Plan a Family Bicycling Outing

Green kids — By on May 8, 2010 at 6:02 am
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A bicycle ride with the family is healthy and fun

With spring here and summer just around the corner, its time to get outside and enjoy some fresh air.  If you have children, one of the easiest things you can do is to plan a family bicycling outing.  You can tote your tots with specialized bike gear – from trailers to attachments like the one shown above.  Once your children are old enough to ride a bicycle with training wheels, they can even pedal alongside the rest of the family.

There are few items you need in preparing for a family bike ride:

  • Properly fitting helmets
  • Sturdy shoes (no flip flops or sandals)
  • Water
  • Tire pump and patch kit
  • Snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Camera (optional)
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Freedom as experienced from a bicycle!

Its best to be prepared ahead of time by planning your route and letting someone know when you are going, and when you expect to return.  Carry a cell phone, just in case!

With children under age 6, riding on bicycle paths or sidewalks is advised.  Off-road trails will either be too jarring for their ride, or too dangerous for them to navigate on a bike with training wheels.

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Bicycle trailers like this one can transport young children on a smooth ride

These days, its very easy to take along a child that is at least 6 months of age on a family bicycling outing.  Bicycle trailers, like the one shown to the left, can carry 1-2 children up to 50 pounds each.  Don’t forget helmets on the children – you may want to include a brightly colored flag for the trailer, too.

If you don’t have kids, bring your dog along for a ride in the trailer, instead!

Child bicycle seats are still an option, and are often less expensive than a trailer.  The biggest drawback is that children outgrow them faster, and there is a bigger risk of injury in the event of a bicycle tip-over.  As always, don’t forget to get a secure fitting helmet, and always strap your child in securely.

For older children that are working on balance, “trail-a-bikes” hook up to your bicycle and include pedals and a back wheel or wheels (see the first photo above).  The concept is similar to a tandem bicycle, except that you are in 100% charge of the balance and steering.

Speaking of tandem bicycles, I just think that this mode of bicycling looks like so much fun!  Trust me, however, that its not as easy as it looks to ride a true tandem.  Its not to say that you shouldn’t at least try, however!

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A unique tandem bicycle

We love riding our bicycles together as a family.  We often see things that we might not otherwise notice when zipping past at 35 miles per hour in a car.  Sunshine on our faces and the feel-good endorphins last for hours after the end of a ride.

When traveling, we tend to look for a local place at which to rent bicycles.  Its an efficient means of exploring new cities, and its a whole lot easier than trying to find vehicle parking when we want to grab lunch or an ice cream cone.  Quicker than walking, and cleaner and less hassle than driving.

Why not plan a family bicycling outing this weekend?  Its fun for all ages!

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4 Comments

  1. Tara says:

    Love it! I need to get myself one of those bike trailers :)

    One of my favorite spots to go bike-riding is along the beach. Many beaches have spots you can rent bikes too, if you don’t want to bring yours along.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Tara, the bike trailers are great… and they hold their value so you can re-sell on eBay, etc. when your kids are older. I’m with you – I love to rent bikes on vacation!

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