Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 40 total)
  • Calling Cycling Mums and Dads: “Family Rides”
  • Premier Icon ThurmanMerman
    Free Member

    Help me out with a little research here, STW hive mind:

    Say you’ve got two kiddies under 10.

    If, as a family, you all want to go for a bike ride together, what do you look for in a ride?
    What puts you off from riding somewhere with the kids?
    Being proud of your planet-saving activity, do you leave the car at home, all hop on a train together (bikes and all) to go somewhere that’s safe to ride?
    Or do you all drive to somewhere with a carpark at the start?
    Or start the ride from your front door?
    Do you look for somewhere that does bike-hire so you don’t have to take your own?
    Do you ride somewhere that’s entirely traffic-free?
    How far do you travel to get to the start of the ride?
    Do you make sure the ride has a destination with something else to do (park, swings, ice cream stall)?
    And how far is too far for under-tens to cycle? (appreciate “depends” is probably the answer to that one) 🙂

    All help and advice gratefully received!

    Premier Icon johnnystorm
    Full Member

    One thing that I’d highly recommend is the purchase of a kiddyback or small tandem. That might be impractical if you have two children that would benefit from it.

    We do a mixture of “from the doorstep” and “driven to” rides but its quiet around here on the back lanes.

    We find it definitely helps having an extra reason other than just “going for a ride”, a coffee shop, gruffalo trail, etc. Are great motivation.

    We have a Thorn Voyager Kiddyback but I’ve just taken delivery of a black friday deal Polygon Impression Tandem. Little un is just as happy riding her own bike now at 7 but I feel happier with the tandem on longer rides or those with busier roads as I’m more in control and can put more effort in to get us home.

    Premier Icon jam-bo
    Full Member

    Trail centres are good for known distances and trail conditions,cafes/toilets etc.

    we also do rides where we’ll drive out to a point, all ride home and then one of us will ride back later to pick up the van.

    Premier Icon ji
    Free Member

    BAsed on previous experience although mine are all grown up now

    If, as a family, you all want to go for a bike ride together, what do you look for in a ride?

    Somewhere with reasonabe trails (not just flat fire road) changing scenery, a decent cafe and somethign else for the kids to do – doesn’t have to be a playground, but a stream to play in, trees to climb etc

    What puts you off from riding somewhere with the kids?

    Lack of the above. Unclear if longer routes have bailout options for when they get tired, or chicken runs for the more challenging features

    Being proud of your planet-saving activity, do you leave the car at home, all hop on a train together (bikes and all) to go somewhere that’s safe to ride?

    No sorry. Kids +bikes+ clean clothes (for when one falls in a river etc)+ water bottles+snacks….much easier to take a car. ANd I live miles from any train station anyway.

    Or do you all drive to somewhere with a carpark at the start?

    Yes

    Or start the ride from your front door?

    Sometimes, but no decent (off road) rides from my front door, so boredom/fatigue sets in before we got to the good stuff.

    Do you look for somewhere that does bike-hire so you don’t have to take your own?

    Too expensive, plus kids bikes are a very specific fit – having spent a lot on decent bikes for the kids and set them up etc I want to get use out of them.

    Do you ride somewhere that’s entirely traffic-free?

    Ideally yes

    How far do you travel to get to the start of the ride?

    Depends – have gone as far as SHerwood and Dalby which are 2 hours or so drive.

    Do you make sure the ride has a destination with something else to do (park, swings, ice cream stall)?

    Ideally yes, or somewhere nearby that we can go afterwards

    And how far is too far for under-tens to cycle? (appreciate “depends” is probably the answer to that one)

    With good weather planning etc, mine could do the old Dalby red which iirc was around 12 miles. Took a while though (and the bribes snacks that were needed on the fire road section demonstrate that the kids liked to more interesting bits).

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    So much of this depends on where you live and what your kids enjoy.

    We rode from the door. But we have endless rides here with Ochils, local valleys and bigger gravel style rides.

    We rode days out up to an hour and a half drive away. But we have Comrie, Laggan, Dunkeld, Tweed Valley, munro’s, Aberfoyle, Aberfeldy and Aviemore all within that distance.

    We holidayed. Across UK, but also in Alps and Massif Central with the bikes.

    I’ve one made for mountain bikes, they are his life. One who enjoys a road and gravel ride, some touring and light MTB. One who enjoys MTB, but prefers hill walking and lying on a bed.

    Premier Icon w00dster
    Full Member

    We have a route that we can make 12 miles or 16 miles. My youngest is now 12 but we’ve been doing these routes for years.
    It’s straight from the front door, no driving required. Generally flat, a couple of small hills but nothing too challenging.
    It’s just me and the two girls, so I ride behind them, youngest is always at the front. When we are on off road areas we will ride 3 abreast if possible but single out when needed. On roads we always single out.
    Our route is very safe, 90% gravel, 5% rooty wood and 5% road.
    There is always a treat when we get there. It’s to an with lakes and water sports, has a coffee shop. I tend to make the way there the longer portion of the ride. But they always get an ice cream. We stop and have a drink when they want or if I think it’s needed. Always always stop for swings. We’re never racing, it’s a fun day out for the kids.
    Way back does contain a fairly hard hill for about 4 minutes. That’s tough for the little one. She’s never walked it and never needed a tow. But it’s hard for her, I always make a big deal of her achievement.
    They both have hardtails. Nothing expensive, but good enough for the riding they do.

