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      News — kids bike seat

      How We Manage Adventure Travel With Our Kids

      How We Manage Adventure Travel With Our Kids

      We love to travel almost as much as we love to mountain bike. Almost. What’s even better is when we can combine both activities in one! We’ve definitely found that travelling with kids is a very different experience than when it was just the two of us — go figure. There are a few things we’ve found that helped us along the way to go from adventuring in our neighbourhood to adventuring as far as Costa Rica and Vietnam!
       
      Expensive!!
      Yes, there’s the added expense of the kids’ tickets as well as extra food costs for extra little mouths. Thanks to services like Airbnb, it can still be very affordable to travel with kids. By renting a place with a kitchen, you can cook a lot of meals at home, which means familiar foods for the little ones. Not to mention, there are plenty of inexpensive countries out there just begging to be explored that are still safe for kids. Plus, we found that by packing the Mac Ride kids bike seat on our trip, we could save money on transportation and activities.
       
      Tantrums
      Travelling is exhausting for the best of us. Long days in airports, language gaps, and time changes are some of the most difficult obstacles we’ve faced with our kids in tow. We’ve found that not planning too many things in a single day was key. If planning is your thing, though, kids can be great at helping to pick out activities for specific days, especially if they’re each in charge of their own day. When you’re all tired and exhausted, instead of pushing through, a family nap could be the only adventure needed on vacation that day. For us, the biggest help with avoiding meltdowns from both adults and kids was maintaining a good routine even on vacation. Usual mealtimes and bedtimes are a must. When it came to long travel days, we made sure to have plenty of games and activities for the kids to help keep them occupied.
       
      Kid-Friendly Activities
      We were worried that there may not be enough to do with the kids everywhere we went. Some activities just aren’t suitable for little ones. Luckily, when it comes to adventure travel, a lot of activities are perfect for families with younger kids. Snorkelling, hiking, and biking are amazing activities for kids of all ages. We particularly liked biking to see volcanoes while in Costa Rica. Kids biking is something we’ve seen in many countries, and it was lots of fun for our kids to come along for the ride, seeing all the children biking in their own ways in new places.
       
      Is It Safe?
      There’s always danger when going to a new place. Food sickness and crime come to our mind when we think of some of the risks we worried about. Worrying about the safety of your kids in an unfamiliar place is enough to scare even the bravest parent! We tend to travel to safer places that are a little more expensive while still being cheaper in comparison to some of the most popular family-friendly destinations. We found that it was important for us to feel comfortable so that, by extension, our children would feel comfortable, too. We decided never to go somewhere that would have made us too nervous or on edge.
       
      Packing
      This is the biggest struggle we have faced — limiting the number of toys or special items our kids want to bring. Getting toddlers and young kids packed for vacation is like playing Tetris blindfolded. You can start by setting limits on how many toys or special items can be packed. Having a “must-have” list for your child is a great idea, too. That way, they can see how much room they have left over for their toys and special items they want to bring. It’s almost guaranteed that you’re going to have some of their stuff in your bags. And by some, we mean a lot. But as long as you keep this in mind, you can save a little space among the essentials for your kids’ extras!
       
      We aren't the only family travelling with our kids, either! We’ve been lucky enough to see other families jet setting off to adventurous new places for a vacation with their kids. @GetOutThereAustralia and @Jonasstefans are just two of the many families we get to watch exploring the globe with their little adventurers in tow every day.
       
      We’ve been lucky enough to travel with our kids to near and far destinations, and every time, we bring the Mac Ride kids bike seat along. Thanks to its small size and ability to fold up, the seat is the perfect adventure activity for any vacation. The kids feel much safer with this familiar method of transportation, and now, we’re able to explore new and unseen trails and places. This touch of home has helped our kids to feel more comfortable in unfamiliar places.
       
      So, how do you adventure travel with your kids?

      @GetOutThereAustralia: Our Experience with the Mac Ride Kid’s Bike Seat

      @GetOutThereAustralia: Our Experience with the Mac Ride Kid’s Bike Seat

      We’re so grateful to have such a strong community out there on the trails using our seat. One such family, who’s been there from the beginning, is @GetOutThereAustralia. This adventurous family is made up of Lynn (mom), Michael (dad) and Zachary — the little shredder himself.
       
      This intrepid group was also one of the original backers of the crowdfunding project and have been out on the trails with their Mac Ride seat since May 2016. Zachary was only two years old when he climbed up onto his parent's bike to start adventuring. Now, the family is travelling across Australia in their caravan and on their mountain bikes. We’re sure they’re enjoying every moment of their adventures, and we love to follow along! But you don’t have to take our word for it. Lynn was kind enough to let us know first-hand about some of their triumphs, tales, and bumps in the trail.
       
