Even though you may have a little who is loving to bike, it may be awhile before you achieve your goal of a family ride. Whether you're limited by distance, speed, or tricky terrain, there are a number of ways to keep the gang together.
fall in love with family bike rides
One of the first, and most versatile options is a bike trailer. Bike trailers are incredibly stable and safe, with options to support even the smallest of riders. Some models can be adapted to attach an infant sling, so even the newest members of your family can come along. As an added bonus, when not being used for children, bike trailers can also carry a load for you. Sand toys, picnic lunches, or extra sets of clothing and shoes for your next adventure.
Next up is a child bike seat, which attaches either behind the seat of the adult bike or up front
by your handlebars. These are made for an older child, typically between 1 and 3 years of age (depending on their weight capacity). The child is a bit more exposed in this style, but still securely buckled in. Rear bike seats can be a bit more unstable, especially as the child becomes larger, whereas front mounted seats are more appropriate for less experienced riders.
If you're looking for quick and easy biking with your child, consider the front mounted kids seat. Designed for children 2 to 5 years of age, a front mounted seat is a great option for joining you on longer rides. If you're into more extreme biking, this is definitely the option for you. In this style, the child is not buckled in AT ALL, so you'll need to be confident in your child's balance and strength. Because of the way it attaches to the frame of the bike, these don't impact the adult rider's balance. Plus, the child feels like they're cruising along and in control of the ride. Looking for a full review? I found the greatest information on the Enduro website.
One other option is a Tag Along Bike, which is used for children who aren't yet able to bike. It attaches to the back of the bike similar to a tow bar, but the bike does not have a front wheel.
A more specialized option is the Weehoo Bike Trailer.
The Weehoo's recumbent seat provides kids with a safe, carefree, relaxed ride, attaching securely to the adult's bike. It has an 80 lb limit and there are options for those who pedal and those who do not, making it a versatile choice for older children.
Once your child has their own bike, you can always tether to yours. Like anything, there are a few different options on the market. A Tow Bar is a more secure attachment between the two bikes, typically lifting the front wheel of the child's bike off of the ground. The bikes move as one unit, keeping a fixed distance between the two. Going on a long ride? Let your child ride alone until they are tired, using the tow bar to give them a rest.
Pictured here is the FollowMe Tandem, which is the most stable, but also more costly. As a bonus, the FollowMe Tandem can be stored on the adult's bike when not in use.
No matter the age or stage of your family, there's a bike for you! Leave your biking recommendations in the comments so that we can continue to learn. If you need a bit more information, here's a link to Carrie Wren's blog about biking as a family, which I found to be a great resource.