Most everyone remembers their first ride - whether it was pushing their balance bike across the yard, pedaling in the driveway with training wheels, or with dad holding the back of their seat on the sidewalk; it’s a memory we won’t forget.
More often than not, though, it was the moment he let go that we remember the most. Looking back over your shoulder, and your dad smiling proudly as you rode away.
To celebrate this Father's Day, we’ve asked our Director of Store Operations, Brody Wakefield, to curate a list of tips to keep that memory going, and to keep your kids along with you for the ride.
1. Don’t let the little things turn into hurdles on the road
- Go before you get on the road - With little ones in tow, a ride can take a bit longer, so always make sure everyone goes before you leave the house. For the littlest of little ones, remember to pack extra supplies like wipes, etc.
- Plan your route - There's nothing worse than getting half way to your destination, and running into a road or trail closure. Be sure to plan ahead, confirm the route is safe and open, and avoid overly busy roads with heavily trafficked areas.
- Always pack plenty of water and snacks - Kiddos get hungry and thirsty, and nothing can shut a ride down faster than a hangry youngster. Load up your bags with healthy snack, and lots of water.
2. Pick the right gear, and let your little one help with the choice
- A great starting point, is a quality trailer - The best options have plenty of space for the little ones, plus snacks and goodies. Some of the better trailers can also convert into a stroller when the bike is parked.
- Don't forget panniers either - When your kiddos are rolling on their own, bags on your bike can give plenty of space for snacks and short trips to the market together. The kids can always find something to include in the bag, also.
- Safe and well fitting helmets - Whether your’e riding a short distance to the store, or a longer day to the park, a helmet for everyone in the family is a must. Be sure they fit correctly, and are protecting your valuable little assets.
3. Lead from behind
- Ride in the back, so you can offer advice - Give meaningful tips on their riding, and encourage your kids to make helpful route suggestions.
- Make the ride an adventure - Reading signs and way markers along the ride is a great way to keep everyone engaged. This is also a way to empower your kiddo, and teach them some skills in their own routing and navigation.
- Most importantly, remember this isn't a race - Enjoy the slower pace, take in the scenery, and use this time to encourage best practices while riding.
"Teaching your kids cycling, that's a habit or an activity they can have for life… They can go out cycling by themselves, or with their friends, and that's something they can do for their entire life; and that’s meaningful to me."