A family bike ride is a great way to bring the family together whilst getting outdoors. Around Christmas time the weather is cold and dark, giving us little desire to get out and about. However, it is still always a good idea to get fresh air when possible, and what better way to do it than on a bike ride. To ensure your family bike ride is as safe as possible we have put together a list of a few pointers you should consider beforehand. Make memories to last a lifetime this festive season and prepare properly for a family Christmas bike ride.
One of the first things you might want to consider is the route you are going to take on your bike ride. Your cycle route should be tailored to suit the ability of your family and will also depend on the area that you live. If you are fortunate enough to have the wilderness on your doorstep there may be plenty of cycle routes available to you, however if you live somewhere a bit more built up you may have to travel slightly further afield to find a safer cycle route for the whole family.
Another thing to consider when deciding on a cycle route is the time it takes to complete it. If you are only going for a short and simple ride, time may not matter too much. However, if you are looking for a harder, more adventurous jaunt, remember that starting too late in the day may leave you cycling in the dark which could be dangerous.
Another crucial element in preparing a family bike ride over Christmas is to check everyone’s equipment before heading out. Particularly if you haven’t used your bike since the summertime, you may be faced with maintenance issues such as a deflated tyre. Once you have checked and fixed any maintenance issues, you can hit the road confident you have prevented any cycling issues as much as possible. We always recommended carrying certain cycling essentials on every bike ride, regardless of its length because you never know when you might need to repair a punctured tyre.
Although you can minimise the risk of any issues on your bike ride, it is impossible to prevent issues completely. That is why we always suggest getting to grips with basic cycle maintenance which will allow you to repair minor issues on the road side. This can not only save you time but it may also save you money as you should be able to fix issues yourself that previously you may have had to take into a bike repair shop. If you are looking for some beginners guides, a popular provider is Cycle Maintenance Academy who share step by step guides on cycle maintenance via their YouTube channel and website.
An important tip we have for a stress free bike ride is to wear the right clothing. Despite the fact that even in Winter we can get blue skies and beautiful sunshine, it can be deceiving. Your best bet is to wrap up warm in a number of layers so that if you do work up a sweat, you can take some layers off. As your hands should be on the handlebars the whole time, they’re out in the open and may get particularly cold so it’s always a good idea to have a set of gloves- even better if they are waterproof although that is not an essential.
Arguably the most important part of any harmonious family day out is ensuring that everyone is well fed. Be sure to pack plenty of water to keep everyone hydrated and some tasty snacks to keep energy levels up. If you are particularly organised, you could consider planning a route that includes a pit stop at a cafe or pub to stop and get some hot food and drinks. Here are some snack ideas for your bike ride that the family will love:
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