You’re on vacation and the one thing on your list is to explore Holland by bike. There is just one question: how to take your kids on bike ride? Indeed, the question is not can I, because there always is an option. The question is how do you want to cycle in the Netherlands with your kids?
Child seat on the bike
My mom couldn’t wait to take me for a bike ride. As soon as I sat up straight, she put me on the bicycle, in the front seat. First row, which meant I had the best view in the world! The front bike seats have straps that go around the body and straps that keep the feet secured. A good idea, when your kid is still very young, is a transparant shield for wind protection. The front seat is mounted on the handlebars of the bicycle. It’s best to use this seat for young children, weiging less than 15 kilo. So, from the moment your children can sit upright by themselves, at the age of 6-9 months, they can come on your bike ride in the Netherlands!
The rear bike seat is a better fit for children between the age of 3 and 6 years old. It’s a much larger seat, still with the straps to protect the feet.
Note: From experience I know it is a good idea to first try and make short rounds with your baby or toddler. Build up the distance and time you cycle. Best to get your child used to cycling before you come and visit the Netherlands.
Happy-go-lucky cycles together with you
How to take your kids on bike ride when they can already cycle? Good question, because now comes my favorite part! For me, there is no better day than a cycling tour than with kids on their own bike. Children are so enthusiastic! Most of the times, it’s the parents having doubts. Is the distance not too long? Is Mikey/ Tina able to cycle that long? Well, usually they are! You’ve probably already talked to your kid about the upcoming bike ride in the Netherlands. By the time the actual bike ride is about to happen your happy-go-lucky girl or boy is so excited she/ he can’t wait to start pedalling.
Ok, I sense you’re not completely sure your child is thát comfortable on her/ his own bicycle. No worries, there are two options: a parent-child tandem ( by far my favorite) and a trailer bike – that’s a child’s bike attached to an adult’s bicycle-.
Kid on a tandem
The regular parent-child tandem can take 1 parent and 1 child pedalling. Now you see I’ve used the word ‘regular’. The main reason is that this tandem comes in many varieties. There are versions on which 1 parent and 2 children can cycle together! The parent-child tandem bike is in my view so fantastic, ’cause the kid sits on a lower seat in the front. The adult- father, cousin, grandmother- sits on a seat of regular height. In the first paragraph I already told you how exciting it was for me to sit front row. I see this in every kid on a parent-child tandem. Children truly start glowing and they always want to cycle faster than the adult that’s on the bike with them. The times I suggested a ride on the parent- child tandem the parent didn’t even need to pedal!
This bicycle was created for children between the age of 3.5 and 7 years, of course depending on the height of the child itself.
The trailer bike is not as steady as the parent-child tandem as the kid’s bike is really attached to the adult’s bike and, logically, can also be detached. The kid’s bike kind of swirls behind the adult’s bike, which often makes the kid chuckle. This bike obviously is behind the adult’s bike, which makes it a completely different experience from the parent-child bicycle. The trailer bike is designed for children in the age of 4 till 9 years old.
In this post I’ve not discussed babies – children that can not sit upright without aid- as I do not feel my bike tours through the Dutch countryside are too long – in distance & time- for children that young. If you do want more information on baby trailers or other options to cycle with babies, check this post by Bicycle Dutch.
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