Tips for taking the kids cycling off-road

Off-road cycling

Off-road cycling is a great way to build confidence and skill when riding. Once your child has mastered balancing and are confident cyclists on solid ground, why not head off-road and take them on their own adventure?

Here are a few tips to help you make the transition a smooth one.

Dress appropriately

 One of the most important things to take into account is clothing. If your child has not been off-road before they may be a bit unsteady so the less skin they have on show the better protected they’ll be if they do take a tumble.

Of course their helmet is a must as it is any time they get on their bike. Gloves are also a good idea because they will protect your child’s hands not only when they tumble but from blisters too.

Know your child’s skill/ confidence level

It is important that you don’t choose just any old off-road track, if your child is newish to cycling then you need to choose a route that mirrors their skill level.

Not only does your child’s skill level need to be taken into account but their confidence, just because your child is skilled when riding on pavements doesn’t mean they are ready to tackle a tougher off-road track.

The best way is to start basic to build their confidence and then progress from there.

Plan in advance

Plan your route. If you’re not sure if the route is suitable this will give you a chance to scope it out yourself before you take your child along. It’s a good idea (if you have time) that if you’re trying out a new route to walk it yourself, that way you will know the route and be able to warn your child of any hills or obstacles along the way.

Pack for any eventuality

 As with any trip out with kids, you will be required to take everything apart from the kitchen sink. The most important thing to pack on an off-road trip is water. Unlike other bike rides, you won’t be able to nip into the shops so it’s important to have enough water to keep you all hydrated as you ride. Pack a couple of snacks if you’re going to be out or a while, because no one wants to be in the woods with a hungry child. Packing a first aid kit is a must, just in case there are a few tumbles.

Make it interesting

If your child is a bit older and more confident when riding, why not time yourselves going around the track? This way it can give you something to beat the next time.

If your child isn’t quite at that stage yet, then you can make the off-road route into a bit of an adventure. Wooded tracks are perfect for this as you can make up your own little story as you go.

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*Mainland UK.