Children love cycling – it’s fast, fun, and gives them freedom and independence to get around. You don’t need to wait until your kids are old enough to ride themselves to start enjoying the benefits of cycling as a family.
Whether you were a keen cyclist before you had children, or you’ve just started admiring your neighbour’s new road bike, you may assume your cycling days are now over, you have a young family in tow. Wrong! Having very young children is no barrier to cycling, and in fact this can be one of the best times to cycle.
Why cycle with babies and toddlers?
The huge range of bike seats, trailers and children’s bicycles means it’s easier than ever to cycle with young children. If you’re using a bike seat, your baby can cycle with you from around 12 months. Then, as they grow older you can progress to using a ‘tag-along’ bike or buy them their own bike.
Here’s why it’s good to start young:
Improve your fitness
Boost your positive mental attitude, and your toddler’s – cycling can help to relieve stress
Interaction improves your bond with your toddler
Travel around town for free
Introduce a healthy activity to your children while they are young
Do something together in the fresh air as a family that’s free and fun
Top tips for your family trips
Don’t be too ambitious. It is much better that everyone wants to go out again than all coming home exhausted, tearful and permanently put off.
Keep the cycling trips packed with interest for your little ones; plan your trip around interesting stops and sights along the way. Don’t make journey times longer than your kids are happy to sit and play at home.
Ride in a line with all the children in the middle of the adults. If you are the only adult, you should be at the rear, keeping an eye on all the children in front.
Be careful not to pinch their skin when putting helmets on. It is easily done and often ends in tears. Place your forefinger between the clip and the chin.
What to wear
There is generally no need to wear special clothing for the majority of trips by bike. However, it is recommended that children wear helmets.
Young children in trailers and on bike seats will not be generating any heat so they need to be well wrapped up if it is cold.
Waterproof jackets and trousers are light to carry and make cycling in the rain much more comfortable. Fingers can get cold when cycling and gloves can provide welcome relief.
Shoes with good grip that are good for walking in are also great for cycling.
Family Cycle Routes in Brighton & Hove
Traffic-free paths and local green spaces are a great place for children and adults to develop cycling skills and gain confidence. Brighton has a fantastic seafront cycle path, some great cycle friendly parks and there are some great off-road trails within easy reach. For a list of family friendly cycling paths in and around Brighton and Hove check out Family Friendly Routes.
Not sure cycling is for your family?
Before risking purchasing expensive equipment why not pop into Cycle Brighton where we have a wide range of adult and children’s bikes for hire as well as baby seats, trailers and tag-alongs. Our friendly staff can advise you on the best cycling option for your family.
We look forward to seeing you soon