Your Complete Guide to Biking as a Family

Your Complete Guide to Biking as a Family

When riding a bike is an important part of your life, it’s obvious that you’d want to pass that happiness onto your children. Family biking is not only a healthy, affordable, and sustainable way to get around with your kids, but an amazing opportunity for the little ones to get to know the area around them and to engage in family fun. While the way you ride will certainly undergo some changes once you become a parent, it doesn’t mean you need to bike less or drive more, it just means you’ll need to adapt. In the following post, we’ve outlined some tips, best practices, and gear ideas for biking with children of any age. Happy biking!

Start fresh: Get a good night’s sleep the night before and a good meal about an hour before heading out.

Safety tools: Make sure to bring a small first-aid kit to patch up any minor scrapes. Also bring a bike tool kit for changing a flat tire (see our fix a bike flat video for instructions) and learn how to fix a slipped bike chain.

Choose beginner terrain: Start in your child’s comfort zone, which is likely a flat, paved path, away from traffic, a few miles long. In time you can increase distance, incline, amount of traffic and explore unpaved trails.

Clothing: Dress in layers so kids can easily take off a sweatshirt if they get too hot or add a rain jacket if it should start to sprinkle. Also try to wear tapered sweat pants or tuck pants in socks to avoid fabric getting munched in the bike gears. In addition to your helmet, make sure to bring sunscreen, plenty of water and snacks. Make hydrating easy by keeping water handy. Does your child’s bike have a water bottle cage? If not, consider installing one for easy access. Many kids also love drinking from water hydration straws.

Helmet fit: Bike helmets are mandatory. They should fit snugly and not rock side to side or back and forth. Helmets should sit level and low on the forehead, about 1-2 finger widths above the eyebrow. Side straps should form a V under each ear, and the chin strap should be snug, allowing room for no more than 1-2 fingers between chin and strap. Do the yawn test; ask your child to yawn big and the helmet should pull down on the head. Make sure you model good helmet habits by wearing yours, too.

A-B-C check: Make sure tires have plenty of air, the brakes work and the chain has plenty of lube to work properly.

Saddle height: Kids like to have their seats low when starting out, but make sure their leg is almost fully extended in the 6 o’clock position (bottom of the pedal rotation) to get enough power when pedaling.

Though biking with your kids is certainly fun and doable, as showcased in the blog above, most of our tours are geared towards adults. With that said, if you and your significant other need a little time off parent-duty, book one of our fun, exciting bike tours or vacations today.

Best Bike Trails in Wisconsin and Minnesota

Best Bike Trails in Wisconsin and Minnesota

Wisconsin The Glacial Drumlin State Trail Developed in 1986, the Glacial Drumlin State Trail is one of Wisconsin’s best bicycle trails. The 52 mile long trail runs between Cottage Grove and the Fox River Sanctuary in Waukesha with easy connections to Madison and Milwaukee.est bicycle trails. The 52 mile long trail runs between Cottage Grove… Continue Reading

Biking Witnesses Rapid Growth in Popularity

Biking Witnesses Rapid Growth in Popularity

The number of people who commute to work by bicycle increased about 60 percent over the past decade according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. During the years 2008-2012, about 786,000 Americans commuted by bicycle, up from about 488,000 in 2000, the Census says. That jump is the largest percentage increase of all… Continue Reading

Astounding Health Benefits of Biking

Astounding Health Benefits of Biking

Biking regularly promotes a slew of health benefits. This low-impact, low-stress exercise will surely help you achieve improvement in your health and life in general. The nice thing is you only have to cycle for about two to four hours a week to earn a host of the benefits. Biking is an incredibly realistic exercise… Continue Reading

Best Regional Bike Trails Throughout Michigan

Best Regional Bike Trails Throughout Michigan

Northern Michigan Little Traverse Wheelway Beginning at Waller Rd. and US 31 and ending at Kosequat Park, Little Traverse Wheelway is a picturesque 23.7 mile trek through Charlevoix and Emmet Counties. Paved except for a .6 mile wooden boardwalk over wooded wetlands, the trail takes you through several state and city parks, including Petoskey State… Continue Reading

Four New Places to Bike in the Great Lakes

Four New Places to Bike in the Great Lakes

These Great Lakes bike trails are either new or expanding and are a great, fresh option for further exploring the Great Lakes Region. Of course, if you want to stick with a classic, try one of Bike Tour Vacations’ tours in Detroit, Wisconsin or Minnesota.   Cleveland Metroparks Trail System Cleveland Metroparks is an expansive… Continue Reading

The 5 Best Cities in America for a Bike Vacation

The 5 Best Cities in America for a Bike Vacation

Chicago The newest thing to blow into the Windy City? Bike lanes and lots of them. Shortly after re-election, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel promised bike reform, announcing that 50 miles of bikeways would soon be erected. Making good on that promise, Emmanuel created The Link Loop Project, a public transit initiative that has created new protected… Continue Reading