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Top tips for planning a family bike ride

Summer's coming, and it's a great time to get out and active with your bikes. Cycling is great exercise, and is also a fun way for families to spend time together, and go on adventures straight from your front door! This article provides some top tips to make family bike rides fun and safe.

Getting started cycling

Has everyone got bikes already? No? Then your first step should be the Argos Bikes Buying Guide - packed with info to help you choose the right bikes for your family. Then check out our huge range of children's bikes and adult bikes .

Got bikes? Great! The next thing to do is to give them a once over, ahead of the Great Family Bike Ride. Check the brakes are working, the brake pads aren't too worn down (there should be an indicator on the pad itself to show wear), and the bolts are tight where they should be, particularly on the saddle and handlebars.

Next, check the tyres have no cuts to the sides, or debris caught in them, and when spun they should spin smoothly and quietly - any wobbling or noise should be checked. Pump up the tyres and then check again later, there could be a slow puncture.

Top Tip: Oiling and flexing the chain after a long period in storage will ensure that any stiffened links are smoothed out, preventing the chain sticking and falling off.

Essential cycling gear

Aside from the usual safety kit (helmets as well as lights and mirrors it's worth considering adding a few handy tools to your kit, especially if you're looking after a few bikes.

Save space in your back pack by adding bike water holders to everyone's bike, essential for cycling in warmer weather.

If you're planning on stopping for lunch, these bike locks should be enough to chain your family's bikes into one mega bike tangle - a perfect thief deterrent!

Heading out of town on your bike?

If you'd rather head out of town before taking to two wheels , a bike carrier is always useful. Outside of peak hours, bikes can be taken onto most trains, great for easy access to the countryside without the car.

Take a packed lunch, and plenty of drinks, water is best for rehydration. Suncream and sports sunglasses are safety essentials too, particularly during the summer months, even on cloudy days.

Apps and sites for cycling

There's an app for everything these days, and cycling's no exception! Here are the some useful apps and sites for family cycling days out:

National Cycle Network - miles and miles of routes arranged from easy to challenging are mapped here, and free to access.

Bike Doctor - Fix the bikes like a pro with this handy step-by-step Bike Doctor app. It's not free, but it's worth it to get out of those technical glitches which could spoil a family day out.

Strava Running and Cycling GPS - track your movements by GPS, and view your activity map as you record. Compare your family's impressive cycling stats like distance, pace, speed and elevation with family and friends online!