      Tell us about one of your most recent biking adventures.
       
      Our most recent Mac Ride adventure has us riding 30 km along the Australian coastline, ending up in a little town called Goolwa where we caught a steam engine trail back to our starting point.
       
      What’s your favourite thing about biking with kids?
       
      We always get quite a lot of attention with the Mac Ride when exploring various towns, and we are always happy to chat and share our praise for the bike seat. Influencing other families to get out and explore is something we enjoy, and the Mac Ride bike seat certainly helps to create epic adventures!
       
      How has the Mac Ride child’s bike seat positively impacted your families adventures together?
       
      It is always so much fun to hear Zachary squeal with excitement when we ride over little jumps, berms or technical trail features. He has never turned down an opportunity to come for a ride with us, and it has meant that my husband and I still get to ride together, which is something we did a lot of before having a child. Being able to get out on our bikes together helped a lot with my recovery from postpartum depression, and I cannot thank Ashley and the Mac Ride creators enough for making such an awesome, adventure-filled child’s bike seat.
       
      What are a few other items on your “must-have” list for biking with kids?
       
      We always carry an extra sweater in a backpack in case Zac gets cold while riding. We are always prepared with snacks, water, the Trailforks app to help prevent getting lost, and a sense of adventure. We also do a bit of geocaching at times which gives Zachary a bit of a break during longer rides while he hunts for 'treasure.'
       
      What was your experience like when you first used the seat and helped Zachary get comfortable on the bike with you?
       
      We honestly couldn't believe how easy the seat was to get onto the bike. We were also impressed that it didn't rub against our carbon frames like some other seats. Zachary took to it straight away and had no issues getting comfortable with it all. Our legs had to get used to pushing around a bit of extra weight, but since we have to ride slower with him on it, it still gives us a decent workout despite the slower speed.
       
      This family sure knows how to make memories, and getting families to go out and explore is something we enjoy, too! Zachary is growing up with a sense of the world, and his capabilities and the stories he’ll have are going to be pretty cool! If you want to follow the adventures of GetOutThereAustralia, you can find them on Facebook and Instagram.
       
      Have a story about your experience with Mac Ride? Want to tell us about the best trail you’ve been able to take your child on? Perhaps you have a funny experience to share that other parents could relate to. Contact us because we’d love to hear about your experience with Mac Ride and maybe even feature you on the Blog and our newsletter!

      Are Your Kids Afraid to Bike? Here Are Some Ideas to Get Your Kids from Fearful to Fearless

      Are Your Kids Afraid to Bike? Here Are Some Ideas to Get Your Kids from Fearful to Fearless

      With any kind of new activity, there's always a bit of fear for most children. Learning to ride a bike can be scary. Riding a bike for one child will be terrifying whereas for another they can’t wait to get out there. Have you got a little daredevil on your hands who can’t wait to be on a black diamond? Perhaps your child is more nervous and still has not lifted their feet to test out their balance. If your child is a little apprehensive about learning to ride a bike, here are a few tips and tricks we've tried or heard about from parents trying to help their kids overcome their fear of riding a bike.
       
      1. Be Patient — There’s No Need to Rush!
      There'll be a certain amount of resistance when there's fear. We’re big fans of providing a huge amount of encouragement and letting our kids grow at their own pace. Stay calm so that they'll be able to calm their own nerves, too. We’ve found that our kids want to be biking just like mom and dad, and they seem to always know their own comfort levels. Our job is simply to be there to give them the bike they want to ride when they want to ride it.
       
      2. Strider Bikes
      A strider bike or a balance bike is a great way to introduce biking without the fear of having to lift the feet off the ground. For a child who’s more fearful, this can be a great way to test out the waters. We’ve found that if a pedal bike is nearby, children will let you know when they want to try it out. Until then, a balance or strider bike is a great way for them to get more comfortable with biking.
       
      3. Keep Your Fears to Yourself
      As a parent, you go out of your way to protect your child. You may be aware of all the falls and scrapes that could happen, but the trick is to not let your child fixate on these things that could happen. Biking is tons of fun! When a child is focused on the fun they’re having, it’s easy to forget all the “what if” injuries.
       
      4. Let Them Know That Failure Is OK
      If your child's learning to ride on a balance bike, let them practice falling over on a soft spot. If you have a tumble yourself, show them your scrape or bruise. Explain that it was sore for a bit, but that it’ll be ok, and you learned a lot from your fall. Regardless of falling, you’re still excited to get back on the trail and try again. A little bit of slapstick humour can go a long way. Making a little fall seem kind of funny can sometimes help that fear your child is feeling.
       
