Having some outside activities such as riding a bike with your kids would be a great idea, but how to Bike with a small Child? If you are looking for an answer, let’s find it out with some different ways to bike with your kids and its benefits in this article.
Different Ways to Bike with a Young Child
Child Bike Seats
A Child Bike Seat will be suitable for many toddlers and preschoolers. If your child is about 1 to 4 years old (or up to about 50 pound) and he has grown enough to sit on his own, this is the perfect way to ride a bike with your kids and get them used to the bikes. With a Child Bike Seat, your kids can admire the surroundings and also talk to you while biking.
Before having a ride with your child, make sure that your child wears a suitable helmet for safety. Unlike being in a bike trailer, if you fall on the bike, your kid could fall about 2 or 3 feet to the ground. Be careful when you put them in the seat and when you get on and off the bike, unless you may cause your kids to fall off the bike accidentally. And don’t forget to use a seat harness so that your kids will be protected when they are asleep or you brake suddenly.
A bike trailer would be a great idea to bike with a small child in about 1 to 6 years old or up to about 40 pounds. The most common bike trailer choice is the one that is towed behind your bike. If you feel uncomfortable or difficult to pedal with your kid sitting in a front or back seat, it is clearly better to put them into the trailers, and pull them at the back of your bike while you are pedaling.
A trailer can be converted to be used as a stroller, a jogging cart, or a ski sled, and you can carry more than one child with it. A Bike trailer is also low to the ground so it will be safer for your kids, it can prevent them from falling off the saddle 2 or 3 feet above the ground.
But sitting low to the ground may keep your kids out of the view of other vehicles, and they are also slightly more exposed to vehicle smoke.
Cargo Bikes can fit with a large range of age depending on how you custom it. Your child can sit on a bench or the rack at the behind, or in a box or container in the front, or strapped to a bike seat. A cargo bike will let you carry heavier than a standard bike. Similar to a bike trailer, you can also carry more than one child on a cargo bike. Due to the bike’s design, the kids will sit near to you so you can have some conversation with them while riding.
There are two common types of cargo bike: Long tail bikes which let you carry your kids at the rear, on a bench or a rack that sits over the back wheel, and front-loading cargo bikes which let you carry your kids in the front, in a box or a container that located between the handlebars and the front wheel.
Although Cargo bikes are safe to carry your kids around, don’t forget to take safety such as a helmet or a seat belt for your kids before starting the journey.
If your children are about 2 to 5 years old and they are learning to keep the balance, this is the most suitable bike for them. Balance bikes are the simplest bike structured with only wheels and a frame. Because it has no pedal, the kids will use their feet as an engine to push the bike forward or as the brakes to stop the bike. Having only wheels and a frame also makes the bike lighter and easier to handle. When a child walks or glides on their balance bike, they will learn how to keep the balance as well as how to control the steering wheel, and finally coordinate them together. Beside that, the saddle of a balance bike is much lower than other bikes. It will make the kids feel more secure because they are closer to the ground. A balance bike will be a great start for the kids to learn pedaling.
Training Wheel Bikes
Training Wheel bikes is the next level of Balance bikes. If your kids have mastered a balance bike and start to practice cycling, training wheels will help them to be more confident in riding on their own. And when your kids gain their confidence, these wheels can be removed. Training wheels also come in various sizes so that you can choose the one that fits your child. However, if your kids haven’t learned to ride a balance bike, don’t give them a training wheel bike. It is much harder to start with a training wheel bike. These training wheels also make it harder to ride at the uneven surfaces. In some situations, the training wheel may lose its balance and the bike will spin or flip over. It can make your child injured and stay away from riding a bike. But don’t worry if your kids love these training wheel bikes, training wheels are not bad. Just let them have fun with it and your kids will remove these wheels themselves when they grow older.
Kids’ bikes will fit with children at about 5 years old. Before buying your child a kids’ bike, make sure that you will choose the right size so that your child can easily get on the bike and stand with their feet on the ground. Kids’ bikes are divided by their wheel size but not the frame size. The most popular sizes are 16”, 20” and 24”.
When your child is still new to their bike, let him get accustomed to the bike at safe places such as parks or bike paths. You can ride behind them and let them set the pace as well as make sure that you don’t go too fast or too slow. When your child get used to the kids’ bike, you can let them ride on the sidewalk or a residential street, and then you should ride alongside or ahead so you can guide them with things to look out for on their way.
Benefits of cycling with kids
Developing strength and balance
Riding a bike is an outdoor activity. While riding, we use every muscle of the body, especially muscles in the legs. Thigh muscles are the biggest muscle of our body, when they are exercised, the heart rate increases and helps us burn calories. That makes the cyclist become slim and fit, and also develop body muscles as well as the ability to keep the balance.
When a kid achieves something on their own, they will gain a lot of confidence. When your child can ride a bike on their own, they become aware of their body and the surroundings. That makes them feel more responsible and confident.
Either you or your child have a bad day at work or at school, outdoor activity will blow your stress away and make your feeling become better. A bicycle ride with your kids can recharge your energy after a long day. And at the same time, you can teach your kid how to ride a bike.
An outdoor activity is surely better than staying indoor and playing video games. Cycling with kids will get them in touch with their surroundings and arousing their curiosity about nature. Besides, they can also make friends with the kids in the neighborhood.
How far can a 5 year old bike?
A 5 year old is always dynamic and seems to be full of energy every time. But in fact, their strength has not been fully developed yet. They can do 10 miles on a trail with a number of stops.
Can a 2.5 year old ride a bike?
Yes, they can. At this age, the child is learning to keep balance and the balance bikes will be perfect for them. But this also depends on the child. Some kids can actually master pedaling around the age of 2.5 but some can’t reach the pedals.
What is the safest way to ride a bike with a baby?
Each way to ride a bike with a baby has its own advantages and disadvantages. The safest way depends on you and your child. Choosing the way that you are most confident and comfortable will be the best and safest way to ride with a baby.
Can you put a baby seat on any bike?
Almost all of the baby seats can be put on bikes. But there are various types of baby seats and bikes so you will have to check some details on your bike before installing a baby seat on it.
So now you know some different ways to bike with a small child and its benefits. Don’t forget to wear a helmet and other essential protective gear to keep both you and your baby safe. Hope you have your answer of how to bike with a small child and have a great time relaxing with your child.