Children on cycling holidays
Cycling holidays are perfect for children, too. You plan your own routes and follow them at your own pace so everyone can keep up. The many cycle routes, cycle lanes and low traffic roads make Denmark a near perfect cycling destination.
Children who cycle themselves
You can easily take children who are used to cycling themselves on a cycling holiday with you – as long as they can handle their cycles safely. As long as you make sure they have appropriate cycles – and remember to take regular breaks en route – children as young as 8 can manage around 30 km a day.
It is important that your children’s cycles are not too big for them, as cycles that are too large can be difficult to control. In addition, they force children to use an inappropriate riding position which will leave them feeling stiff and sore. Naturally, you should avoid loading down your children’s cycles with heavy or bulky luggage. However, children as young as 8 can usually manage a couple of small cycle panniers. Older children (aged 12–14) can usually cycle on equal terms with adults, as long as they are keen to do so and sufficiently fit.
Half-cycles for intermediate ages
If a child is too big to sit passively in a cycle seat but too small to cycle in traffic, a half-cycle is a good solution. A half-cycle looks like half a child’s bike and is designed for attaching to the back of an adult cycle. With this solution, children are not simply “transported” – they can pedal along if they wish, making the cycle ride more fun for everyone. Half-cycles are subject to the same rules as apply to cycle trailers and, depending on the make, are designed for children aged 5–10. Choose a model with a good connection fitting, as this will ensure a more stable ride. Half-cycles cost approx. DKK 2,000–4,000.
The tandem is another good solution for two cyclists who are not equally strong. With a tandem, the child can cycle along while mum or dad looks after the steering, braking, etc. So if you want to take on a longer tour with young children, a tandem may well be the way to go. Tandems are available in models designed for children as young as 8 as the “rear passenger”. Cycles of this kind can often also be used by two adults. A good quality family tandem for touring will cost around DKK 10,000. It may sound a little pricy, but a tandem is a versatile vehicle that all the family can use and enjoy.
Children in trailers
Cycle trailers are very good for very young children – especially if you want to cycle with two children and luggage. Trailers do not tip over as easily as heavily laden cycles with cycle seats, and a covered trailer will keep children out of the wind and rain. Special cycle trailers are available with seats for 1 or 2 children. Some trailers are also designed to hold a carry cot. When they ride in trailers, children can relax, play with toys or take a nap so that they are fresh and ready when you reach your destination.
When you are cycling with children, remember to keep the daily “stages” short and take regular breaks so your children can get out of the saddle and use other muscles. It is a good idea to put a child seat on one of the adult cycles so you can give your children a break if they get tired. All kinds of cycle trailers are available. Choose a light trailer that runs smoothly and stably without swaying from side to side. Make sure that there is plenty of room for luggage and check that the connection fitting is easy to use. It is also best if you can fold the trailer up so you can take it with you in your car or on a bus or a train. With extra equipment, some trailers can also double as pushchairs. A good cycle trailer costs around DKK 3,000–5,000.
On the Danish Cyclist Federation's Web site you can find more information about transporting children by bike, about children on their own cycles, safety, legislation and purchasing children’s cycles.