Bike riding is something the whole family can do together — it’s free, fun and encourages physical activity and exploration of the outdoors. Whether you’re going on a family outing or just down the road to the shops, cycling can add a sense of adventure to journeys usually done on foot or by car.
Discover Kid-friendly routes and places to ride
When cycling with kids, it is best to avoid very busy roads or complicated junctions. Rather plan your journey around quieter roads and cycle paths. There are a range of kid-friendly routes and rides in and around Cape Town – many of them are traffic-free, following cycleways and paths shared with pedestrians. Explore our collection of fun, safe places for kids to cycle – from local parks and nature trails to traffic-free city meanders, places to play and kid-friendly events.
Tips for planning a family bike ride:
– Don’t go too far: it’s better that everyone enjoys themselves on a short ride and comes home eager to go on the next trip.
– Check the route beforehand: make sure you don’t get lost and plan some options for short cuts. Avoid very hilly routes, busy roads and difficult junctions. Plan journeys on traffic-free routes (cycleways, shared use paths, greenways and trails) or quiet roads and traffic-calmed streets. Check out the surface of the path. Greenways and nature trails can have variable surfaces that are not suitable for all bikes. Use our Strava route maps and download them to your smart phone or GPS device.
– Make it interesting: children can get bored so plan lots of pits stops and breaks along the way- little and often is better than one long break half-way. For younger kids, have a few games, like I-spy, to play along the way and stop at a playground or park, especially one with a café or ice-cream shop!
– Let the slowest cyclist set the pace: this may be a child or an adult who hasn’t cycled for a while.
– Check your bikes the day before: see our guide to basic bike maintenance.
– Take a friend: it’s more of an adventure if your child has a friend to cycle with – though make sure that they’re at roughly the same level.
– Keep children warm: when a young child is on the back of a bike, they won’t be generating heat like the person doing all the pedalling! Even on a fine day, take extra clothes and waterproofs – just in case. The same goes for making sure that they are not overheated. Find out more on cycling with kids on board…
– Take snacks and drinks: it’s important to keep their energy and spirit levels up.
– Cycle Safe: When cycling on the road with children, take up a position behind them. If there are two adults in your group, it’s a good idea to have one at the back and one in front of the children. Remember to give way to other users (e.g. walkers, cyclists and horse riders) when cycling on shared pathways. Find out more about safe cycling.