Riding Tips For Parents With Teens
As children grow older, so does their desire for independence and exploration. One fantastic way to harness this and build confidence is by encouraging them to join you on a bike ride! As a parent, you have a responsibility to ensure their safety and equip them with the necessary skills to navigate the roads. In this blog, we are going to share some riding tips for parents with older kids to help guide them through the wonderful experience.
To enjoy a safe riding experience, emphasise the importance of wearing proper safety gear. A well-fitted helmet is an essential piece of riding equipment. If you have nothing else, make sure you have a helmet for every rider. It is important you offer your teen some additional protection, so look at purchasing some knee or elbow pads if you think they’ll use them. Now this can prove difficult as it is all about the look at this age – we have had many parents coming in, saying their teenagers won’t wear helmets. We can assure you of some of the horror stories we have seen over the years – if they won’t wear a helmet, get them to pop in and have a chat with us!!
You should also carry out some checks on the bike before you head off. Ensure the tyre pressure is optimal, the breaks are functioning and the wear on the chain is not too heavy. This way you can focus on riding and not worrying if you’re going to have to tackle any mid-journey incidents.
Being hydrated is also key when exercising, all year round not just when the weather is nice. Be sure you and your child are carrying a substantial amount of water for a day of riding.
Teaching Road Safety
To ensure everyone is safe while on the road, it is critical you teach your child about traffic signs and signals if they are not already aware. Help them understand the different meanings of signs and how to respond to each while cycling.
Inform them about defensive riding techniques, such as maintaining a safe distance from parked cars and being aware of blind spots. Address potential hazards such as opening car doors or uneven road surfaces.
Explain the best way to cycle in a group to ensure everyone is safe. Explain what to do in a scenario when a car decides to attempt an overtake and the step to ensure no one gets left behind.
Preferably, these are skills that you should’ve taught your child from a young age. However, it is possible that cycling is a brand new interest so take the time to run them through these basics.
Establishing Communication and Expectations
When speaking about the rules of the road it’s key you communicate clearly and tell them your expectations. Encourage their independence and decision-making by letting them take up pole position, leading the group. Be sure to provide any guidance and support if you think they need it, use your own personal judgement here.
If they plan to ride on their own or with friends it’s important you set up boundaries with your child and emphasise the importance of following traffic rules. Tell them where and when they can ride to ensure they are safe at all times. Recommend routes that involve minimal exposure to busy roads or have designated bike lanes. A brilliant route, local to our bike shop, is the Cuckoo Trail!
Making Riding Fun and Enjoyable
Make biking a fun and enjoyable experience for your child. Plan family biking adventures to new and exciting destinations. Incorporate games and challenges during rides, such as scavenger hunts or timed races. Celebrate their accomplishments, no matter how small, to boost their confidence and enthusiasm for cycling.
Enjoy Cycling as a Family
You could even make bike riding a fun family activity by planning regular rides together. Choose scenic routes, parks or trails that provide an engaging experience for the whole family. You can tailor the route and difficulty depending on the ability of your riders. Cycling as a group is a great bonding activity that creates lasting memories. Plus it helps everyone keep fit!
If things are starting to get stale and your teens aren’t as excited about cycling as they once were consider taking a break entirely. Or perhaps look at planning family biking adventures and experiencing some new exciting destinations. If that doesn’t work then remember that this is a time in their life when they become adults and letting them fly the nest is key in their development. Cycling is not always for everyone – they may very well come back to it, based on everything you have taught them.
Get in Touch
Bicycle riding is an excellent way for parents and teens to bond, stay active, and enjoy the outdoors together. By following the tips provided in this article, you can ensure your teen’s safety and instil responsible cycling habits even when you’re not riding with them.
If you’re interested in sourcing some new bicycles for your next family cycling trips, then feel free to get in touch. We stock a wide range of electric bikes, road bikes, gravel & adventure bikes, women’s bikes and trikes all from our cycle shop in Heathfield. Give the shop a call on 01435 866118, email or fill out our contact form for more information.
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