When the weather cooperates and provides a beautiful day, a family bike ride is a perfect activity. An outdoor adventure forces your family to pull away from their digital devices to experience fresh air, nature and physical fitness. More communities are modifying their streets to accommodate increased cycling activity, but you have to travel cautiously to keep your loved ones safe, even in bike-friendly zones. Here are some helpful tips for preparing and packing for a family bicycle ride.
Planning your Family Bike Trip
Although most drivers know the rules of the road and who has the right of way, some ignore the laws and drive recklessly. Riding on a busy public street can be risky for a single rider, but you also have to consider your family’s safety.
Before heading out, talk to your family about staying safe on the road. Explain to your kids that they have to maintain a safe distance from moving vehicles and pedestrians. Whether you’re riding a women bike or an electric model, allow the slowest rider to set the pace. If they’re positioned in the rear, they can be left behind by the rest of the group.
Select a road with limited traffic like a neighborhood street or a city route with a lower speed limit. Streets with lower speed limits are usually less congested. If you’re riding the best cheap electric bike, plan a trip that doesn’t drain the battery.
If your family has hybrid bikes or mountain bikes, you can use an off-road trail that’s even safer for family trips. However, pick a course with an easy difficulty rating if you have younger kids.
Medium and advanced trails are more suited for older teens and adults. Depending on the time of your trip, it’s a good idea to feed your kids before leaving. Young children can become cranky and upset if they’re hungry during the ride.
Must-Haves to Bring Along on your Ride
A bike ride is more enjoyable when you’re well-prepared. Since the adults carry most of the supplies, it’s ok to pack more than you need for a short trip. Some of the essential items for a family trip include:
- First-aid kit: A first aid kit is handy for unexpected falls or a minor injury from a hanging branch when you’re far from home. Keep bandages, gauze, alcohol swaps and insect bite relief in the kit.
- Water and snacks: Children tire out quicker and dehydrate faster than adults. Pack bottled water and healthy snacks to prevent a hungry child from reminding you about dinner time.
- Protective gear: Although some towns do not require adults to wear helmets, you can wear one to show your kids the safest way to ride.
- Reflectors and lights: Adding lights or reflectors to your bike makes you more visible at dusk and early in the morning.
- Rain gear: Riding with your family is unpleasant if you get caught in a storm. Pack enough ponchos or raincoats for everyone. When you’re looking for what to wear cycling in autumn, you can find several water-resistant jackets for cooler weather.
- Phone: Keep your phone in a backpack or rear storage container in case of an emergency.
Spending the day riding outdoors is a great way to enjoy quality time with your family. Before your trip, you can find cycling supplies, equipment and new bikes at an online bike supply store.