There has been huge growth in the popularity of cycling amongst adults in recent years and more than 250,000 women have taken up the activity since 2013. However, the growth has not been the same amongst children, who frequently request technology-based gifts for Christmas and birthdays, unlike their parents who couldn’t wait to get their new bicycle.
Well, with the summer holidays now upon us, you have the opportunity to get your children more involved with cycling. There are so many ways to have fun on bikes and once your child has gained its confidence, they will love the time spent with you: talking, discovering things, enjoying the outdoors and getting exercise.
The key questions that our experienced staff are asked are: what do I need and where can I go.
The cost of getting a child involved with cycling is relatively low compared to say, a PlayStation and a couple of games, and we stock a wide range of products to make family bike rides possible and enjoyable.
If your child is very young they can be put into a child seat or a trailer, fixed to an adult bike. Some trailers can be used from birth and child seats from approximately nine months old. As your children grow and seeks more independence then trailer bikes, or tow bars can be used. A trailer bike sometimes referred to as a “ half bike” allows a child to pedal whenever they want or to simply freewheel and enjoy the ride. A tow bar will link the child’s bike to an adult’s bike, allowing them to cycle independently and then be towed when tired or the going gets tough.
When your child is ready to cycle on its own it is important that they have the right bike. Many children’s bikes are heavy and under specified, these should be avoided – a child will get more enjoyment when cycling a lighter weight bike. You should also avoid the temptation to buy a bike that they can grow into, as an over large bike will be awkward to ride.
We stock a wide range of quality children’s bikes in several different sizes and our experienced staff are always on hand to give advice and make those essential adjustments. We will also build you child’s bikes to make sure that it is safe to ride and service it for free, after 3 months, to ensure its continued safety.
In addition to bikes, we stock a wide range of children’s accessories and can help select and fit a suitable cycle helmet.
Children as young as 2 ½ years old are capable of riding short distances on their own and by the time they are six will be able to ride a dozen miles or more. We recommend that to build confidence you should start with short trips and let the slowest member of the family set the pace. Cycling has to be fun for kids to want to do it again. If they are getting tired or bored stop for a café break or to play a game.
Whether you are going to the local park or the library, or planning a family outing there are few places that you cant go by bike. If you plan your journeys around quieter roads and cycle paths your child will gain a sense of adventure from journeys usually done by car. When cycling on roads it is advisable to take up a position behind your child in order to give you a clear view of the child and the route ahead.
For short off road trips, both Roundhay Park and Temple Newsham Park are popular with our customers as are the Sustrans routes, using the old railway lines which link Thorp Arch, Wetherby and Spofforth. For trips further afield, Dalby Forest, in North Yorkshire, offers safe off road cycling for all abilities, as do Sherwood Pines and Clumber Park, which are just off the A1 in Nottinghamshire.
Have fun and stay safe.