Summer is upon us with long days and ample opportunities to spend more time outside with friends and family. What better way to spend time with your family this summer than by biking together? We’ve laid out some suggestions for how you can make the most of riding with your kids this summer and all year long!
1. Learn to Ride
The first step in biking with your kids is for you to learn how. Whether you’ve never been on a bike before or just need to brush up on your skills, this website is a great resource. It walks you through the steps that should be mastered before going for a proper bike ride. Once you feel comfortable with these skills, you’ll be better prepared to share the information with your child.
2. Teach Your Kids to Ride
Kids can learn the basics on a balance bike if they’re between two and five years, or you can remove a bike’s pedals to get the same effect. This teaches them how to balance, roll and steer (without training wheels) before adding other skills. Check out this guide for helpful information and tips. Once they’re ready, encourage them to keep riding in safe areas.
3. Learn to Ride in Traffic
Want to learn to ride in traffic, but not comfortable being in the streets yet? Safety City is a kid-sized replica of Knoxville with real streets and intersections and is a safe environment for children and adults who want to learn or get practice riding their bicycles. You can visit Safety City on Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through the end of July. Families may bring their own bikes and helmets, battery-powered cars, and non-motorized scooters (sorry, no skateboards!) for open riding and play. If you can’t make it there, empty parking lots are good places to practice.
4. Incorporate Riding into Your Routine
Once you feel comfortable with your family’s biking skills, consider ways to incorporate biking in your regular commutes. If possible, try biking to work or day camp once a week. Hop on your bike to make a quick trip to the store, playground or other nearby location.
5. Bike to popular Pokémon Go locations
Why drive to busy Pokémon spots when you can bike there instead? Knoxville has an upcoming Pokémon hunt in Market Square, and it’s likely to be the first of many. Get out and walk around with your kids as they (and maybe you, too!) play, and see if you can get to the next location even faster on your bikes!