Riding your e-bike can be a great way to relax from all the stresses of parenting, but sometimes you don't have the time to get away with all of your responsibilities. Luckily, with all of the options for bringing kids with you on your e-bike, you don't have to leave your kids behind.
When done carefully and with the right preparation, your children can join you on your ride. This can be a great way to spend some enjoyable time together, and with kids going back to school, this could be a great way to enjoy a ride while you drop young kids off. Let's take a look at how you can safely ride with kids.
Most children can safely ride with you on your e-bike, but there are some things to consider before you both start riding. First of all, there is age. Children younger than 12 months generally should not be riding. This is because their necks may not be strong enough to support their heads stably on uneven ground.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends riding with children that are between one to four years of age. Just ensure that they are strong enough to stably wear a lightweight helmet and ensure your local jurisdiction does not have any special rules to follow. Next, ensure that the carrier you choose can support your child's weight and that your e-bike can support both of your weights.
Choose the Right Seat
The first step once you decide that your child is ready and able to ride with you is to choose the right bike seat for your child. This is a critical decision to ensure your child's safety and the comfort of your ride.
First, check your e-bike’s carrying capacity and ensure that the added weight of the carrier and your child won't exceed it. Next, you will need to select a style, and the most common are rear-mounted, mid-mounted, and front-mounted. The choice between these will mostly be what feels comfortable to you when riding. If you can, test out different options without your child in them and see how they feel. Different options can feel awkward when mounting and dismounting the bike, so it is important to choose one that you feel confident supporting.
Choose a Child Safety Helmet
It is extremely important to ensure your child wears a safety helmet at all times while riding. It is equally as important to choose a helmet they can support and that fits them properly to protect your child's head in case of a fall.
Helmets designed for children are made with lightweight, ventilated filler such as foam. Remember that young children's skulls are much more delicate than an adult's, and a properly fitted helmet can mean the difference between life and death in case of an accident.
Practice Riding With a Load
Just like with everything in life, it takes practice to get good at riding your e-bike with a child. The added weight from your child and carrier can throw off your balance, and it takes practice to learn to ride safely.
So, before you strap your child in for a ride, try placing something else in the seat to simulate the weight and practice riding. Once you feel confident, try practicing in a safe place such as a park or a quiet residential area so you and your child can get used to riding before you hit the road or more intense trails. This can help your child feel safe and enjoy the activity before more intense rides and raises the chances they will learn to love riding.
Safeguard Your E-Bike
The previous steps, including choosing the right seat, a properly fitted helmet, and practicing, are necessary steps to keep your child safe but don't forget to check your e-bike for any safety risks.
Important precautions include making sure that if your child's seat does not completely protect their legs to install protective shielding. Otherwise, their legs can rub against the tire and suffer from severe abrasions and burning. Check for any other exposed components such as the chain that may be in reach and ensure they are shielded before riding.
Additionally, ensure your e-bike is in good working condition before riding with your child. Are the brakes working well, tires inflated, and everything else working well? Make sure everything is safe and working well before taking your child with you.
First of all, right now, it's still hot enough that you will want to keep your children's outfits light and remember the sunscreen! Children's skin is fragile and can easily become irritated if you ride for long. This is the same with their eyes so remember sunglasses or an eye mask for long rides.
As the weather starts cooling down, you will want to start gradually increasing the layers and remember the helmet regardless of other headwear. You may need to account for any headwear and increase the helmet size accordingly to allow the helmet to fit properly and still achieve a snug fit.
Bringing your child along on the ride can be the perfect way to enjoy your e-bike without needing to find time to get away. This can also get your child interested in cycling early, and soon they will want to ride a bike of their own. So, choose a child safety seat, prepare, and enjoy some fun times together on your e-bike.