6 ways to get your daily cycle ride with a young child or baby
At the moment socially distanced cycling is one of the few permitted modes of daily exercise, and it's a great way for all the family to keep fit and active outdoors. However, what happens if you have a baby, toddler or young child? Even if they can ride a small bike there's no way they can cycle at your pace, and aren't able to ride on busy roads. Even getting them to a local park or traffic free cycle path can be a problem.
In this article we take a look at the different ways you can take your young Cycle Sprog with you while you go out on your daily exercise.
How to get your daily cycle ride with a young child, toddler or baby
All the options detailed below mean you and your child or baby can get lots of fresh air whilst you get all the daily exercise you need. The great thing is all these solutions can continue to be used once we're out of this coronavirus lockdown so are a great investment in getting your family fit and active from a young age.
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1) Carry your child using a bike seat
A child bike seat is a good option if your child isn't yet old enough to ride a balance bike or first pedal bike. They're suitable from about 6 months in age, or when your child can hold their head up unaided for the duration of the bike ride. There are lots of choices of seat for different sizes and age of child that are designed to fit different types of bike frame. You can choose to have your child in front of you, or behind you, and of course, as time goes by and your child gets heavier you will start to get fitter too!
For further information visit these pages:
2) Carrying your child (and their bike) in a trailer
Trailers are a good way to move your child around, plus can be used for shopping trips if you leave your Sprog at home (or even if you don't!)
You can also attach their balance bike or small pedal bike to the rear or roof of the trailer for use when you get to a safer place for them to ride.
You can get either single or double trailers depending on how many children you have (or how much shopping you want to carry). Trailers do vary a lot in price - if you're planning on using them daily in traffic or on rough terrain you may want to invest in one with a roll cage and various comfort features such as sunscreens and reclining seats. Alternatively you can pick one up for about £100 that will get you where you need to go.
Further reading: The best kids bike trailers - 2020
3) Pulling your child on a single wheel behind you
A tag-along is a clever contraption - it's a metal bar with a single wheel, saddle and pedals which affixes to the rear of your bike. Your child can pedal along behind you, so they're getting their exercise, but you can also take all of the strain when they get tired. These are great if your child doesn't want to ride their own bike - and make good options for commuting to school once this is all over.
Further information: Best tagalongs
4) Cycling using a sling or papoose
If you've only just had your baby, then getting out for your exercise is SO important, both physically and mentally. Cycling with a baby in a sling deserves more discussion than I can give it here, so do please go to our specialist article Can I cycle with my baby in a sling, papoose or baby carrier? for full details.
5) You pull their child's bike behind your bike
If your child is able to ride their own bike for short distances, then they're going to be keen to get out cycling. But let's be honest, you're not going to get much of a work out doing this. Another common problem at this age is that most families live too far away from a place a young child can ride safely. A good option is to pull their bike behind yours until you get there. You get extra exercise from pulling them and they enjoy the outdoors too. Our recommended ways to do this are:
Trailgator - a great value option is a metal bar which lifts up the front wheel of your child's bike as you pull it along behind your bike. Ideal for the current time if you're just riding to your local park or cycle path.
FollowMe Tandem - a more expensive but very robust option for on and off road use. Great if you want to do longer distance rides on varying terrain (or even a bike packing holiday) when all this is over.
6) You jog and your child rides their bike alongside
This is a good way for both you and your toddler to get your daily exercise. They can ride their balance bike or pedal bike whilst you jog/run/power walk alongside them. Over time as they get faster, you either have to speed up or else eventually get on your own bike!
I hope these ideas have given your some inspiration as to how you can get your daily exercise with a small child, toddler or baby. It's going to be so important for us all to keep fit and healthy over the coming weeks and months, so please remember to exercise from your house, be sensible and don't overstrain yourself and keep at least 2 metres distance from everyone outside your household group.
If you think someone else you know would benefit from reading this post, please do share it via your social channels. If you'd like to learn more about cycling with your family then please sign up for our newsletter, or follow Cycle Sprog on Facebook.
Other posts you might enjoy:
Choosing a single seat trailer to transport your baby or child can be confusing. We look at all the options.
Front bike seats are a great way to travel with your toddler. There are a growing number of makes and models available - here's our pick of the best on offer
Using a front bike seat for the first time is always a nerve racking experience ...
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