4 Games To Make Family Cycling More Entertaining

By Adam Marsal

A lot of activities feel better shared with the family and cycling is no exception. Once the kids have grown enough to catch up with the adults, it’s the perfect time to invite them for a ride. Let us go through a few tips to make riding together more attractive and prevent kids from reaching a point when they might not want to continue.

A positive experience is the perfect starting point for future rides. That’s why distance, speed or skills are not the goal – it’s the good time spent together. If cycling makes a child happy, the rest is just a matter of time, and skills as well as endurance will just come by themselves.

For older kids, cycling alone is fun but the younger ones expect to experience something more here and there. Therefore, the best cycling trip for the entire family looks more like a programme at an amusement park and less like an endurance race. Clever parents plan in advance and never let their kids get bored.

There are ways to make kids fall in love with cycling, such as offering them something nice that might break the ice and make them friends with the bike. What about a cycling jersey with their favourite Paw Patrol character or a colourful bike bell?

MTB Family
A positive experience is the perfect starting point for future rides.

Apart from regular breaks for snacks and rest, you can prepare a few games or side activities to keep the kids focused. Here are some tips:

1. Cone course

Preparing a cone course never takes more than five minutes. Use backpacks, stones or branches as obstacles and let the kids zig-zag through the track. The slalom will improve their turning and handling skills and teach them to keep balance even at a slow speed.

2. Low rider

Maintaining a centre of gravity while on the bike is one of the fundamental skills that keeps kids in balance, which is the next challenge of the game called ”Ride as low as possible”. You can stretch a string between two trees and let the kids ride underneath. Never tighten the string too firmly to prevent kids from getting injured. Once everyone passes through, you can lower the obstacle by a little for the next round. Whoever touches the string, drops out. The winner is the last one remaining in the game.

3. Paperboy

Remember a paperboy tossing newspapers into mailboxes while riding? That skill is the template for the next game. Pretend an open backpack is a mailbox and let the kids hit it with whatever object, be it a cone, a spare t-shirt or a water bottle. The most accurate shooters move to the next round and the clumsier ones are out. The main point of this exercise is to teach children to estimate distances while steering a bike.

4. Chalk courses and road signs

Distribute coloured chalk among the kids and encourage them to design a course on a pavement or an empty parking lot. They can draw points to ride between, such as a police station, a school or a shopping mall. Drawing different kinds of traffic signs and following them will teach kids about road codes.

Steer clear from pushing them

Never stress them regarding the distance, pace or time of intended arrival to the destination. It is up to an adult to schedule the trip length according to the age and skills of the youngest participant. Just stop and play as often as you can during a family cycling trip. Bring enough sweets as a reward for the most successful riders but don’t forget the others to keep them motivated for the next ride.

Happy end

A happy end matters, so don’t let your adult ego spoil the experience. The best outcome is bringing the kids home satisfied and asking for more future rides. If this happens, you’re the winner of the day. You can boost their positive attitude by letting them recall the highlights or showing them the photos or videos taken on the ride.