The summer holidays are a great opportunity to get out on the bikes with the kids and go exploring. But while you’re releasing their inner adventurers it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared with everything you’ll need. We’ve pulled together this handy guide to make your summer rides a breeze! Not decided where to go yet? Use the Sustrans Cycle Route Map to find a trail near you.
When you’re doing exercise outdoors it’s really important to make sure that you stay hydrated. Experts estimate that up to 60% of an adults’ body is comprised of water and that percentage is even higher for children. To keep your body functioning properly it’s important to keep your water levels topped up. So make sure to pack plenty of water to keep you going on your journey.
If you’re wondering how much water you should be drinking while riding it really depends. Assuming that you are hydrated before your ride then you shouldn’t need to be gulping down bottles and bottles full. When riding it’s important to drink little and often throughout your ride; don’t wait until you’re thirsty to re-hydrate.
If you’re planning to spend the whole day riding and the forecast looks particularly hot why not freeze your water bottles before you leave? That way they’ll stay nice and cool for the whole ride.
Perfect snacks for your bike ride
Pack healthy, natural snacks that your kids will love and that will provide them with steady energy release. Homemade flapjacks, bananas & dried fruits and nuts are all great as they’re filled with nutrients and will keep you all going for longer. If you’re looking for something pre-prepared for ease then try malt loaf, low sugar cereal bars or beef jerky (but not too much because of the high salt content!).
Sun cream is a must for a summer bike ride, particularly with little ones. Getting sunburn is a sure way to put you off getting out on the bikes as a family and can be easily avoided. Recent research has found that you’ll need to apply around 6 teaspoons of suntan lotion to cover the body of an average adult. Plus you should re-apply at least every two hours for full protection. So keep those little ones safe with plenty of sun cream and a sun hat too! As the weather is so hot right now why not check out our tips for Cycling in a Heatwave.
Essential cycling tools
To stop your cycling adventure coming to an abrupt halt miles from home this summer we’d recommend taking some basic cycling tools with you. At the very least it is best to carry a small puncture repair kit, a multi tool and a small hand pump with you while riding. This tools should be small enough to not take up too much room in your rucksack but will really help you out on your ride.
What to wear on your bike ride
It’s important to wear something comfortable while you’re riding. There’s nothing worse than trying to keep positive and energetic while your too-tight-clothing cuts into your side or chafes. Looser clothing or clothing with a bit of stretch is best. And light layers are a great way to regulate your temperature at different points in your ride.
Plus, consider wearing something reflective if you will be riding on the road to make sure you’re seen.
Though helmets are not a legal requirement for cycling, research has shown that they reduce the risk of serious head injuries by nearly 70%. We would always recommend that children wear a helmet at all times while cycling; one small wobble can have disastrous consequences. Adults too should wear helmets, at the very least while cycling on the road.
A quality bike
It might sound silly, but riding a bike that is in good working order and that fits you correctly will make your ride much more comfortable and enjoyable. This is particularly true for kids who may have had a growth spurt since you were last out on the bikes together. Riding a bike that is the right size for your child is important; it helps to promote good posture and avoid aches and pains as well as improving their balance. Are your kids’ bikes a bit on the small side? Take a look at our children’s bikes. Struggling to keep up with the kids? Why not take a look at our electric bikes?
Ice cream stops with kids is what summer is all about! Or if you’re riding on your own they’re great for big kids too. It’s good to have a goal in mind for your rides and a little reward for tired legs can be a great way to keep you going. On the more practical side, you might find that a little cash comes in handy for emergencies too!
Sturdy rucksack or pannier bag
So, if you’re wondering how you’re going to carry all of this then why not consider a bag for your bike? Plus you can stow a few extras in there like plasters and baby wipes or tissues – just in case!
Well that’s all – you’re packed and ready to go! Just remember to share your ride pictures with us on our social media channels.