As warm weather returns, your family is likely dusting off some recreational equipment in the garage. One great way for the family to enjoy time outdoors is by riding bikes. It’s a healthy and efficient way of getting around, regardless of where you live.
Recognize the benefits
There are many advantages of biking, from being able to carry a lot of weight to quick travel and of course, healthy living. Discovery Health pointed out that bikers build and tone all of their muscles, including the ones in the upper body. Additionally, it’s a low-impact activity, so you can rest easy knowing that it won’t be too jarring for you or your kids. Additionally, it’s a great way to increase heart health, improve mental health and hone coordination. Plus, as Fit & Me states, it is one of the few types of exercises that people of all ages can do, making it the perfect family activity!
Find the right activities
Chances are, your kids will have mountain or hybrid bikes to start out with. These are easy to ride and perform well over different types of terrain. The older your kids, the more difficult the terrain they can handle. Start out with short trips on paved roads before heading to the trails to ensure that your kids are safe and comfortable on their bikes.
If you’re wondering where you can go or what you can do on a family bike trip, here are five ideas to consider:
- Short trips: You and your kids may walk on your typical trip to the corner store. Bring the bikes for the next outing and get your kids used to biking safely in residential areas. This includes following the rules of the road, crossing streets during walk signals and more. If you plan to buy several items and have bike bags, this is a good opportunity to get used to riding with additional weight.
- Picnics: Once the kids are ready for longer trips, pack a healthy meal in insulated lunch bags and either slip them into a backpack or strap them onto your bike. Biking is a chance to enjoy your surroundings while staying hydrated and fueled with nutritious foods.
- City bike paths: If you live in an urban setting, there are likely bike paths in your area. If they’re further away, consider driving there first before going on the path. There may be dangerous roads along the way, so assess the route carefully before committing to the trip. Once you’re on the path, teach your kids about biking rules, such as which side to pass on and how to alert people in front of you to your presence.
- Flat trails: These are slightly more challenging than city bike paths, due to the roughness of the terrain. However, it may provide the challenge that older kids want. You’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful sights of nature and can set up another picnic or even camp out for the night.
- Mountain biking: These routes are much more challenging than flat trails. You and your kids will be biking over inclines of varying degrees and might run across muddy spots or even rivers. These trips should only be undertaken by older children and only after they’ve become very comfortable with their bikes and how to ride them on rough terrain.
You and your family members should always wear a helmet when biking, regardless of how short or easy the trip may be. Additionally, carry plenty of water and nutritious snacks to ensure that everybody stays hydrated and energized for the duration of the ride.