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Family Cycling Holiday Guide

About Cycling Holidays - Holiday Companies
 
Family Cycling Holidays
Cycling is a great option for a family holiday. Kids of all ages love travelling by bike and it is a relaxed way to visit a region. You can travel at your own pace, stop and look at points of interest along the way and still cover a fair distance in a one-week holiday. And of course, it is a great way to keep fit!
 
Types of Cycling Holiday

There are 3 main types of cycling holiday:

 
> Touring holidays where you ride from place to place every day or every other day along a pre-determined route. Biking equipment, route maps and luggage transfer are usually organised by the holiday company.
   
> Single centre holidays where you are based at one location but ride out on different routes each day. All biking equipment is usually provided for you by the holiday company and they may provide you with suggested daily routes.
   
> Do-it-yourself cycling holidays – arrange your holiday accommodation and take along your own bikes. You can then bike as little or often as you like.
 
Age Ranges

Most children aged 8 years and over should be able to cope with short daily bike rides on their own bike. Energetic teenagers should be able to cope with longer daily distances.

 
With very young children, it is probably best to be based at a single location. That way, everything will be ready for you on your return at the end of the day. You are also able to tailor the length of your bike rides to suit your children more easily.
 
The most difficult age to take children cycling is from 4 to 8 years as they are too old to sit in a child seat or trailer and too young to pedal independently. Trailer bikes are an option for this age group but they may not manage long distances.
 
Family Cycling Equipment
> Child Trailers: birth – 5 years
  Child trailers are special mini-trailers that are towed along behind the bike. They have space for up to 2 children. Baby car seats can be fixed into position making them suitable for newborn babies. Your children will be all snug in a trailer protected from the sun, rain and wind.
   
> Baby and Child Seats: 6 months – 5 years
  Child seats can be fitted to the back or front of an adult bike and allow you to carry them easily over quite long distances. A child is old enough for a child seat when able to sit up unsupported, usually around 6 – 9 months. Some seats have a reclining backrest which support their head when they nod off.
   
> Tag-a-longs and Trailer Bikes: 4 – 9 years
  Tag-a-long bikes are ‘half bikes’ which attach to the back of an adult bike allowing the child to be towed. Your child can pedal or just freewheel and let you do all the work! Some models even have brakes and gears. They are a great way to teach your child how to ride as well as the rules of the road. Plus, your child is really helping with the pedalling.
  There are also towbars for hitching on an actual kid’s bike lifting the front wheel from the ground, enabling it to be towed trailer-style.
   
> Tandem Bikes: 6 years plus
  Tandem bikes are basically long 2 – wheeled bikes with 2 seats. There are child-back tandems, some of which are small enough at the back for a 6 year old. Otherwise there are adapted adult tandems (with kiddycranks). Of course, there is no age limit for adult tandems.
   
> Small Mountain Bikes: 7 - 12 years
  Once your child reaches 7 years or so, they will be able to ride a fair distance on their own bike. There are small mountain bikes available for children with all the features of adult bikes such as gears and fancy brakes.
 
Tips
Firstly, make sure that you have planned where you are going, work out the distances and how long you expect it to take. Most of the family cycling holiday companies will provide you with a detailed route map and transfer your luggage for you.
 
Try to ride together as a close group. Don’t let teenagers race off in to the distance when Mum at the back is the one with the route map. It is easy to take a wrong turn in unfamiliar surroundings.
 
Always ride at the pace of the slowest rider - remember that adult bikes go much faster then junior bikes.
 
With younger children in child seats, stick to smooth roads to avoid jolting. Make sure that they are kept warm. The wind can chill them very quickly even on a warm day. Use layers of clothing with a wind resistant top layer.
 
Plan to make regular stops – look at the scenery, paddle in the river or have lunch.
 
More Sections in this Guide
>> Cycling Holiday Companies
 
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