Whether you're a Lance Armstrong-type cyclist or a very occasional rider, you and your family will enjoy two-wheeling it today. Bike riding is one of the few sports that you can do together with young children. Whether done on a mountain trail, bike path or sidewalk, it can be a lot of fun as long as you play it safe.
For starters, make sure everyone wears a properly fitted helmet. Give your children plenty of time before your outing to become familiar with the feel of the headgear. Next, select the kind of bicycle seat that's right for your child. For older babies and toddlers, you can choose between a trailer that's pulled from the back of the bike and a child carrier seat that's secured atop the bicycle, directly behind or in front of your seat. Trailers are advantageous for less experienced riders because they do not greatly impact the balance of the bike. They also offer more room to spread out. Trailers are, however, more expensive and may give your child a bumpy ride because they ride so low to the ground. Child carrier seats, by contrast, allow your child a smoother ride and cost less. Some models even recline; while they're beneficial for sleepy riders, they do make it tougher to stay balanced and may require some practice. Whichever seat you choose, be sure that your child is sitting comfortably to ensure that he or she goes the distance happily.