Riding bikes with kids is not easy and bike touring with kids is even harder. So let us help. Have a look through this kids guide to bike touring which contains helpful hints, tips and questions to answer.
The kids guide to bike touring – PLAN the destination. Consider time, distance, equipment you have or can borrow, skill level of all the children involved, terrain, what you know, what they like. Be creative and inventive, challenge them or make it easy. Every family will have a variety of levels to deal with – keep all the kids in mind, giving them different roles depending on what you have chosen…remember to tell them this is todays ride for these reasons, next time it will be different. Whatever you choose influences the next 3 steps.
The kids guide to bike touring – PREP your gear. Start with the bikes and helmets because if they ain’t working, you ain’t going nowhere. Get a tool kit organised, attach it to a bike or put it in a backpack. At goRide we believe that almost anything is less intimidating when you know how it works. Does this apply to your kids and their bikes? Does this apply to you, your bike and your tools? Think this through and look at some of our great resources; goRide Essential Pre-Ride Bike Safety Check, The Tyre, The Helmet, Am I Safe? Gear includes your clothing which should allow movement & be comfortable. If you expect the kids to ride regularly, big distances or over multiple days make sure they are comfortable on their seat – padded bike underwear that they can wear under their favourite riding clothes will help.
The kids guide to bike touring – PREP their fitness/skills. If you want them to enjoy a ride it should match their current fitness and skill level. If you have a longer or more challenging ride in mind for the future, now is the time to get them ready – endurance building and working on skills like riding in a straight line, being able to look over their shoulder, braking correctly.
The kids guide to bike touring – PREP the kids. Get them as involved as you can as early as you can. You know your kids. How much info is ideal? Do they need to know all the details or prefer the basic outline? Should you tell them days in advance or 20mins before leaving? What jobs could they do? Choose the food/fill the water bottles? Food is a lifesaver and a huge motivator. Get a jersey, find their shoes? Depending on the length of the ride, the weather and the age of your child always check what you’ve asked them to help with.
The toughest part of this whole equation is knowing on any given day what the skill level of your child will be. So many factors are involved here and every child learns at a different pace and in their own way. We all have good days and we all have “shockers”. Please don’t push them if they are tired e.g. end of term, after a sleep over. Kids also have the added bonus of a growing, changing body and they are excitable, stubborn and easily distracted. These traits can lead to some pretty frustrating or frightening moments when you’ve given them full responsibility to move a bike from point A to point B. Don’t give up or give in. Seek out the information you need and be patient. Hopefully our Kids Guide to Bike Touring has given you some areas to begin to work on.
Thanks for reading. Used together our stories and resources support you to achieve and develop as a rider.
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goRide is a shared journey, so we would like you to assist in guiding it along the way. Contact goRide. Your thoughts, comments or feedback are welcome. Thank you for being a part of the goRide way.