Basics: Bike Riding with Children
Evening Ride After Work
Involving your kids with cycling can be a very rewarding thing, if handled with safety and including confidence inspiring drills. I hope to touch base on your basics, safety and how to continue to grow with your children and bike riding.
Photo from CopenhagenCycleChic
There are endless ways to ride with your kids. Starting at a young age it could be in a bicycle mounted seat or a pull behind trailer. Make sure that your child can easily hold up their head with the approved helmet and you are ready to go. There are even systems like Chariot that makes your trailer into a stroller, jogging stroller or pull behind with ski’s! In Europe they use cargo type bikes to haul their children because remember, they don’t own cars.
Next step is to get your child on a bicycle, tricycle or anything that goes. Start slow, encourage and try not to give them any reason to get scared or worried about their riding experience. Instilling basics of looking for cars or turning at a slower speed will continue with them as they grow so practice safe cycling, even in your own drive-way.
Lose those training wheels! This is a whole article in itself, so for now I will leave it with one word. Patience. It is one of the few things children remember of “break through” moments in their childhood. They probably won’t remember the first time they crawled, walked or talked like you, their parent, but riding for the first time on two wheels they will remember for life.
Ride longer, stronger and really start teaching safety including looking for cars, watching for other riders and what hand signals mean.
A few key things to instill in your kids from day one:
- Helmets should be worn at all times. It is law in our house that if you are on anything with wheels the helmet must be worn and buckled.
- Excitement! Riding is something very fun and should be passed on.
- Safety is very important. Keep your kids safe but also help cycling become more accepted in your area.
There will be many follow up articles about age groups, ways to start riding and continuing your child’s development.
Bike riding with family and children is an daily happening in my family. If you have questions or concerns about riding with your children let me know if I can help!
Until next time, some links to further your research :
About.com: 10 Tips for Safe Bike Riding
Kids Health : Bike Safety
REI : Cycling with Kids