      5. Provide an Example
      Get on your bike and pedal around slowly. Let them see how you move and how the bike moves. Point out to them that this is NOT how you biked when you first learned. Share some funny stories about when you learned to ride. Get your child laughing with you about some of your more hilarious biking moments as a kid, or even as an adult! After all, we’re all still learning to ride a bike.
       
      6. Positive Reinforcement
      When your child gets on a bike, cheer! When they balance around the yard for the first time, cheer! When they get on a kid's bike seat and grab hold for the first time, cheer! Let them know how impressed you are with their bravery.
       
      7. Introduce Your Child to Mac Ride
      Being with mom or dad on their bike, nestled in their arms and chatting together can be an excellent development stage for children who are apprehensive about their own bikes. You can share what it’s like to go around corners, help them build confidence with holding onto your bars, and all that important (and fun!) stuff. Truthfully, we most often hear about children begging to zoom about on Mac Ride, faster and more often. We’ve had a few families let us know that the Mac Ride was the right step for their child who was feeling anxious about biking. It eased them into wanting to do more themselves.
       
      We've found that with patience and time, our children can overcome this fear and be even more fearless than we are sometimes. There are some great links for reading about runner bikes, comparing them to training wheels, and also on pedal bikes for young kids. If you're ready to get your toddler a Mac Ride bike seat, check out our selection online. Start the conversation with them now to see how they feel about getting on a bike for the first time.

      How Mountain Biking Together Has Created More Family Quality Time

      How Mountain Biking Together Has Created More Family Quality Time

      Ever had a self-doubting day? One of those days where your toddler was pushing all of your buttons that morning? They wouldn’t put on their socks, brush their teeth or listen to a single thing you said. All day long, you thought about it and dwelled on one single question, “Am I doing enough?”
       
      As parents, we can be extremely hard on ourselves. Always wondering if we’re doing the right things, saying the right things, or spending the right amount of time with our kids. In a world where we’re all juggling family, work, hobbies, and other commitments, we can end up feeling like our kids are suffering thanks to our busy schedules.
       
      There’s a reason for the saying quality over quantity. It’s called quality time, not quantity time. You could spend every waking moment with your child, but if you weren’t fully present, it wouldn’t have the positive effects that you think it would. Children are a lot more observant than we give them credit for. They can tell when your mind is elsewhere. We have found our children asking us to put our smartphones away while at the park more often than we care to admit!
       
      So, here are a few tips on how to make the time you have with your child Quality Time.
       
      Schedule it in
      The best way to make sure you’re spending quality time with your child is to get it on the schedule. You’re juggling a lot, so make sure when you have those quality moments with your child that you’re present and in the moment. When we schedule our lives a little better, it can be easier to shut off the worry and focus on the moment at hand.
       
      Get outside together
      Kids love the outdoors and being in nature is healthy for us adults, too. Our family loves to bike together, that’s where the idea for the Mac Ride kids bike seat came to be. It allowed our family to get out on the trail and go biking with the kids when they got a little older and wanted to be part of the action. Getting your kids biking or hiking with the family is a great way to keep active and share valuable life lessons together. If you can spend quality time with your kids doing activities you enjoy, too, it’s easier to be present. Exploring new places and interacting with nature is a great activity to engage in with your children.
       
      Cut yourself some slack
      You are not a superhero, you are a super parent. Even Superman and Wonder Woman had their bad days and moments of doubt. Cut yourself some slack. Instead of asking yourself if you’re spending enough time with your children, ask yourself what kinds of activities you could enjoy together. Don’t beat yourself up about those difficult mornings and question all of your choices and decisions. When you’re feeling guilty or stressed, this will affect the time you spend with your child. So take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I’m doing just fine,” and then check into those quality moments with your child — without the guilt.
       
      Take some time for yourself to recharge
      Never forget the importance of “me time.” Yes, it’s vital to make sure you’re spending quality time with your children, but as we‘ve all probably experienced, if you’re guilty or stressed, the quality of the time spent will be negatively affected. Make sure to recharge and take care of yourself so that when you do show up to those quality moments, you’re bringing your best self.
       
      There’s no scientific way to know how much quality time your child needs with you. Each child will have different needs. These needs will also change based on their age and friend group. What we do know is that your child needs those quality moments of attentiveness, and you can’t be fully present if your mind is elsewhere. Next time you find yourself wondering if you’re spending enough quality time with your child, ask how you can spend more quality time with them instead. Or better yet, how you can improve on the time you already have.
       
