Shortly after my daughter was born I could not wait to take her out on the trail with me. Now that she can ride without training wheels we head out regularly to ride both on and off-road. Here are a few simple tips to remember when riding with young kids:
– Start Early; I’ve found that my daughter will ride further when we go out in the morning; In the afternoon she generally tires quickly
– Invite a friend; If you have a friend who is also trying to get his daughter (or son) out on the bike, ask them to tag along. Kids often tend to have more fun when there is someone of their same age with them
– Take your time; When out with kids a 4 mile ride may take up to 2 hours. This is all about them getting to know their bikes and having fun.
– Take breaks; Plan your route, if you know there is a playground along the way fit it into your ride to add a little variety and to give your daughter a break. It will keep her interested and entertained, plus she’ll get a rest.
– Bring snacks and plenty of water; and make sure you eat and drink them. When I ride with Ari, one of our rituals is to find a nice spot to sit down and have our snack.
– Be prepared; Brink whatever tools you may need. Always carry your phone in case of an emergency and let someone else know exactly where you’ll be and how long you plan to be away. This tip applies to riding with adults as well, and especially when riding on your own.
– Have Fun; Be enthusiastic and encouraging. Always praise whatever little accomplishment your child makes on the bike and express pride in what they do – it will want her to come back and ride with you again and again.
– Be Safe; don’t ride above your ability or allow your child to take unnecessary risks. We, after all want to ride again tomorrow…