CYCLING WITH CHILDREN – START THEM YOUNG

PictureCycling with your children can be a great joy.

Don’t wait until your child is old enough to ride a bike before you introduce them to your passion for cycling, fit a child bike seat or bike trailer to your bike and off you go.  As long as your child is over one year old and able to support his head and sit up properly, you can put on his helmet and reflective vest and securely strap him into a child bike seat or bike trailer.

Child bike seats have high backs and are well padded and are suitable for children up to 18 kgs (40 lbs). Remember that the seat is over the rear axle and so your child will feel the bumps more than you do.  One tip, is to inflate the back tyre to a higher than usual pressure.  Bike trailers are very popular and are suitable for children up to the age of six.  One of the advantages of these is that if you decide to fall off your bike, your child is secure in the trailer.  However, active children may find this mode of transport a little dull once the novelty has worn off.

Once your child is old enough, he can progress to a push bike.  A push bike has no pedals or chain and your little one using his feet as brakes, while learning how to balance and steer.  The next step is the one wheel trailer bike which attaches to your bike, this is suitable for children from around 4 to 7 years old.  Now, your child feels as though he is really out cycling with Mom or Dad.  He thinks his pedalling is helping you on your way and he feels part of the experience but you still have total control over his safety.

Your child is now ready to ride a bike with training wheels.  This will give him the confidence to begin riding on his own and you will be surprised how quickly he wants to try riding without the training wheels.  Once your child has mastered riding without the training wheels, he is ready for you to buy him his first proper bike.  Make sure you don’t buy a bike that is too big, his feet must be able stand comfortably on the ground.  If the bike is too big and he regularly falls off it, he may decide that cycling is not for him.

The safety of our children comes first, so ensure that when you are out enjoying a ride with your children that their bikes have reflective stickers on them and that they are wearing helmets and reflective gear