Top Tips for a Great Family Bike Trip

Bike riding together as a family is a great way to spend time outdoors and make exercise fun for all. Learning how to get your kids off on the right foot, or pedal, is time and energy well spent. This article from REI—one of a series—offers a wealth of information for creating a safe and enjoyable family bike trip.

Rule Number One: Make it Memorable and Make it Fun! When starting out, keep in mind your goal is a child who says something like, “This is fun!” The goal is not about distance, speed, endurance or perfecting technique. The goal is simple fun. End of story. Who cares if there are frequent stops and snacks, so long as they’re eager to jump on a trip the next time around.

So, what are the key elements to making bike riding fun and helping your child develop a positive attitude toward the sport? For many older kids, riding the bike is fun is all it takes. For younger kids just starting out, preparation is essential.

Choose beginner terrain—start in your child’s comfort zone
Start fresh—get a good night’s sleep the night before and a good meal
Helmet fit—be sure to have a proper fit
Saddle height—make sure your child’s leg is almost fully extended in the 6 o’clock position
Clothing—dress kids in layers
Provisions—bring helmet, sunscreen, plenty of water and snacks
A-B-C check—make sure tires have plenty of air, the brakes work and the chain has plenty of lube to work properly