If, like me, you are a keen cyclist then you really want your children to enjoy cycling too. And you want to avoid being so keen that you put them off for ever. Every family is different but these are some tips that we have found work for us, I hope that they help you too.
Don’t go too far — even when its all going well and there is lots of enthusiasm don’t be tempted to over do it as energy levels can fall off a cliff, and trying to push multiple bikes is never fun, ideally choose a route that offers options for cutting short or extending. Often letting them lead the way encourages a burst of renewed excitement.
Check the route before you go — how far is it, how hilly and is it a rough surface, is it signposted? Uneven tracks that are wet will take longer to cycle and need more waterproof layers.
Make it interesting — this isn’t a training ride so plan lots of stops for exploring, drink stops and views.
Take a friend along — whether its competitive or social, riding with friends is always more of an adventure.
Check your bikes the day before — clean and working? Helmet, gloves, back pack for snacks and water? Spring is a good time to get your bikes checked over and any worn parts replaced.
Take layers of clothing — gloves, coats and maybe a change for afterwards if you are likely to get wet whizzing through puddles. And if you have a little one in a bike seat rememebr that they can very cold so wrap up well.
Lots of drinks and snacks — we got through a whole packet of Bourbons on one ride — not the best for nutrition perhaps but an indication of how hungry cycling made us. Pack cereal bars, fruit chews and other high energy, non squashable snacks for shorter rides and select a route with a cafe or picnic options if going for more than a couple of hours.
Family rides can sometimes feel as if you are packing for a week away but after a few trips you’ll have a slick routine in place. Enjoy!