Every cyclist parent dreams that once their kid is old enough, they’ll jump straight on a bike and take to it like a duck to water, but the reality is that sometimes it’s not quite so simple.
Here are 5 top tips on how to help your kids fall in love with cycling.
- Start Them Young
A child’s love of cycling can begin before they can step on a bike themselves – solutions like the WeeRide Safe Front Child Bike Seat or the Kids Ride Shotgun Front Mounted MTB Seat mean you can take your kids out on your bike with you from as young as 1 (2 for the Kids Ride Shotgun seat). Wrap them up warm and away you go – a love for the outside and riding bikes together built-in from before they can remember. Once they’re old enough a balance bike is the perfect next step.
- Start Small
When you’re pedalling on little legs, a short blast for you can feel like the Tour De France for them! Start with short rides, and finish before they’re so tired the tantrums start. Keeping the experience as positive as possible is going to be key to your little one wanting to ride again! As your kids get stronger they’ll progress naturally on to bigger rides and challenges but don’t forget for kids (and big kids too eh) learning to pop a wheelie or zoom around a mini slalom course can be just as much fun as going on an epic!
- Take Snacks
A hangry child does not a happy ride make. Make sure you take plenty of snacks/drinks and stop for regular refuelling breaks. Don’t give them the chance to get hungry, as their energy levels will slide pretty quickly once they do. Extra weight in your bag is never fun, but neither is a hungry child who has to ride 3 miles back to the car on empty (trust us on this one).
- Make it FUN!
Probably the most important one, and really unites all the points made above. The key to a happy relationship between your kid and his/her bike is to keep it fun! If you start trying to get them grinding out the miles, or doing things that scare them they’ll very quickly learn to associate riding their bike with a whole load of negative feelings, which is exactly what you don’t want! Start small, let them take the lead and work out together what they do and don’t like to do on the bike!
One to keep up your sleeves for when you need it. Sometimes the allure of technology and staying inside in the warm is just too much and the idea of heading outside to ride bikes just simply does not appeal. Once they’re out from experience we’re 99% sure they’ll have an absolute ball (if you follow the tips above!) but sometimes a bit of extra encouragement (cake stop anyone?) is needed. We’ve all been there!
So they’re our top tips for helping your little ones to fall in love with cycling – do you have any more to share? Get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!