Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Take A Lap

A family bike ride can be a great way to spend time together and get some exercise, but with younger children, you often alternate between worrying about their safety on city streets and waiting for them to catch up. It can put a real damper on the whole event and ruin the outing. But before you scrap your plans, consider riding your bikes at a local school. We love to ride our bikes on the high school track a few blocks from our house. Always check to make sure there aren’t any rules against riding your bikes on the track, and that there are no events scheduled. And be extra courteous to anyone there to run/walk on the track. Our rule is that we give runners "two lanes" on either side, and always say "on your right" (or left) when we pass. The track is usually softer than the street—excellent if you have inexperienced riders who might wipe out—plus, there are no cars to worry about, and everyone can go safely at their own pace. You can make it even more fun by breaking into pairs and racing each other, even do a relay. It’s easy to keep track of how far you’ve gone, since four laps equal a mile. An added bonus of using the track is that it usually surrounds a football field. If the younger kids get tired of riding, they can run around on the football field or bleachers and you can still keep an eye on them. Be sure to pack plenty of water, load up on sunscreen, and of course, ALWAYS wear your helmet!

2 comments:

a_healthier_me said...

Thanks for stopping by! I love the idea of a family bike ride. There's a great path through town that we like to take. I never thought of using the tracks at school. Thanks for the tip!

Family Fitness Files said...

Thank you! Check with the school first to make sure it's OK. My kids are older and know to stay out of everyone's way. Smaller kids require more supervision. Someone mentioned that it could damage the track. But once in a while ... it's a nice way to get us all exercising in one place. We tend to stay to the outside lanes and give runners/walkers two lanes of clearance. Glad you found this useful. Take care!