Cycling is good fun for the whole family. It brings unity as a family group and it teaches children about health and safety. Children already want to learn to ride bikes. Riding bikes is a right of passage for children. Cycling takes bike riding to the next level and shows children that bikes have practical uses as well.
The most important thing to teach a child about cycling is safety. Whether your child begins by riding his or her own bike or begins by being a passenger on your bike, ALWAYS teach your child about the importance of a helmet and being vigilant. Small children may not always initially understand the importance of developing good habits, but instilling a sense of safety in them at a young age will establish the foundation and habits necessary to be conscientious cyclers.
Children are extremely resilient and full of energy. They can go much further than most adults anticipate. In spite of this, it is important to carefully plan your route. In the beginning you will want to ride a loop in order to ensure that you can adjust the length of the ride. It is also a good idea to allow the child to set the pace and distance in the beginning. As time goes on and the children build up endurance you may choose to increase the distance of the ride or to go further.
Older children can usually handle riding on the road or on mountainous paths. Before allowing the child on the road, it is important to go over the rules of the road and common etiquette. They must learn when to stop, when to go, and hand signals. Riding on the road is not like riding on trails, and it is essential for these children to learn how to safely ride with cars around them.
Whether you cycle on the road or on mountainous paths, biking can be a great family bonding experience. It builds cohesion as a family and is a fun and healthy way to get into the great outdoors. Some trips may be wonderful and some trips may result in blood and tears, but the memories are always worth it. It gives children a sense of independence and belonging and strengthens the bonds of family.