How to Bike with Kids

How to Bike with Kids
Biking with the little ones can be a lot of fun, as long as you're prepared long before you leave home. Whether you're riding around the city or taking off for a longer trip, there are some essential steps that will make the journey more enjoyable and safe for everybody involved.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Car seat or trailer Helmets Snacks Water Map
  • Car seat or trailer
  • Helmets
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Map
Step 1
Get the equipment ready before you make any other plans. Kids need a helmet, no matter their age. For kids just learning to ride, you will need either training wheels or "balance bikes," short bikes that are low to the ground and allow kids to put their feet flat on the ground. They help build confidence until kids are ready to ride their standard bikes.
Step 2
Decide if kids can bike alone or if you need to carry them. The second option is possible with a number of add-ons to your own bike, including front and child bike seats, bike trailers, tandem trailers (a half bike attached to yours), or a cargo bike such as the Xtracycle. The first two options are better for kids up to 4, while the others require some form of balance from the kids and are best for older children.
Step 3
Plan your route carefully. If you're biking with kids for long distances, estimate in advance how long your child can bike before he needs a break. This will allow you to plan the route in short intervals, so you can stop in parks, for a quick snack or in a safe area. Short stretches of riding with a break that lasts a few minutes will allow kids to recuperate and regain their energy.
Step 4
Consider buying a bike trailer, which attaches to your bike. Trailers are big enough to sit two kids or fit a kid and his bike inside if he gets too tired to keep going. You can also add a seat to the back of your bike for your kid and use the trailer for the bike and bags.
Step 5
Make the journey as important as the destination, especially if you're biking long distances. Kids get bored fast, and you'll have a hard time keeping them on the road if the scenery is unappealing. If you can't help but ride on a bland road, choose stopping points along the way that kids will enjoy.
Step 6
Bring drinks and snacks along. Trail mixes, a fruit or some cereal will provide energy and nutrition. Don't count on finding things along the way. Hungry kids can be grumpy and make the whole trip a lot more difficult on everybody.

Tips & Warnings

Involve the kids in the planning. Get them involved by showing them a map, explaining where you're going and what they can expect of the ride. Use the chance to talk about dangers, especially if you're going to a place where there are animals, poisonous plants or treacherous roads.

Article Written By Sarah Dray

Sarah Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including "Woman's Day," "Marie Claire," "Adirondack Life" and "Self." She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.