How to Plan the Perfect Family Bike Ride

Tips to get the kids active this summer with a fun family bike ride


Whether you are tackling a new trail or just heading out for ice cream, a family bike ride is the perfect way to get exercise and spend time together.

Biking is a great alternative to the pool on those super hot days, too. But, what I love most about a family bike ride is that you can plan an outing with kids of any age.

With teens you can plan some long trail rides to discover new places and explore some great nature trails. They can handle overnight biking trips or enter week-long biking events like Ragbrai, in Iowa. My brother-in-law and nephew really look forward to this biking event and their time bonding together every year. 

With kids ages 6-10, make your outings really enjoyable like heading to the park for a picnic or some fun time on the playground. Bike to a local restaurant for dinner or the ice cream shop for an afternoon treat. It burns some of those calories! Focus on teaching your kids to build up their endurance, get really comfortable on their bikes, and learn to interact with others on the bike paths. 

If your kids are too young to ride themselves, no problem, pull them behind. There are quite a few options for trailers or trailer bikes. Trailer bikes are one wheeled options that hook onto an adult bike to the kids can pedal and get used to the feeling of balancing on a bike.

You can even go with tandem bikes which are sometimes a good option for kids with special needs. Here's a great article on the best bikes for kids with special needs. Even being pulled, your toddlers or kids who haven't quite mastered bike riding yet will enjoy being outside just as much as the rest of the family.

For more tips on biking safety, how to make the bike ride more fun, and how to find the perfect trails, this article will help you plan the perfect family bike ride.

Do you like to bike as a family? What are some of your favorite places to ride?

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Sue Kirchner is a family fun coach, kids party planner, and weekly contributor to Patch.com. Sue and her family fun ideas have been featured on TV, newspapers, magazines, blogs, as well as her own family fun site ChocolateCakeMoments.com.

Gina Kenny June 21, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Thanks for a great article encouraging biking! I've also biked to the pool with my son (then a toddler) in a bike trailer that also was able to hold our towels and other items. The League of Illinois Bicyclists has a safety sheet which has information such as how to make sure that your child's helmet is on correctly. You can view the sheet at http://www.bikelib.org/safety-education/kids/bike-safety-sheet/. -Gina Kenny, Program Manager, League of Illinois Bicyclists
Brian L. June 21, 2012 at 05:25 PM
I know it's already been mentioned a few times in the article, links, and by the first comment here but I can't stress enough the safety of the bike helmet. I worked in the bicycle industry for 15 years and have seen too much head trauma that a 40 dollar investment could have prevented. I still see children and/or their parents riding around without one here in town and it isn't worth it. Bikes are a great way to get around town, get exercise, and to have a great day out and about. Just always remember the rules of the road and to keep yourself and your children safe while doing it.
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