When you think of cycling, you typically think of two things: Kids on a bicycle, or a guy like Lance Armstrong. What is we combined the two? What is the dad who is a cycler took his wife and kids on a cycling adventure? It’s becoming more and more common for families to go on treks – or rather urban cycling adventures. This can get you the exercise that you want, and crave for your family, as well as provide an opportunity to explore your city.
Whether you live in Jacksonville or Atlanta or NYC, you can cycle around and explore. I like in Atlanta, and I have cycled around, so I have a bit of experience here. As with all places, some are safer than others, so seek advice from online groups and local cycling groups. You local Facebook county or city page is also a good place to start. Also, start with what you love. I love the quiet, scenic streets of Inman Park, as well as cycling around the up-and-coming Cabbagetown and the old Oakland Cemetery. I’m not fond of the crowded, noisy midtown area, so I just leave it be.
If you like the noise, go for it! Just be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for everything. The same goes for your kids. If you have a baby strapped to your bike, there isn’t an problem, but if your kiddos are free wheeling themselves, perhaps it is better for you to start in a less-crowded area. Buckhead, just north of Atlanta, offer up bike paths along some of their busier roads, which is great for those who are not fond of riding *this close* to traffic.
While cycling clubs were mentioned above, search Google (or Facebook) for urban cycling clubs and riding groups. This can get you better acquainted with the process, the area, and also you can make a few new friends. NYC has the New York Cycle Club, Atlanta has the Metro Atlanta Cycling Club, Jacksonville has the North Florida Bicycle Club. Every place has one – and if you can’t find one, find a few friends, make a Facebook and Instagram page, and start one!
Urban biking isn’t just for those who do not own a car, but for families. Whether it is just you can your date, your entire family, or simply just you, there are many things to explore in your own city, and often the cheapest, fastest, and fittest way to do it is by cycling. Be sure to research where you are going if you are not familiar, and ask for tips from other cyclers. If anything else, it will be a learning experience for you if you get lost.