8 reasons to go on an organised family bike ride
Going on an organised bike ride, either through a local cycling group or British Cycling’s guided ride is a brilliant way to get out cycling with the family.
Here are eight reasons we recommend them, whether it’s your first ever ride out with the kids, or if you’re seasoned family cyclists:
1) It’s a date!
Family life is so busy, and even at Cycle Sprog we find that going for a family bike ride can get deprioritised.
Signing up for a group ride in advance means that you have the date in the diary, so cycling takes priority that day.
2) Someone else works out the route for you
Finding somewhere suitable to cycle with kids can be difficult, and once you’ve found a route, it’s tempting to keep repeating the same one.
Going on an organised ride means someone else has worked out a route for you – all you have to do is choose a ride that’s suited to the level and distance of cycling your child is at.
You’ll have saved huge amounts of time worrying that you’ll suddenly find yourself on a busy road or steep hill, and will have more routes to choose from when you next head out as a family.
3) We’re going NOW!
I’m not sure if it’s just us, but sometimes getting ready to go for a family bike ride can end up taking most of the day – finding kit, doing bike maintenance, having a quick snack, trying to fit in some homework and laundry before setting off, taking a phone call and then realising it’s lunchtime and everyone needs fuelling up.
What started out as a mid morning ride is suddenly a mid afternoon ride. With an organised ride, the start time of the ride is set, which tends to focus the “getting ready for a bike ride” stage. Don’t be late!
4) Kids behave better for other people
Most of the time children behave much better for someone else than for their own parents (evidenced by the number of times I’ve failed to recognise the teacher’s description of my own offspring at parents evening!).
When someone else is saying you need to cycle for another 20 minutes before stopping for a snack, it tends to result in less winging and tantrums than if good old mum or dad were to make the same suggestion.
5) Safety in numbers
If you’ve got more than one child, it can be difficult to keep everyone together on a bike ride.
Cycling with a group means an elder child can cycle more quickly than a younger one.
A well organised group ride will always have a rider leader at the front and one at the back, so no-one can go off alone ahead, or get left behind.
Joining a Kidical Mass will allow you to experience that riding with kids can feel very safe, because you're surrounded by other families on their bikes.
6) Getting into good habits
A British Cycling guided ride will always start with a quick warm up and a basic M-Check of every bike to ensure they’re safe to ride.
This gets kids into good habits for all future cycle rides.
7) Someone to help out if things go wrong
Ever tried to fix a puncture on a bike with a rear bike seat? Or keep the kids going during an unexpected rainstorm?
Or tried to guide several kids across a level crossing? There’s always someone else to help out on an organised ride, making the whole experience more enjoyable.
8) Getting inspired!
An organised ride allows you to try out new routes, and meet new people who also enjoy cycling, making them a great way to get inspired to spend more time in the saddle.
Top tip: contact your local cycling club to find out if they run family-friendly cycle rides.
Other articles you might be interested in:
- Four ways in which e-bikes are revolutionising family cycling
- Kids hydration packs; pros and cons of using them on a family bike ride
- Setting up a Kidical Mass event
- The best kids packable waterproof cycling jackets
- The best kids bike trailers
- Best kids road bikes
- Family bike rides in and around Bath and Bristol
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