Handlebars
Whether you’re using a child seat, a trailer cycle or a trailer to take your kids along, you’ll probably want to do so on a bicycle equipped with flat handlebars. These are higher and wider than dropped bars and provide more control against the destabilizing forces of the additional weight you’re carrying. You feel this the most with a trailer cycle. If Junior squirms around a lot, it can be quite difficult to steer a straight course.
Set Some Rules
If you’re having trouble controlling the bike because of a rambunctious child in the seat behind you, consider setting some rules. Usually, if you tell him that he can’t ride unless he rides safely, he’ll get the point quickly and behave. Or try bribery: Promise a treat at ride’s end if all safety rules are obeyed. Trailers are much more forgiving in such situations. Kids can even play a favorite card game or amuse themselves with other safe-to-travel-with playthings inside the confines of a bike trailer.
Child seat Precautions
One common mistake when using child seats is relying on a kickstand to support the bicycle and your child. While this might occasionally work, it’s a dangerous habit because the kickstand is designed only to support the bike’s weight. Add the heft of the child seat and passenger and the machine is more likely to fall over than to stand up, which can result in serious injury. Remove your child from the seat at stops unless you’re holding the bicycle upright.
Keep in mind that the weight limit for child seats is approximately 40 pounds. When children get this big, it’s time to remove the child seat and consider a trailer or trailer cycle.
Pulling a bicycle trailer requires practice and planning. Keep the additional width of the trailer in mind as you plan routes to avoid roads and paths that may be too narrow. And, unless you’re a strong cyclist, consider what hills and headwinds you might encounter because these are a much bigger challenge when you’re toting papoose and caboose.
One of the great things about bicycle trailers is excellent resale value. When your young ‘uns are too big to ride in the trailer, run a classified ad in the local newspaper and you’ll sell it quickly for a good price.
Training Wheels Are Okay
A lot of parents wonder if training wheels are a good way for kids to learn to ride their first two-wheeler. We’ve had excellent luck with them. Proper installation (we’re experts) and sturdy training wheels (ours are super-tough) ensure easy handling, optimum safety, and a positive learning experience.
When buying a bike for your child, don’t make the mistake of purchasing one that’s sized too large. That’s a common tendency because it’s natural to want the machine to last as long as possible for your growing youngster. The problem is, if the bike’s too big, it’s going to be scary and dangerous to ride, which could turn your kid off to biking altogether. We’re experts in bike fit and we can help you pick out a bike that’s safe and that will provide a great first biking experience. And, don’t worry about Halfpint outgrowing the bike. Our bikes are sturdy enough to last through several children. If you don’t have a sibling, niece or nephew to pass the bike on to, ask us about your best options for selling the bike.
There you go. Spend time riding bicycles with your children. Get them excited about cycling in the great outdoors. They are never to young to start experiencing the fun and joy of cycling!