We'll start with the obvious. Do you have the right gear and is your gear up to date?
Have you gone for a bike ride yet this summer? If not (or even if you have), when you pull out the bicycles, check them to make sure they're still the right size for the kids, have the proper amount of air in the tires and are in overall good working condition (check those brakes).
Make sure everyone in the family has a helmet (that means Mom and Dad too) and that they still fit properly as well. If your child (age 5 and up) needs a new helmet, check out Little Nutty Helmets that have a built-in spin dial for a snug fit (not to mention they have tons of fun designs for your son or daughter to choose from).
When was the last time you washed your bikes? A fun way to prepare for the trip, the kids can get in on the action and help polish their rides. Believe it or not, the way to properly wash your bike isn't completely obvious. Go to Youtube and search "How to wash your bicycle" to find out what not to do.
Whether you're planning a long ride (around the lake) or a shorter journey (to get ice cream), it will be fun to chart your course with the children. Get a map of your area and decide how far and where you want to go. You can make a day of it and plan fun stops along the way. Hit the bagel shop in the morning, stop and have a picnic lunch and go for a late afternoon swim at the pool, beach or lake.
Instead of kicking up that kickstand from your driveway, "switch gears" and put the bikes in the back of your vehicle and drive to the place you want to bicycle. Maybe it's the lake or along the ocean or even in the mountains. You can also think on a larger scale and make your bike riding part of a bigger weekend trip like camping.
If it's going to be one of those really hot summer days, you can still go for your family ride. But opt to head out in the morning — maybe even at sunrise if you can get everyone to rise and shine — to grab breakfast. Or you can plan your excursion for the end of the day and ride to a restaurant for dinner or to have an evening picnic at the park.
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