      Biking with kids has always been a great way for our family to spend quality time together. We’ve used many kids bike seats throughout the years. We’ve biked with babies and toddlers and used many different methods. Our time spent biking as a family has brought us both joy and tantrums, but it is always quality time. We all enjoy being out on the trail. Biking as a family gives us a chance to get some exercise, make lasting memories, and teach our children. Think biking is the right activity for your family? Check out the Mac Ride kids bike seat and get your child up front on the adventure.

      Winter Biking with the Kids? No Problem, but Gear Up with These Tips First

      Winter Biking with the Kids? No Problem, but Gear Up with These Tips First

      It’s that time of year already for those of us North of the Equator! We’ve all put the snow tires on the car, and we’re ready for snow. It’s also the time when many of us have already put our bikes away for the winter. But what if, instead of patiently waiting for the spring, you got ready for some winter wonderland adventures?
       
      Everyone’s version of winter will be different depending on where you live. If you have colder winters with frequent snow, you’ll need more winter gear. For rainier climates like the west coast of Canada, rain gear and windbreakers will be necessary.
       
      So, what do you need to remember for winter biking?
       
      It's Getting Dark Out There
      Days are much shorter in the winter, and this means darker mornings and evenings. Instead of worrying about the diminished light, try bringing lots of light with you. Outfit your bike with plenty of light, so that you’re easily visible and attach lights to your little one and yourself. Make sure to also bring a headlamp to help you navigate if you find yourself in particularly dark conditions. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. We go out for a ride, end up losing track of time, and it starts getting dark on your way home. Don’t get stuck in a situation like this, plan ahead. Make sure you have plenty of light in the winter, and this won’t be such a big issue.
       
      Your Bike Needs its Winter Gear, Too
      Winter conditions call for a few adjustments to your bike. With mountain bikes, you already have nice, wide gripping pedals. That’ll give you more stability if you’re out riding with bigger footwear for the cooler temperatures.
       
      It can also help to change out the tires on your bike for winter. If biking with your kids in the winter is on your list of things to do this year, invest in good quality winter tires for your winter environment. On the west coast, when it does snow, it can get slushy and slippery. In some cases, this slush freezes into a dangerously uneven, icy surface. If you get heavy snowfall in the winters, consider buying wider tires that are designed for the snow.
       
      Balance bikes in the snow can be made even more fun by attaching a ski kit to them. Kids biking in the winter can seem like a lot of work, but we’ve found that it’s a lot of fun and worth the added effort to be prepared.
       
      Dress to Impress in the Winter
      Impress mother nature with your seasonal prowess by dressing effectively for the temperature and conditions. Layering is key in the winter. It allows you to be more flexible if the weather changes or your child gets too warm.
       
      Make sure everyone has a base layer with wicking properties to move sweat and moisture away from the skin. Nothing is worse than cotton shirts that get wet and turn cold when they dry. Next, add a mid-layer for insulation, like fleece or wool. Make your jacket suits the conditions you are riding in. If it’s a chilly, rainy day, you’ll need a rain shell to keep dry. If you’re in freezing temperatures with snow, opt for a snowsuit or big warm snow jacket. Also, gloves. Gloves are extremely important, especially in the cold months of winter. Make sure you have an extra pair in case they get wet. This rule applies to socks, too. And lastly, make sure you keep your head warm with a winter hat under the helmet or a specifically designed helmet for winter. These clothing rules apply to everyone on the ride. However, your child is up front and they will not be working as hard as you are to peddle. Make sure they are dressed extra warm to be able to enjoy the ride in cooler temperatures.
       
      Taking your kids’ biking in the winter months can be a lot of fun, but they require a little more work than in warmer months. You may have to pack a little more than usual, but the terrain is new and undiscovered, which makes the same old adventures something to look forward to. If you’re using a child's bike seat, remember they’re exposed to wind a bit more than a carriage behind.
       
      Helpful tip: bring something for them to cover their face with if it gets cold from the wind. Try Buff, they make kids sizes, they’re super comfy, and we’re big fans.
       
      We believe in family adventures year round. Getting out on the trail together doesn’t stop just because the days are shorter and the temperatures are lower. If you’re prepared for the season, winter biking can be an exciting adventure for the whole family. The biggest trick we have found is always making sure that the kids are dressed appropriately. Check out this great little video to help you remember all the right gear for a ride.
       
      Looking for a child's bike seat for your toddler to enjoy the trails with you this winter? Shop our inventory and be ready for that first picture perfect, sunny snow day.