Getting the family out on bikes is great fun. You can explore so many more places, plus they’re perfect for going on a picnic.
However, cycling with a heavy bag on your back isn’t that fun. So here are some tips to help with your next family cycle adventure.
Let your bike take the weight with Panniers
I know many people don’t like the look of bike panniers, but I prefer to fill panniers with things for a picnic than carry heavy items on my back. The bike can take the weight much better than me 🙂
Plus, with the weight lower down, your bike will be more stable.
Saddle and Frame Bags
These are very popular these days and means you don’t have to fit pannier racks to your bike, which don’t look the best on a mountain bike.
There are lots of options with these types of bags, but they can’t carry quite as much weight as panniers.
Frame bags are typically useful for puncture repair items.
Handlebar Cool Bags
An item we’ve used for years is a handlebar-mounted cool bag, which clips onto the handlebars and carries enough for sandwiches and snacks.
They often come with a useful pocket on top where you can place a map or your phone, and usually have side pockets for a few more drinks or snacks while you are on the go.
Bottle Cages for Water
Don’t load up your kids’ bikes with bags, though. Young kids will find a heavy bike harder to pedal.
But do make sure they have a water bottle cage fitted if possible. Everyone should have something available to drink, and water bottles can be heavy when in backpacks. So, attach them to your bikes.
Small Backpack or Daysack
You will probably still need a backpack, even if only for things like a raincoat.
There’s an art to correctly packing a backpack (link to post here). But for a day out cycling, we don’t need to take anything too heavy.
For young kids, it’s a good idea to get a small backpack, which makes them feel all grown-up, as well as teaching them some responsibility.
We’ve always found the LittleLife backpacks great for small kids, and recommend them.
Just pack a lightweight raincoat/mac, some snacks, and maybe a small bear or crayons and paper.
Heavier items should be placed towards their back and nearer the bottom of the bag.
For older kids, it’s much the same, though they can help carry some of the picnic and anything else they want to bring.
For parents, if you don’t have panniers, you’ll probably be bringing items for yourself, extra items for your kids, and most of the picnic.
Remember these rules for packing your bag:
So, there are the 5 ways we’ve used to bring all the things we need for a day out in the saddle, complete with picnic, snacks, and clothes for a change in weather. I hope that helps you too.
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