For children 4 years of age and under
The choice is between a seat and a trailer. Seats, which are cheaper and less tiring than towing a trailer, are designed for children who weigh under 20 kg and ideal for outings less than 20 km long.
Some advice about using seats: wait until the child is old enough to sit up in a chair (about 11 months); don’t use a seat once the child gets too big (4 or 5 years old or 20 kg.); choose a model with a back that provides good head support and with cross-straps that hold the child firmly in place; make sure the child wears a bicycle helmet; never let children hold anything in their hands when riding; never leave the child alone in the
Trailers are more comfortable for the child, offer more stability for the cyclist and allow you to carry more things. There are two price ranges for trailers: from $200 to $300, and over $300. Trailers under $300 are designed for Sunday outings, so can be used for trips lasting three days. Trailers over $300 have considerable advantages in terms of weight and assembly and disassembly.
Children between 5 and 7 years old
They are usually too heavy to ride in a trailer but not yet strong enough to ride their own bikes. However, trailer cycles (such as Trail-a-Bikes) that attach to the rear of an adult bike are a very good compromise. Children who ride these bikes can pedal and actually help to move the vehicle forward, but they can also let themselves to be towed. These bicycles are less difficult to pull than a trailer; but since they affect steering, it takes a while to learn how to use them.
There are also bars that allow you to tow (or push) a child’s bicycle. Some of these bars raise the front wheel off the ground, while others simply tow the child’s bike; some are collapsible and easy to transport, while others are not. In short, it’s best to be fully informed before you buy. The advantage of these bars is that they allow children to pedal certain segments and then be towed when they get tired.
Children at around 7 or 8 years old
Your child may be capable of riding alone. Once children reach this age, we suggest that they take part in the Petite Aventure using their own bikes. Equip their bikes with a carrying rack and pannier bags (avoid backpacks), so they can transport their own things. This way, if you happen to get separated, your child will have the essentials. A bottle carrier and a bottle are also important.
Also, if your children can ride alone, they should be taught to ride in single file on the right-hand side of the road, to pay attention to other cyclists and to cars, to signal their intentions, to obey traffic signs and to stay off the road when stopped. Children from 8 to 13 years old, especially boys, have trouble cycling at a steady pace. They often tend to cycle way ahead of the pack, quickly tiring themselves out. Don’t underestimate the importance of taking relatively long breaks, even if your child is 11 or 12 years old.