Family Cycling Made Simple

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1 Response

  1. Ryan Boddy says:

    In regard to tips number 1 and 2, it’s a good idea to always have a patch kit on hand that includes at the very least: tube patches, tire levers, and a 16mm box wrench for removing the wheel from the bicycle’s wheel dropouts. This way, even if one of the riders in your party gets a flat, it won’t necessarily mean the end of your ride together.

    There’s great information at http://www.sheldonbrown.com about how to do all sorts of bicycle repairs from the simplest tube patches to very complex operations that can save money, and teach kids the skills they need to take care of their bicycles themselves.

    For tip number 3, don’t forget that Google Maps now has the added functionality of displaying bike maps as well as just maps for driving, walking, and taking public transit.

    Speaking of public transit, it’s also not a bad idea to learn how to use public transit with a bike. Some cities allow bicyclists to take their bicycles with them on buses, light rails, or even subways, though sometimes there are time restrictions to ensure room for passengers exists during rush hours. This can be a great way to point out to children that one doesn’t always need a car to get around in the city, and that doing so can even be fun. Riders can check out their city or state’s public transportation website for details about which modes of transport allow this, and when there might be restrictions.

    In relation to tip number 5, MapMyRide is a free service at its non-premium level that allows users to map the routes they’ve taken, and enter their rides as workouts that display approximate calories burned, and more information that users may find helpful in their development as cyclists, runners, swimmers, etc. It also lets users share their preferred routes with friends, or with the entire community. They even have an iPhone app that allows riders to measure the same information as the web version, but also maps using the GPS in the phone.

    Last but not least, it’s important to carry a quality bicycle lock if you intend to use your bike to travel to places like restaurants, movie theatres, grocery stores, farmer’s markets, etc. It’s also important to learn how to lock a bike up properly to ensure that it remains where you leave it when you return. The National Bicycle Registry’s site has pretty good advice for people who are new to the process.

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