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Cycling is one of the best low-impact exercises available for cardio conditioning, and it’s also social sport families can enjoy together. Luckily, Utah is home to a fantastic biking community with a large selection of clubs, races, and non-profit organizations that all want to share their enthusiasm for biking.
If your kids don’t already have a bike, do a bit of research and get them the right bike. Utah is also home to the Bicycle Collective, a non-profit that helps refurbish bikes for lower income families.
This YouTube Video covers basic bike maintenance for children’s bikes:
Each summer Sundance and Solider Hollow resorts put on the Weekly Race Series which includes a kids’ race for ages 12 and under. The series helps kids to:
The kids’ races are free and designed for all levels of biking ability.
With races going into August, there’s still time to get your kids involved in this great activity. To learn more or for schedules, visit www.facebook.com/wrskids. If you’re interested in the adult races, visit weeklyraceseries.com.
The city hosts a biking-related activity almost every day, making this a great way to get your family excited about their summer cycling goals.
If you have a special needs child in your family, it may come as news to you that there are organizations that want to get them into biking! Cycle Ability puts on a yearly bike camp for kids with special needs.
The Elevate Program is a Utah non-profit for teens with disabilities. They are a bike league that helps 7th through 12th graders enjoy the character building benefits of mountain bike racing in a team environment.
Many local charity bike races are open to kids over twelve years old and many also feature a kids-only event after the main race. Charity races that benefit children’s causes may be of particular interest to your kids.
Utah County has several great rides away from the dangers of parked and moving cars. These are three of our favorites:
Check out this index of many more family-friendly bike rides in Utah.
Check into organized group rides in your area like the “Kidical Mass” group in Salt Lake City. Or, arrange your own ride right in your neighborhood. Enlist some other parents and map out a quiet route for an early morning group ride. Wrap up your ride back where you started and enjoy a treat together. It could become a neighborhood tradition.
Most families have at least one child too young to keep up the pace. But don’t let smaller riders stop you from getting out and enjoying a family spin. Bike trailers, strider bikes, trail-a-bikes, and even Dutch style “bakfiets” can make biking fun for all.
Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, rent a Family Fun Bike.
Did you know that wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of sustaining a severe brain injury by 88 percent?
Helmet Safety Tips:
Maintaining Your Bike
Before you ride, make sure your brakes work and your tires are inflated. Make sure your wheels, handlebars, and seat are tightened properly. And don’t forget to check and oil your chain on a regular basis.
All of these steps can be taught to older children but don’t forget to let younger kids help. Watching and helping you go through a safety check models the behavior you want them to learn.
Riding at night
Avoid riding at night when possible.
Use reflective tape or flashing lights.
Wear bright clothing.
Riding Around Cars
Children under 10 should always ride on the sidewalk. Don’t let children ride by themselves until you are sure they are mature enough to go on their own.
Teach kids to:
As kids get older, they will start riding on the streets. It is important to go over the rules of the road. Reading through
Utah Cycling Laws together is a great place to start.