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I just wanted to say that I think it's really awesome to see someone trying to keep their children involved in healthy activities. Cycling is a great way to lose weight and keep yourself entertained without taking it out on your joints.
Congrats on joining the cycling craze!! I homeschool my two youngest (ages 12 and 14) and we use cycling as part of our P.E. requirement. Now that would probably scare most kids away from ridiing, but I don't tell them how I'm counting their minutes and miles for school work!! (Shhhh!!)
With the price of gas, we've been using our bikes and trailer (we use the trailer to haul either our 4 legged furry kids or errand purchases) to do our local errands that can be accomplished on a bike. We make trips to the grocery store, the library, fun places that the kids want to visit as well as hitting the bike trail near our home. The bike trail follows a river and every 8-10 miles we take a break and they kick off their shoes and get their toes wet in the river for a few minutes. It give them a chance to "play", have a snack and allow their legs to rest for a bit. Then we're off again.
I've challenged them to add a mile each week before we turn around to come home. Their response was, but Mom, that means we're adding 2 miles!! (Wow! Homeschooling has paid off!! LOL!) I played dumb of course, but they fell for it! Our first rides were about 8-9 miles and now we're up to 16-18 miles. I told them when they can make it at least 20 miles in a trip without bonking, we'll ride the bike trail that goes from our town al the way to the beach (about 28 miles). They're really excited about that.
Making it their choice to ride and letting them pick the locations we ride to is great incentive for them. We bought small bags (Walmart $8.99) that attach to the handle bars so they can pack their own snacks and refueling gels/jelly beans. I think they think they're almost ready for pro-racing!! Ha!
You might also look for some local rides that include shorter family rides (5, 10 or 25 miles) and see if they want to participate in them. Many half century, century and double century rides also offer shorter family rides. Sign up for one and make a day of it!!
Good luck with the kids and congrats on your efforts to get the whole family riding!!
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My ideas would work for kids or significant others: bike to interesting places, take a picnic or stop for a meal, keep it short at first, help them be comfortable on their bikes (this might cost something for new seat, etc.), be patient, give lots of encouragement, etc. In effect, make it fun and brag about their accomplishments.
At one point I had a new 10 speed and my husband was still riding his old 3 speed; it was the only time I could really feel that I could keep up with him.
We also told our kids that if anyone tried to take their bikes just to let them have the bikes. It's safer that way, Mary
I'm off to my ___dance____ lesson!
Good advice, KJEANNE. I am not used to dealing with kids but the first thing I'd consider is whether they are reluctant or looking forward to it. Also, if there are any bike events in town, take them there to either ride or watch (watch a criterium, or something like a "Tour du Port" which is a local fundraising ride around the city). This will show them how many other people ride, and that cycling is a real sport. Watch the Tour de France this summer, or at least talk about the different stages. These things would probably address any lack of interest. Good luck, and welcome!
Welcome to the cycling team. And good for you in setting a great example for your children. You say that you have challenged your step-sons to join you, but don’t mention if they are reluctant to go cycling with you. How about your husband? Does he also ride?
Some things you might look into are:
Making sure the bikes are fitted to each rider. Your local bike shop can do that for you. A good bike fit means a more comfortable ride.
The bikes should be in good working condition.
Find out what destinations the boys have in mind and ride there with them
Encourage your husband to come out with you
You might add a reward with reaching the 45-mile goal
There are different ways to add mileage. You can add intervals to your 10-mile ride by asking each boy to pick a landmark to start a sprint and also pick where it will end, for example start for the light pole and spin tot the tree. The boys can alternate picking the points of sprinting. Since boys can be competitive, they might enjoy this exercise.
You can also pick a destination that is farther and tie a reward to the reaching it: for example, let’s ride to the ice cream shop that is 15 or 20 miles away and get some ice cream.
Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
I am pretty new to cycling (other than riding around as a kid) but started getting into it a bit last year. I got up to doing 25-35+ mile rides last year. I do all of my riding on a 1985 Bridgestone Carmel that is very comfy and was free (which is about the only thing that fits in my budget right now) with a trailer carrying my 2 year old attached.
This year I am just getting started again (we got another 8-10 inches of snow last week) and I have challenged my stepsons (10 and 12 years old) to join me. The long term goal is a 45 mile trip on a fairly flat and well paved bike trail that starts here in town. Does anyone have any tips on how to get and keep the kids at this or tips on training/working our way up to those distances? Right now we have started doing 10 mile rides in town but that's about it.
I am stronger than I think I am. So are you!