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    News — kids bike seat

    Winter Biking with the Kids? No Problem, but Gear Up with These Tips First

    Winter Biking with the Kids? No Problem, but Gear Up with These Tips First

    It’s that time of year already for those of us North of the Equator! We’ve all put the snow tires on the car, and we’re ready for snow. It’s also the time when many of us have already put our bikes away for the winter. But what if, instead of patiently waiting for the spring, you got ready for some winter wonderland adventures?
     
    Everyone’s version of winter will be different depending on where you live. If you have colder winters with frequent snow, you’ll need more winter gear. For rainier climates like the west coast of Canada, rain gear and windbreakers will be necessary.
     
    So, what do you need to remember for winter biking?
     
    It's Getting Dark Out There
    Days are much shorter in the winter, and this means darker mornings and evenings. Instead of worrying about the diminished light, try bringing lots of light with you. Outfit your bike with plenty of light, so that you’re easily visible and attach lights to your little one and yourself. Make sure to also bring a headlamp to help you navigate if you find yourself in particularly dark conditions. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. We go out for a ride, end up losing track of time, and it starts getting dark on your way home. Don’t get stuck in a situation like this, plan ahead. Make sure you have plenty of light in the winter, and this won’t be such a big issue.
     
    Your Bike Needs its Winter Gear, Too
    Winter conditions call for a few adjustments to your bike. With mountain bikes, you already have nice, wide gripping pedals. That’ll give you more stability if you’re out riding with bigger footwear for the cooler temperatures.
     
    It can also help to change out the tires on your bike for winter. If biking with your kids in the winter is on your list of things to do this year, invest in good quality winter tires for your winter environment. On the west coast, when it does snow, it can get slushy and slippery. In some cases, this slush freezes into a dangerously uneven, icy surface. If you get heavy snowfall in the winters, consider buying wider tires that are designed for the snow.
     
    Balance bikes in the snow can be made even more fun by attaching a ski kit to them. Kids biking in the winter can seem like a lot of work, but we’ve found that it’s a lot of fun and worth the added effort to be prepared.
     
    Dress to Impress in the Winter
    Impress mother nature with your seasonal prowess by dressing effectively for the temperature and conditions. Layering is key in the winter. It allows you to be more flexible if the weather changes or your child gets too warm.
     
    Make sure everyone has a base layer with wicking properties to move sweat and moisture away from the skin. Nothing is worse than cotton shirts that get wet and turn cold when they dry. Next, add a mid-layer for insulation, like fleece or wool. Make your jacket suits the conditions you are riding in. If it’s a chilly, rainy day, you’ll need a rain shell to keep dry. If you’re in freezing temperatures with snow, opt for a snowsuit or big warm snow jacket. Also, gloves. Gloves are extremely important, especially in the cold months of winter. Make sure you have an extra pair in case they get wet. This rule applies to socks, too. And lastly, make sure you keep your head warm with a winter hat under the helmet or a specifically designed helmet for winter. These clothing rules apply to everyone on the ride. However, your child is up front and they will not be working as hard as you are to peddle. Make sure they are dressed extra warm to be able to enjoy the ride in cooler temperatures.
     
    Taking your kids’ biking in the winter months can be a lot of fun, but they require a little more work than in warmer months. You may have to pack a little more than usual, but the terrain is new and undiscovered, which makes the same old adventures something to look forward to. If you’re using a child's bike seat, remember they’re exposed to wind a bit more than a carriage behind.
     
    Helpful tip: bring something for them to cover their face with if it gets cold from the wind. Try Buff, they make kids sizes, they’re super comfy, and we’re big fans.
     
    We believe in family adventures year round. Getting out on the trail together doesn’t stop just because the days are shorter and the temperatures are lower. If you’re prepared for the season, winter biking can be an exciting adventure for the whole family. The biggest trick we have found is always making sure that the kids are dressed appropriately. Check out this great little video to help you remember all the right gear for a ride.
     
    Looking for a child's bike seat for your toddler to enjoy the trails with you this winter? Shop our inventory and be ready for that first picture perfect, sunny snow day.

    Why Kids Need to Learn How to Ride a Bike

    child bike seat

    We all want to do the best for our kids. We want to make sure we give them the tools to lead a happy and healthy life. We want to keep them safe. We want to make lasting memories with them. Learning to ride a bike is one of the things many parents teach their children, and every parent has a different reason and method for how they teach their kid. And there are many reasons to teach a child to ride a bike.


    Here are five we think resonate with most parents:


    1. It's Fun

    Sometimes, the reason for doing something is simple: it's fun. Riding a bike is fun. The wind on your face, the world flying by and the feeling of the crisp air in your lungs. There's just something about exploring on a set of wheels powered by your own abilities that we find enjoyable.


    1. Your Kids Develop a Sense of Independence

    Riding a bike can give your child a sense of accomplishment as they achieve new milestones in the sport. As they get older, they can use this bike to go play at the park in the neighbourhood with their friends, or they can peddle to and from school. When they get their first job, a bike may be their method of getting to and from work. A bike is a child's first method of transportation that they feel they own. This can give your child a great sense of independence and responsibility.


    1. There Are Extraordinary Health Benefits

    It's recommended that children aged 5-11 get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day. Adequate exercise helps children focus and do better in school. It helps with bone and muscle development and can help children with their self-confidence and mood. Learning to ride a bike is also great for a child’s hand-eye coordination. All in all, riding a bike benefits a child’s physical and mental health and development.


    1. It’s a Sustainable Form of Transportation

    Biking is a great method of transportation. There are many cities in the world where biking to work is far faster than driving due to traffic. Riding a bike to work is not only healthy for the person powering the bike but also for the planet. A bike doesn't require fuel and leaves a much smaller carbon footprint than a car. It requires a certain amount of greenhouse gas to be manufactured and shipped, but at some point, it'll become carbon neutral if you're riding it often. When a child learns to ride a bike, they have the tools early on to choose to use a bike as their method of transportation.


    1. It’s a Great Activity for the Entire Family

    It can be hard to think of activities that the entire family can enjoy. Often times, a family has a few children that are at different ages or levels. Thanks to new and different equipment available for teaching children to ride bikes, even young children can come along for a bike ride on their parent's bike. As a child grows, they can graduate to their own and enjoy family time while exploring the world and staying active. With all the time a child spends around screens and indoors, a family bike ride sounds like a pretty great idea to us.


    Teaching a child to ride a bike can start long before you get them a balance bike. A child can be learning the feeling of a bike before they're the one responsible for powering it forward. That's where Mac Ride comes in. We want to provide a way to get your child outside for a family bike ride before they're able to pedal a bike themselves. They can learn how a bike feels on mountain terrain and dirt roads and can start to observe how to steer and stop. This early familiarity with a bike will help them learn to ride their own bike faster as they get older. A baby bike seat, and later a child bike seat, is the perfect way to introduce biking to small children.


    Ready to give your child a head start at learning to ride a bike? Or are you itching to get out on some family adventures with a child bike seat? Shop Mac Ride here.

     

    Image Source: @prevelobikes