5 things you need on a family bike ride
Summer, summer, go away. I could not be more excited for fall and all that comes along with it – top of the list, our regular bike excursions! Oh, how I miss tugging my little tot behind me in his bike trailer, feeling the cool breeze whipping past. My oldest is finally showing interest in her bike again (after a long period where she was exclusively with her scooter) so we are praying for this desert heat to fade away! When we head out on our bikes, we usually go pretty far so I definitely always ride prepared.
One bonus of parenthood is that you end up being a planner, more prepared. Prior to being a mother, I would just head out on the road or on the trail all willy nilly, with nothing much in my pack. Hopefully I remembered my water, but beyond that – yeah, I didn’t bring it. Now every time I leave the house, I’m checking and rechecking my bag, packing snacks, beverages, first aid, entertainment, the kitchen sink… I’m joking, kind of, but when it comes to outdoor adventures with kids, it really is important to be prepared. Here’s what I bring on our rides (don’t worry, it’s a small list):
- hydration. Take it from a desert-dweller, hydration is the most important part of any adventuring kit. Water, water, water, and if you have the space, more water. As a general rule, I like to have about 1 liter of water per person, per hour of travel time. This is a family bike ride, not a competitive race, mind you, so if the intensity is moderate to high, bring more than a liter.
- emergency electrolytes. After a good amount of sunshine and sweating, your body really needs electrolyte replenishing. No reason to bring sports drinks with you (who even really knows what’s in those… definitely artificial dyes!) – just pack electrolyte tabs or powders that can be added to your water. These are a total lifesaver. I actually keep some in my purse and car simply because the dry heat in the desert can dehydrate you very quickly, in any situation. Find electrolyte supplements online or in outdoor-related stores (I buy ours at our local cycle shop). The brand in my photos is safe for kids over 1.
- skinned knee treatment. Spills happen on bike rides quite easily. All it takes is a moment of distraction or a stray pebble and BOOM, asphalt meets skin. Make sure to bring adhesive bandages (kid friendly character type encouraged) and an antibiotic cream or gel. Before you apply the antibiotic ointment, make sure to wash the scrape with water to remove any pieces of road or dirt that may be wedged in.
- sunscreen. Before heading out, applying sunscreen is, of course, important. When you’re sweating, sunscreen can be compromised, so always bring more for reapplication. Top of the nose, cheeks, forearms and thighs are most exposed when biking, so make sure to reapply in those locations.
- energizing, nutritious snacks. When the kids are outside exerting themselves, I always keep snack bars of some sort around, my favorite (and theirs) being CLIF Kid Zbars. Kids need proper nutrition to keep them energized and active, so bringing snacks on your bike rides is imperative.
CLIF Kid Zbars have been a pantry staple in our home since my daughter was very small, like 6 or 7 years. I’ve always felt comfortable buying CLIF Kid products because I know the brand has a lot of integrity when it comes to their ingredients and production. CLIF Kid Zbars are made with organic ingredients, NON-GMO and contain no high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or synthetic preservatives. These are just healthy, nutritious bars that will fuel your active kids and encourage them to keep on playing!
I have been hearing a lot of upsetting statistics lately showing that kids just are not getting enough outside play. I grew up climbing trees, touring my bike all over town, coming home at sundown – and I want the same for my kids. I heard that ideally, kids should get 3 hours a day of outdoor activity. Of course, that isn’t going to happen every day – we have busy, plugged in lives, but it is up to us parents to encourage (even require) a time of active play. While we’re on the subject, us parents need it too! I know I need a break from my keyboard and that’s why I love nighttime family time – bike rides and walks.
Check out this video about CLIF Kid‘s dedication to getting kids out to PLAY!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.