5 TIPS ON HOW TO START BIKE RIDING AS A FAMILY When it comes to summer fun no day is complete without a family bike ride. Trust me when I say our family has had it’s share of melt downs and side of the road tantrums but it hasn’t stopped us from continuing on with the summer tradition of biking in the burbs.
We are fortunate to have so many great places to explore like The Prairie Path that stretches 61 miles and goes through the heart of Glen Ellyn and Wheaton. Also, the Morton Arboretum with 9 miles of trails plus bike rentals for all ages and stages.
As with any adventure it helps to have the proper gear. The Bike Hub in Glen Ellyn is your one stop shop to making sure everyone is taken care of from buying the right bike to helping with tune ups and repairs. Prairie Path Cycles in Winfield also offer repairs, bike fittings and hosts a variety of rides and racing events.
Here are a few tips to help get your family on the right path!
1. Safety and comfort first! Bring your bikes in for a yearly maintenance check and fitting. Check to make sure helmets fit properly. Always have a small tool kit and a portable tire pump on hand and know how to do quick fix its. Spokes in Wheaton and Naperville offers a hands-on maintenance class during the off season.
2. Check the weather and know your route. Weather changes quickly and having the essentials will help make your trip more enjoyable. Start off with small distances and keep it simple especially with younger kids. Make plenty of stops and let the slowest rider set the pace. If your family is just starting off find a bike path that doesn’t require crossing busy intersections and don’t ride at peak times. This will help with new and less experienced riders. Start to finish is always important to kids and mapping it out as a family will help with questions like how much longer, are we there yet, and where are we going!
3. Pack a backpack. Bring plenty of water, snacks, sunglasses and sunscreen. If you plan on stopping make sure to have bike locks for everyone.
4. Know the rules of the road. Learn hand signals but don’t assume that everyone knows what they mean. Watch for vehicles coming out of driveways or turning corners. Alert pedestrians and other riders that you are near by saying, “Passing on your left,” or use a bike bell.
5. Have fun and enjoy this special time as a family. For kids riding in a bike trailer let them bring a camera to snap pictures along the way. With summer in full swing and more kids plugged into their devices it’s more important then ever to break away and reconnect as a family. Trust me when I say the small amount of whining will be well worth it!
ABOUT THE BLOGGER Glen Ellyn Mom’s Village is a local blog that was created by resident Alicia Donovan. She is devoted to being a mom who inspires others and loves connecting and creating a sense of community for all. She keeps herself busy with her active family, two dogs and surprises people when she says she’s a beekeeper. www.glenellynmomsvillage.com