What to Pack When Taking Your Kids Cycling |
Cycling holidays can be exciting for everyone in the family, from tiny toddlers to troublesome teens. Turning it into a child friendly activity needs some thought though, so you’ll need to pack smart and be prepared.
To Rent or to Buy?
First off, think about the equipment you want to bring. Do you want to take your own bikes or rent when you get there? It depends of course on where you’re going, as this could mean paying extra to store your bike on a plane or buying a rack for your car if it’s a driving holiday. You should think about the level of intensity as well. If it’s a full-on road cycling holiday it’s probably best to bring your own bikes. Or if it’s going to be a casual, more child friendly activity, hiring bikes may be the better option. What Type of Bike Should I Use?
If you’re taking an especially young child the type of bike you use is important. Getting a bike with a lighter frame can help accommodate the added weight of a toddler. As well as this, there are bikes that just aren’t suitable for supporting a young child, like a dedicated road bike or a fully suspended mountain bike.
Cycling equipment like padded shorts (to reduce saddle soreness), cycling tops, bike shoes, helmets and gloves are all essential and easily affordable. No one wants their family’s cycling holiday to be an uncomfortable one, so the right gear can go a long way to making it a child friendly activity. Toddlers however, need only a good-fitting cycle helmet and a waterproof for protection if it rains. Extra layers keep your toddler warm as remember they’ll be relatively still whilst you generate warmth from the cycling. Make sure all the safety gear is properly equipped as something like a loose helmet can be a dangerous mistake. Above all else remember that comfort is more important than style.
Bits and Bobs
When it’s time to head out there are few more things to remember. A small, sturdy backpack is great for storing the little extras your family needs. Water bottles keep the family hydrated and help cool the kids down on sunny days. They’ll need energy too, so sensible snacks like cereal bars and fruit can keep them motivated. In case of a few bumps and bruises you’ll need a first aid kit with plasters, antiseptic cream, wet wipes as well as some chamois cream for the inevitable chafing caused by cycle seats. Toolkits containing a bike pump, tyre levers and a means to repair punctures are a must. If you’re not part of an organised cycle tour the ability to repair a bike is very valuable!
Cycling holidays are becoming an increasingly child friendly activity and leisurely bike rides make it possible for families to keep active. With this in mind however, it’s important to factor in the families overall fitness levels. It won’t matter to the toddler hitching a lift on your bike, but for the kids on their own bikes even a short ride can be tiring, doubly so if it’s a warm day.
Richard Edwards is the Managing Director of Summit & Blue, an adventure holiday company offering independently crafted activity holidays for families to exciting destinations around the world, including France, Italy, Portugal, the USA and Canada. With unique itineraries and exciting activities like biking, hiking, white water rafting and canoeing, we create holidays for those looking for an experience a little more off the beaten track.
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