There is nothing better than hopping on a bike and going on a bike ride somewhere far away. Sometimes it does not even have to be far from home, what matters is that you are spending quality time in nature and exercising at the same time. However, when children come along, many bike enthusiasts stop dreaming about exploring new places.
What if there was a way to travel to new destinations by bike and getting the little ones to tag along? With the help of these clever tips, any eager parent can enjoy everything that traveling by bike offers- immense relaxation, absolute freedom and of course a ton of exercise! Brace yourself, and read on about the best tips on how to prepare the kids for a ride.
1. It is all about the preparations
The key to having a stress free bike travel is preparing for the trip in advance.
First and foremost, parents are recommended to get their hands on some maps of bike routes from all over the world and seek out the most reliable and interesting trail.
Fortunately, many individuals who do not know which routes are the best can consider guided bike tours as an excellent option.
However, it is a good idea to talk to the kids and let them know where you will be going; also, make sure that the place you are planning to visit is really worth it and not just the easiest option out there.
Next, consider the duration of the bike ride. If your child is small or out of shape, then chances are that he or she will not be able to keep up for a longer period. Start with shorter trips during the day and see where it leads you. Also, make sure to make a lot of breaks, so the child can rest.
If just starting, then definitely go for dirt roads or jeep trails. Trails like these are excellent for children who still require a bit of assistance because they allow the child to slowly build their strength level.
2. Check if everything is working correctly
One of the biggest mistakes rookies make when going on a bike trip is failing to check the bikes beforehand.
Make sure to avoid this mistake and double-check for safety purposes!
For example, tell your child to ride the bike a bit on the street or in your backyard to see whether it works properly and that it is comfortable.
If the child feels any discomfort, it is highly likely that the trip will not be an enjoyable experience.
In addition, fix any mechanical issues before you decide to leave for the trip.
A quick and practical way to fix any issues is by getting your hands on online bicycle parts such as frame parts, pedals or tubes. The saddle and the handlebars prove to be the most problematic, so pay extra attention to those contact points.
3. Make it fun and memorable
As already mentioned in tip number one, parents should make an effort and incorporate as many breaks as possible when traveling by bike.
Each child is different, and some children have shorter attention spans than others, so it is important to stop and take a time out.
Also, parents should never leave for a bike trip without packing some yummy snacks the kids will enjoy.
Frequently, children do not feel motivated and they may end up whining along the trip.
To avoid this, parents are recommended to bring along delicious snacks which will be used as rewards to motivate mileage.
However, remember to keep it light! For example, snacks such as fruit, dark chocolate and nuts are excellent, because these options are light on the stomach and they will give the child an extra boost of energy.
Another thing parents should take into consideration is praising and giving affirmations all along the way, to help the child build confidence.
The bottom line is, a confident child is a happy child. Of course, some children may behave in an overconfident manner, and this might be troublesome when the child is only a beginner cycler.
Make sure that someone is supervising the child at all times!
4. Make it educative
School isn't the only place a child can go to learn about how the world works; sometimes the best way to learn is by venturing into nature.
Parents should take the opportunity to teach their children about the environment and history when biking together. For example, there are a lot of natural wonders which will spark the kids' interest.
Also, remember to pack a guidebook and a pair of binoculars in case you spot a rare bird.
One of the best ways to document the trip is by taking a cheap, yet durable camera along.
Of course, let the children take the snaps by themselves.
A smart tip is to purchase waterproof film cameras, in case you are planning to stay somewhere close to water.
5. Have a family meeting after the trip
After a tiresome, yet amazing day full of new exciting experiences, make sure to sit down with the kids and give them a chance to express their feeling and opinions on the cycling trip.
Prepare for a lot of talking; chances are if the child enjoyed the trip, he or she will want to share every single thought on how the day went.
Make sure to listen to the child and ask them plenty of questions.
More importantly, it is important to keep in mind that a bike travel trip is a team effort and the child should have a say in it.
For example, ask the child what he or she thought was the best part of the trip.
Also, ask about the downsides of the trip and provide alternative solutions for future bike trips. Maybe the child will want to contribute in another way in the future, for instance by bringing a smartphone or a map.
Most importantly, listen to the child and decide where to go next!
In summary, a bike ride somewhere new can be an exhilarating experience even when kids are tagging along. Make sure to stick to these tips and you will certainly have one of the most memorable times with the kiddos!
About The Author:
Helen Bradford is a journalism student who always seeks new ideas to write about. She enjoys blogging about beauty, health and style trends for women. When she’s not writing, she spends her spare time being active through fitness and traveling.