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Tips for the perfect family bike ride

Words by Cycle King

on 10/08/2021 11:53:08

As far as family fun goes you really can’t beat a good old fashioned family bike ride! They don’t cost much, the kids love them and it’s great exercise for you and your little ones. That being said there are plenty of things that can trip us up and turn a fun day out into a bit of a nightmare. So we’ve put together this guide to help you make sure your day out on the bikes goes as smoothly as possible.

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If you haven’t been riding for a while the first thing you want to make sure is that all of your bikes are ready to roll. There’s not much worse than getting everyone excited for a bike ride only to find out someone has got a flat tyre! Check over everyone’s bikes making sure the tyres are pumped up, the brakes are working well and everything is oiled up and ready to go.

It’s also important that your child's bikes are the right size for them, luckily we’ve got handy guides on how to choose the right bike to fit your child here and another guide on learning how to fix and maintain your bikes here. If you get stuck, head in to your local Cycle King & Hawk Cycles store and one of our friendly workshop staff will be able to help.

If the bikes are prepared the next step is to get everyone ready. We all know kids can be quick to moan if they’re too hot or too cold so get everyone kitted out in suitable clothing and don’t forget to pack extra layers if it’s cold or a cap for when they’re off the bike if it’s sunny. Sun protection is a must, remember that we don’t get as hot when we’re cycling as the air cools us down so it’s easy to forget that the sun is beating down on our skin. A good sun cream can save a lot of soreness and tears down the line! Finally, check that everyone is happy with their helmets, they should be snug and not move about when they wobble their heads but not so tight that they are uncomfortable.

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The final step before you get going is to pack some essentials. We all hope that we won’t get a puncture but it’s better to be safe than sorry, a puncture repair kit and pump will keep you rolling if the worst happens. Secondly, cycling can be thirsty work so make sure you take a long lot of water, either in your backpack or in water bottles on everyone's bike. Dehydration leads to tiredness and headaches which leads to lots of moaning! Last but not certainly not least is snacks. Cycling takes up a lot of energy, so to keep those little legs turning it’s important you keep everyone fuelled up with some snacks. Oaty cereal bars offer long lasting energy that should keep everyone happy, but it’s never a bad idea to take along some sweets for a quick energy boost or a reward for getting to the top of a hill!

So now you’re ready to go! But remember it’s not just bikes that go rusty... even the most confident peddlers can lose confidence if it’s been a little while since their last ride. Before you set off, take some time to go through the basics of pedalling, braking and changing gear. Once you’ve got these nailed it’s time to set some ground rules. For under 10’s it’s safest to stick to cycle paths, but remind them they still need to ride safely. Let everyone know what to do if they come to a road junction, how far ahead they are allowed to go and the importance of stopping when you say so.

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Try to pick a route that’s mainly flat to keep everyone happy, children's bikes are often relatively heavy so hills that may seem easy for you could be a mini mountain for them! Let them know roughly how long you’ll be cycling for and take lots of breaks for drinks and snacks. Do what you can to get them to pace themselves, kids spending all their energy at the start of the day is a sure fire way to take the fun out of the ride when it gets to the end. Stopping every now and again to look at plants and wildlife is a good way to moderate the pace and let everyone catch their breath.

The most important thing to remember on a family bike ride is to have fun! There’s no right or wrong way to go for a bike ride, whether it’s fast or slow, short or long, if everyone is having a good time enjoying riding their bikes you’ll be making great memories and staying healthy at the same time.

We love to see it when our customers get out riding so remember to take lots of pictures and tag @CyclekingUK if you post them on Instagram. We always share our favourites!

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