Family Biking: 5 Tips for Awesome Rides

Summer is a great time for family biking: days are longer, school’s out and family schedules may be less packed. So get outdoors and enjoy the city! You and your child can expand your biking skills as you explore parks, neighborhoods and the many summer activities right here in San Francisco.


1.  Enjoy car-free streets and paths. Sunday Streets takes place in neighborhoods across San Francisco. The next chance to enjoy car-free streets is on July 12 in the Tenderloin, then August 16 in the Excelsior.

JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park is also car-free, not every once in a while, but every single Saturday and Sunday all summer long. In addition to weekends in Golden Gate Park, family biking on off-road paths is an option, too. Head out to the off-road paths this weekend (or any time) at Lake Merced, the Embarcadero, Marina Green and the Panhandle.

2.  Ride as a family in your own neighborhood. Bike to the store, bike to a friend’s house, bike to a playground — just get on your bike! Whatever the destination, it’ll improve your journey. Younger children and learners (up to age 13) may legally ride on the sidewalk if they’re not yet ready for the lanes.

Before hopping on your bikes as a family, enjoy this fun video of the Top 10 Rules of the Road with your child.

3.  Explore safe routes to the park, school, work and summer day camps! It’s worth it to try out a route at off-peak times, and before you ride with your child.

4.  Meet up with other biking parents and families. Call a friend when you go for a ride with your children.

Whether you arrive with a friend, or are open to making new ones, a great destination is one of our free Family Biking classes, which are designed to encourage safer biking by all kids, from toddlers to teens. If you want to brush up on your own skills, consider taking a free adult bike education class.

5.  Get free resources on family biking, equipment and teaching your child to ride. Download the free Family Biking Guide for a comprehensive overview of everything family-biking, from riding while pregnant to teaching your children how to ride safely (without training wheels!).

On the page where we list everything that we’re doing to make biking safer and more comfortable for your family, you can also sign up for our Youth and Family Biking News — a nice (not too) regular dose of events specifically designed with your little brood in mind.

The SF Bicycle Coalition is committed to promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation for you and for your family. Get involved to help us make San Francisco a more biking- and family-friendly city!

And have a great summer!

Become a member and you'll improve your commute and get discounts at shops across the city.