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  • Lulu

    Great article that I totally relate to. My kids (6 and 8) were taught how to ride whilst still in nappies, by their stay at home dad at the time. They were totally into being carted around in a bike trailer, and now, they contribute to the growing fleet of bikes in the house (possibly the only downside is trying to fit them all in). Our kids cyclocross race, criterium and MTB race, all because the club in Hobart caters for the sometimes 20+ kids who turn up to events that their parents are participating in. They have also been BMX races too – which resulted in their dad giving that sport a go. They ride to school most days, and love going on family mtb adventures. In fact they love riding so much, we get to have family cycling holidays – which is pretty cool. It means that we all understand when I say i want to go to a race, or go for a ride, they get it. Our family tip – is to have a light bike – the kids ride mostly their bmx cruisers at most events. These bikes are seriously light, and also pretty easy to resell as they grow, they have no gearing and only one brake, but hey my 6 year does track stands on the way to school! We have one junior road bike – but its probably heavier than the bmx. Most of all make sure they are having fun!

    • Simone Giuliani

      Thanks Lulu. It is fantastic to hear of your cycling family and the way the shared enthusiasm makes it easier for every one to get out, whether it is with or without the kids. Let’s hope we both have many years ahead of juggling that downside of finding room for more and more bikes.

  • Young@Heart

    My No1 tip is to join a club with lots of junior riders.

    It’s also worth noting that Cycling Australia have launched a new Junior Policy http://www.cycling.org.au/News/All-News/cycling-australia-announces-junior-cycling-policy. It stresses safety, limits on training, race distance and specialisation for younger riders.

  • Mick

    Thanks Simone, Great article. We taught all our boys to ride early and got them into some racing – bmx, track and road. They are now 13, 10 and 7 and we live on a hospital ship currently in Madagascar. We all have bikes and use them all the time to go out exploring, shopping and visiting. I marvel at how well the deal with the crazy traffic conditions here – cars, trucks, mini-buses, bikes, tuk-tuks, pouse-pouses (bicycle taxis), people, animals (pigs, chickens, goats and zebu), potholes, sand and few road rules. We have ridden as a family in Canary Islands, Congo, Cape Town and Madagascar and have had some wonderful adventures.

  • Eleri

    The club I ride with, Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club, has a strong juniors program on the track. We are inner-city so there’s not a lot of places for kids to ride. The track teaches them to handle their bike (and turn left). In the last couple of years they’ve begun venturing out on the road on our Saturday Slowies with their parents. While they used to ride around Centennial Park with their Dads, now they ride in the bunch to and from our start point in Marrickville. And very recently the 12 yr olds have been working up to the riding on our Sunday bunch rides. They ride with the slowest bunch and have to have a responsible adult with them. It’s been great for the club as well as the kids. And many of them have started road racing as they get more confident with gears and being on the road. It’s not simple taking kids on the road in a bunch, but most people in the club take on some responsibility to look out for them and to ensure they comply with road rules and safe riding.

  • ginga_ninja

    Fantastic article! I cannot talk up kid trailers for the bike enough. After I had both my kids, riding my bike the way I used to became a real challenge and I missed it! I bought a second hand Chariot (Thule) and on so many occasions it’s meant the difference between me getting out and staying sane and not… and the same for the kids! They often go to sleep in it which buys me time to train or just potter and have some “me” time, depending on what I want to do. It’s also a great way to simply get about and show them nature, go to the park, get to daycare. It’s a way of incorporating exercise in your daily routine that you might not otherwise get and it sets a good example of a healthy lifestyle choice. Now my eldest (almost 4) rides on his balance bike beside me while number 2 gets towed about. Totally agree with point number 5!! Always have some lollies/sultanas as a fail safe, it’s bought me an extra 20mins to get home on many occasions (and save some for yourself)!

    • Simone Giuliani

      Definitely agree with saving some for yourself. Nothing like pulling a trailer, particularly up a steep hill, to burn up those energy reserves.


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