Bicycle Network: Tips for riding with kids (4313)
Tips for riding with kids
Kids don’t ride the same way that adults do. They get bored with pedalling along at the same speed for ages. Around the Bay's 20km or 50km can be a big distance, particularly if you've only got little legs to spin. To ensure that everyone has a memorable day, you'll have to do a little extra work to keep them entertained.
As a starting point, it’s good to have realistic expectations. While it may be obvious, you’ll be going at a slow speed and stopping often. Kids live in the moment, so this is your chance to enjoy the journey and let the destination, or in this case, the Around the Bay finish line, arrive when it will.
Here's six of our best tips for riding with kids in Around the Bay - Ride for a Child in Need.
Kids in front
Ride behind the kids instead of out in front. From behind you can see them and what’s ahead and communicate what to do. Try to keep together in a compact group and stop together when someone needs to pull over.
Have a chat
Talk about every little point of interest along the way like the different kinds of bikes around you or icons like St Kilda beach or Luna Park and chat to the other riders around you to keep it entertaining for the kids.
Stop often—just about every time the kids want to. It might seem like too many interruptions to an adult but it breaks up the monotony. They never want to stop for long anyway—in a minute or two you’re underway again.
Carry plenty of snacks and drinks and encourage them to eat and drink constantly. Remember that most kids’ bikes only have one gear, so they end up doing many, many more pedal rotations than a grown-up. They need to replace that energy. Bite-size snacks like lolly snakes, bananas, jelly beans and grapes are easy to carry and have more than enough energy to keep you going.
Take time on hills
Remember too that with one gear hills are more of a challenge. You’ll need to give them a bit of extra time.
Practice riding together
Getting plenty of bike riding in before the day will help you all a lot. You’ll understand each other’s rhythms, the sort of pace you can expect to ride at and you’ll condition your bodies for riding. You will also practice your communication and learn how to ride comfortably together as a group.
Rail trails and shared paths are great places to ride of course, and kids and adults with them can ride on the footpath too (until the kids are 12 in Victoria). Check out these family riding parks.
Riding to school is another great way to practice skills and become a coordinated riding team. Find tips on developing a habit of riding to school at ride2school.com.au.