Safe Cycling Options for Parents with Young Children

 

Safe Cycling pic

Safe Cycling
Image: rei.com

Peter Kuperman established Hatch Canada, a programming and computer coding school for children. When he is not helping young people learn STEM skills, Peter Kuperman can often be found on his bicycle. He and his wife enjoy taking their young son along for rides as well.

Children can begin to enjoy the fun of cycling as soon as they can sit up on their own. From babies to toddlers to preschool-aged children, there is family-friendly cycling equipment suitable for families of all ages.

When a child is very young, the best option is usually a child bicycle seat. Children should not accompany their parents on a bike ride until they can sit up and support their helmeted head on their own. Local laws differ on this matter, and some jurisdictions have specific age limits.

Older toddlers and children under the age of 6 have more options available. They can ride in larger child seats, be towed in a trailer, or ride on a trailer bike. Trailers are simple to tow and do not impact the bicycle’s center of gravity like a child seat does. However, they are low to the ground and vulnerable to certain dangers on the road.

Trailer bikes are half-bicycles that connect to an adult bike. These are well suited to getting children accustomed to pedaling, while still allowing parents to control the steering and braking.

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Three Cycling Tips for Beginners

Cycling pic

Cycling
Image: bicycling.com

Peter Kuperman saw career opportunities in education, becoming a part of the Khan Academy and later on establishing Hatch Canada. In addition to his professional pursuits, Peter Kuperman keeps himself physically active through cycling.

Many sports enthusiasts consider cycling a beneficial form of exercise, since the activity builds up one’s endurance and strength. Before taking up road cycling as an exercise or a hobby, here are some basic tips to improve the riding experience.

1) Familiarize yourself with shifting. Changing gears before the need to do so helps riders smoothly transition, maintain momentum, and reduce strain on the bike’s chain. While shifting gears, it is important to continue pedaling at a gentle force, to prevent the chain from grinding and snapping.

2) Learn to brake. To brake safely, it is important to use both front and rear brakes. Slamming on just the front brake–which has more stopping power–can cause danger to the cyclist. Using the rear brake evenly with the front brake helps cyclists reduce speed safely until they come to a complete stop.

3) Lean your bike, and keep your body upright. Beginner cyclists often lean with their bodies when making a turn, causing them to lose balance. To turn properly, cyclists must keep their body upright while allowing the bike to lean slightly into the turn.