Cycling as a family is fun for everyone. Before my kids turned 3 they rode Strider balance bikes, so I walked/jogged with them. Just before they turned four, they switched to pedal balance bikes and I started cycling with them. However, they were small and could last because kids love to race at the beginning, which tires them out super fast. Our normal rides would last about ten minutes on flat terrain. When my kids turned 4 & 6 they got stronger, so we had to change the routine. They were able to ride for 20-30 minutes and they could handle moderate hills. Small hills are a great challenge for developing children. No one likes to walk up hills with their bike, so we created a unique group solution for our family. On hills that were too much for the little ones, I would ride behind them, grab their shirt and hold it while I pedal up the hill. This let me pull them up the hill safely, and it allowed them to pedal all the way up. After I got the first up, I went back down for the second child. I always change the order so that I never bring one child up first on consecutive hills. Call it bike psychology! It took about a year for the kids to get strong enough to climb on their own. Now we go for 30-45 minute road rides or 20 minute off-road rides. While off-road riding is much harder, it is also a lot more fun.

To get your kids cycling I would encourage you to start riding with them at a young age. Every family is different, but listen to them and help them when they need it. Try to get light bikes such as a micro mini for 4 year olds, and get bikes that will grow with them. See my article The Best Bikes For Each Age to help you choose.

©2018 Dr. Yan Lyansky

 

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