Cycling with children. What not to forget?

Each Slovak region offers a lot of bike paths of every difficulty, you just have to choose according to the mood, preferences, and abilities of small cyclists. You can decide whether you want a plain, hills, lake surroundings or long dikes. So how do you enjoy cycling with the children so that you can come back home fully satisfied after the whole day trip?

Cycling is also perfect in that you can sport alone, or with the whole family. Especially when you have children, you will appreciate that you can spend time together and still enjoy sports. And it even works, when the children are still too small that they can't ride a bike on their own.

With a child in a bicycle trailer

If you have a small child who does not yet know how to ride a bike and you want to do this sport, you should sit the child in a seat, or on the bicycle trailer, if he is not yet able to sit well. Although wheelchair manufacturers inform that bicycle trailers are suitable for children up to the age of 6, most children at this age either already know how to ride a bike or want to sit in a bicycle seat. Bicycle trailers are more suitable for babies, but you are limited to routes on dikes and asphalt cycle paths. Do not drive with a bicycle trailer on the mountain and city routes.
There is a version of a bicycle trailer for one or two children (it can accommodate two children). When driving a bicycle trailer, you are much heavier, so it will be worse up the hill. You will have to brake more down the hill, and you are also much longer, so you need to be extremely careful, especially when crossing the road. But it's all just a matter of habit. The child in the bicycle trailer is fastened with seat belts and has its comfort, in addition, you can use it in several sports - running or skating. The disadvantage of bicycle trailers is their higher price and worse durability and the fact that they are used only for a very short time (of course, if you do not have more children).

With a child in the bicycle seat

If you already have a child in the seat, you can go almost anywhere you can think of, and children usually really enjoy such a ride. Many parents prefer this method because they feel safer and know how to communicate with their children while driving, and the child will enjoy the ride more from this perspective. Today's bicycle seats are really "something others " than they used to be years ago. They are comfortable, with seat belts, light, easy to install, and with a high back, so it doesn't matter if the child falls asleep while driving.
Remember that if you have such a load in the seat, you will not take much with you. Although you hide the bike repair kit under the seat and the water bottle in the rack, the rest has to be taken away by a partner in a backpack. The alternative is to have a child in the front seat, which may not be pleasant for everyone and ultimately not for the child, because he cannot rest his back. Another option is a bag that can be attached to the front handlebars. Don't forget to pack some snacks that your child can take out of the bag.

Little cyclist

If your child is already cycling alone, it's great, but you need to be careful. Choose the route not according to yours, but according to his abilities. Little bikers will certainly be pleased if they have their bottle stand, and bell. And the older little cyclists will certainly appreciate the tachometer. Take more frequent breaks during the trip and, especially during the heat, make sure that he drinks enough. Your child should have knee pads and, of course, a helmet, ideally with an antibacterial pad. The sunglasses are also great, both because of the sun and the wind and the flies. However, not every little child likes them. You can also increase your child's riding comfort with cycling clothing with reflective elements. It keeps it dry, does not tight, and does not hinder. Be sure to avoid wide sweatshirts that need to be worn over the head or loose trousers that could get caught on the bike when cycling. You must also pay attention to the laces on sneakers. If a longer route awaits you, just and also the child cyclist will appreciate the gloves that absorb shocks but also prevent the hand from slipping off the handlebars.

Some good tips

If you go cycling longer with children, be sure to pack better than you would pack in solo cycling. You will need more water, energy-rich snacks, sun protection cream, spare clothes, a raincoat, and a waterproof cover for a bicycle. Before the trip, check the technical condition of the bike, but also the settings of the handlebars and the seat, because the way it suited the child last season certainly does not apply. The child should be able to reach the ground and the knees should not be bent at a too sharp angle when pedaling. In addition to a sporting experience, cycling with children can also be an educational activity in which they learn the rules of road traffic in practice. You should acquaint the child with the traffic before driving. Make it clear that you always ride on the right, explain how it overtakes, how you get off the bike on a busy road, and so on. The child should always drive in front of you and you should be notified of sudden route changes or other commands well in advance to be able to react correctly and thus avoid dangerous collisions, which could lead to the child abandoning the bicycle. And don't forget that children under the age of 15 must wear a helmet also in the town.

Photo: Bratislava Tourist Board, Bicyklom po Slovensku, Košice Region Tourism