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"Must have" gear for new cycling family

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"Must have" gear for new cycling family

Old 08-24-19, 04:46 AM
  #26  
berner
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Excellent advice on equipment here for the newby family cyclists. I would also suggest that instilling a strong inclination to safety be considered as part of the necessary equipment. My reasoning is that last year a young boy, riding on the bike path with his family, was killed at an intersection with a cross road. The intersection was a bit tricky with a bend in the road and some underbrush creating short sight lines.The motorist was also a visitor from out of state and perhaps not familiar with the road and the location of the bike path. I can see that a bit of inattention by the motorist and poor road crossing practice by the boy could cause the incident. I have no idea why the family was not right there providing guidance.

Having good equipment is valuable but the best equipment is what is in your head. The greatest tragedy is when a young person does not get the opportunity to grow up and have the experience of life. There is still a ghost bike and flowers at the location.
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Old 08-24-19, 05:03 AM
  #27  
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My partner and I rode with our two guys,
started them on some type of bike when they
were about 4-5 (push scooter before that).
when they got older (8-10), took them on multi day
trips with us.
Always carried lots of water,
on trips more than 2-3 hours, would stop
for a chocolate milk and bag of potato chips.
i know we got lots of scorn about this choice,
it provided an energy boost and electrolyte balance
that was well received.
One bike accessory that was very helpful, a mirror.
it helps keep tabs on surrounding traffic and wandering kids.
when our youngest was 7-8 yo, we had a tandem for a couple
seasons and took a couple multi day trips with it.
we each had a mirror, mine to watch the navigator,
navigator to advise traffic behind us.
helped keep navigator's attention through the trip,
after a while he was good at warning that a motor vehicle
was closer than desired.
get a mirror
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Old 08-24-19, 05:51 AM
  #28  
Digger Goreman
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Depending on age: Gator rider (sp?), or other tag along might be best.

All children, under local law age, must have safety approved helmet.
Lights, everyone must be seen. Cygolight+hotshot are great.
Hydration: water bottles of choice + spares on parent bike.
Replacement tubes (one per bike, per tire size) to keep rolling.
Pump. My Aldi, dual pump (for $7), is fine.
Basic adjustment tools and tire levers. I add a pair of cheap pliers.
Sunscreen, keep away from and don't rub in eyes.
Med kit in waterproof container. Mine is mostly <=4" bandages.
Warning device (I deal with cars, so use an Airzound horn)
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Old 08-24-19, 07:37 AM
  #29  
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Some of the things we had (besides all the safety stuff) to make the rides more pleasant.
Every child had a handlebar bag they could keep snacks in and reach.
Every child had a mirror (mostly they looked at themselves)
They all had bike gloves and shorts
We put racks on their bikes and small trunk bags so they could help carry stuff like a light jacket etc.


We stopped at every playground the trail passed by. Stopped at every creek it crossed to look for bugs, frogs, etc.
It's not a race, they have small wheels, short cranks, and little legs. They turn many more RPM per mile than you do.
Teach them how to use their gears.
Your agenda isn't necessarily their agenda
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Old 08-24-19, 07:44 AM
  #30  
Digger Goreman
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Some of the things we had (besides all the safety stuff) to make the rides more pleasant.
Every child had a handlebar bag they could keep snacks in and reach.
Every child had a mirror (mostly they looked at themselves)
They all had bike gloves and shorts
We put racks on their bikes and small trunk bags so they could help carry stuff like a light jacket etc.


We stopped at every playground the trail passed by. Stopped at every creek it crossed to look for bugs, frogs, etc.
It's not a race, they have small wheels, short cranks, and little legs. They turn many more RPM per mile than you do.
Teach them how to use their gears.
Your agenda isn't necessarily their agenda
Sage advice....
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Old 08-24-19, 08:53 AM
  #31  
Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
…We stopped at every playground the trail passed by. Stopped at every creek it crossed to look for bugs, frogs, etc.
It's not a race, they have small wheels, short cranks, and little legs. They turn many more RPM per mile than you do.
Teach them how to use their gears.
Your agenda isn't necessarily their agenda
Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
Sage advice....
Speaking of family rides I can remember only three; one with the family; two with my son (only), and none with our daughter.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…Our last bike excursion together as a family was about 30 years ago to Walden Pond with a stop for breakfast as Wilson's Diner where we snapped a favorite family photo of my son and wife.

Mike soon outgrew the trailer that I pulled, Sharon got busy with childcare, etc and we never got back into synch to ride together. (Before children we were avid tourists including a cross country ride.)
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…My now-28 year old son was only perfunctorily interested in cycling, and was learning to drive at age 14. When he went to Ann Arbor (U of Michigan) for college in 2007 we bought him a used Schwinn road bike and he used it much while there, and for getting around Boston after he graduated (currently borrowing our car frequently).

That bikeshop owner still remembers me from when we diligently searched for the best (used) bike.

I once took him [Mike] on a 25-mile charity ride as an adolescent, and it rained. He admitted it was a nice ride, even though it "sucked."

As a post adolescent, our only long (~20 mile) ride together was about five years ago. It was congenial, and he rode faster than me, though I complained he didn’t give me a chance to warm up, and he complained his derailleur wasn’t working right.
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Old 08-24-19, 10:08 AM
  #32  
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What kind of riding? Mountain biking, road riding, city, country, MUP, gravel, fitness levels, ages, touring, local? So many questions.

In general, there is a robust secondary market in stuff you need because your story happened to another family and then it doesn't "take" so the stuff gets sold. Start slow and cheap.
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Old 08-25-19, 12:12 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by isuhunter View Post
What do you guys suggest as must have gear? Our family is getting into riding and want to be prepared for single person or family rides.

Are insulated water bottle worth the money? What do you suggest for brand/style?
Insulated bottles are the best. Pick up some generic ones from Nordstrom Rack, Ross, Marshall’s. Most non bike ones fit fine. More expensive ones keep things cold way longer. I have Klein Kanteen and Kinto as well as cheaper ones for a myriad of purposes. They are also sturdier and leak less (or not at all) in your bag. I use mine for everything. Stainless is best.
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Old 08-25-19, 04:00 PM
  #34  
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Of course it depends on the age and independence of the kids. My bias is towards minimizing the amount of crap on the kids bikes. Every attachment is a distraction. And the kids don't really need instant continuous access to drinks and snacks, unless those are things they expect at home. Let them focus on riding safely. It was easier for me to throw all of their stuff into a bag and strap it to the rack on my bike, or put it in a backpack. Likewise when we were just getting them into hiking, camping, etc.

At a younger age, we walked our bikes across busy streets. I also taught them that they have to make their own independent judgment about whether it's safe to cross: "Just because I crossed doesn't mean it's safe. You have to be watching out for yourself." On streets, I let them go in front of me, so I could watch them, and to put myself between them and any car approaching from behind. This also gave them a sense of responsibility and control. Naturally they get more liberty as they demonstrate that they can handle it. Being allowed to go out on their bikes after dark didn't start right away.

Find excuses to go on short rides in town: To the library, ice cream shop, park, school, etc.

Let them participate in maintenance! Both of my kids have rebuilt bikes from a pile of parts. A work colleague of mine gave me her "campus bike" and my daughter got it working and took it to college. A relative of mine had a great idea that I think is cool: He got both of his kids a basic took kit for Xmas, and then every year they get a couple more tools. You could do that with bike tools as well.

Have fun!
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