Unexpected things can happen on the trail, especially when you factor kids into the mix. As parents, we find ourselves spending countless hours trying to prepare for everything yet still manage to forget to go for that last bathroom break before leaving the house. We don't know about you, but we definitely ran into a few “oh-no” moments on the trail even before we had kids. Now, biking with babies or children has magnified the worry tenfold that we could get stuck on a trail with our kids.
We've found a few helpful things to always remember before setting out on an adventure with the kids. They might help keep your mind at ease should anything pop-up unexpectedly.
The biggest and most common issue we've dealt with as bikers is dealing with an unexpected flat tire. A flat tire is a fast way to flatline any adventure (sorry, we couldn’t resist). We make it a point of factoring tire care into our pre-trip bike maintenance check. Are our tires pumped up? Are they showing any damage or wear and tear? Do we have a patch kit and a pump along for the ride? If we can answer these questions the right way then we breathe a little easier knowing we aren't going to get stuck trail riding with a flat — with or without kids.
What to ALWAYS pack
No matter how long our ride, we always pack a few necessities. When you're biking up a hill with your toddler’s weight and the weight of all these “in-case” supplies, it can be a bit hard not to day-dream about leaving some of them behind. We've found the peace of mind these items bring us irreplaceable.
Extra water - you can never have enough hydration. We have even heard of some people packing purification tablets or some form of water purification methods. Purifying river water on the trail can be an entertaining activity with your children as well.
Emergency Kit - a cut or scrape is as magnetic to a child as a bee to a flower. There's no real way to avoid those little accidents that happen on the trail. We always have a First Aid Kit and plenty of lights for after dark should we need them.
Snacks - We all pack snacks as parents to avoid the hangry child. What once was sweet and innocent is suddenly akin to the Hulk searching for a city to destroy. Snacks — you can never have too many we’ve found.
Waterproof Case - As much as we hate it, our phones are a massive part of our life and can provide a feeling of security and safety. I don't even want to think about running into trouble on the trail and not having a charged and working phone.
Basic Repairs Kit - This can be as intense or as basic as you like. We tend only to bring the tools along we think are necessary (a spare spoke, zip ties, multi-tool, a master link for the chain, spare tubes, and a pump). The longer the trip, the more we would bring. We also don't bother bringing things along for repairs that we ourselves don't even know how to do.
Clothing for the conditions - We don’t even want to think about being stuck on the trail with our kids against our will after dark. These unexpected situations are the ones we plan for though. We always make sure to pack for any kind of weather for the season. If it's a longer trip and walking back home or calling for help may become an issue, we bring even more, just in case.
Before we had kids, our rides were a little more intense. Longer rides, more advanced trails, and even a lack of cell reception meant creating a trip plan was a must. Knowing the trailhead, the planned route, and the expected duration of the ride were all critical information to know and share with someone before the adventure itself. Now, as parents, we tend to stay a little closer to cell range and on trails that are more suitable with kids. This idea of letting someone at home know where we're going for those longer trips is still a reflex, though. And we're sure glad that it is.
Part of our biking adventure preparation is making sure the Mac Ride kids bike seat is secure and safely installed. We make sure we have this seat even if the kids are bringing their own bikes. You never know when little ones will get tired or have a bad day. We may not be able to supply you with water purification tablets or spare tubes, but we can provide you with all the gear you'll need to install your Mac Ride kids bike seat safely. Shop online today and make sure you have everything to make sure your little adventurer is comfy cozy on the trail.