    Oldest is now 14 and a very good roadie. We ride every Friday when the weather allows, always on fairly quiet roads. Tend to do about 30 to 35 miles. She could do a lot further but that’s just what time allows.

    They’ve both done the Red at Thetford and also done a couple of the “Black” sections. But that’s not really comparable to most Reds and Blacks.
    They’ve both done Woburn but the hills they’re are a bit much. (Short but steep)
    They prefer the more social gravel riding.
    When they were under 10 I would travel from near Milton Keynes to Thetford. About two hours in traffic. But it would be a full day out, flat trails but great fun for the girls. Very safe.

    Premier Icon antigee
    Full Member

    We find it definitely helps having an extra reason other than just “going for a ride”, a coffee shop, gruffalo trail, etc. Are great motivation.

    What I was going to say…plus need to remember it’s out and about with the kids…when it suits kids will ride longer distances but don’t expect adult exercise unless they get into pump tracks and then you may suffer

    Let them choose…feeding ducks…hot chocolate at the cafe …feed the gold fish at the garden centre…chips at the pub…a playground…big field to fly kites…then the bike is how you get there

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    what do you look for in a ride?

    Technical interest/ difficulty. We tried a few things like the middlewood way ( or some similar ex railway line thing) when they were young and the littleun just got bored and gave up. He needed a constant supply of adrenaline and gummi bears to keep him going.

    What puts you off from riding somewhere with the kids?

    Traffic and those stupid anti motorcycle gates

    .. hop on a train together (bikes and all) ?

    No, sorry

    Or do you all drive to somewhere with a carpark at the start?

    Yes

    Do you look for … bike-hire

    No

    Do you ride somewhere that’s entirely traffic-free?

    Yep, try to.

    How far do you travel to get to the start of the ride?

    90 minutes perhaps.

    Do you make sure the ride has a destination with something else to do (park, swings, ice cream stall)?

    Yes, if the ride itself isn’t the ‘destination’ ie it’s a dull ride.

    And how far is too far for under-tens to cycle? (appreciate “depends” is probably the answer to that one) 🙂

    I always used to tow the kids on any significant hills, so don’t really know. We’d do stuff like llandegla red + black bits ( which aren’t) from the age of about 7 or 8 I think. Perhaps 20km. He did 18km at Dalby when he wasc5 without being towed I think. But TBH we’ve never gone for distance.the older one is 16 and still hasn’t done any rides longer than when we did the WHW when he was 11 ~45km per day average.

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    The most important bit of kit by far is a simple tow rope. Gives you so many options/get outside.

    The hardest thing by far is the unpredictability of the kids. One day they’ll be up for 20km of tech and then one day they’ll flake out after 5km

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    And join a kids MTB club. 👍

    Premier Icon csb
    Full Member

    Just take any ambition you have for your child to develop an instant love affair with cycling (after all you love it so it must be the best thing in the world right?) and ditch it, thus avoiding dissapointment and frustration when it all turns into a drizzly, whingeing mess, where your partner accuses you of totally unrealistic expectations having built them a bespoke tyred, shifter changed and colour coded bike that you’d have died for as a kid. Then go for a proper ride with your mates.

    Premier Icon csb
    Full Member

    But seriously, it’s great vicariously reliving the thrill of learning little berms, drops, swoopy doopies….

    Premier Icon DrP
    Full Member

    Ice cream and cake at the halfway point.
    Seriously!

    DrP

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Good point. Well made @DrP

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    Firstly and most importantly all routes must have a cake stop, or a pie, or a bacon butty or all 3. Hot chocolate is rocket fuel for kids.
    I am pretty lucky in that I can do entirely traffic free routes from the door up to Greenham common. Had to push him up the hills, now he’s 11 he’s fine and the first lockdown enabled us to get out on roads so he’s pretty confident on quiet roads now. We have been known to drive to Swinley and have done a few other trail centres on weeks away camping.

    Premier Icon slowol
    Free Member

    Riding from the door and bikes on car to go places. Not too many hills being one of the most important factors, although they do get better at them.

    Done lots of trail centre green routes and cycle paths away from home (Camel trail nearly completed over 3 days and 2 different holidays).

    Destination or fun (park, ice cream, etc ) almost essential.

    The 11 year old did recently cycle the 10 mile round trip to Redcar with me to buy a present but would unlikely have consented without the need to go there. He is now OK on quiet roads but traffic and cars are a big issue when picking safe routes.

    If blessed by trains that take bike that is great as an incentive to ride if you have train obsessed child who will ride happily if promised a train ride at the end (even the train home from Redcar was an excitement enough).

    Definitely need to vary to what the kid wants. Eldest needed a new bike and offered choice opted for a hybrid not MTB.

    Best trips have been overnight tours. Both kids loved them (and so did we). The balance of eldest on his bike and youngest stoking the tandem worked for us although not managed a trip since covid.

    Hope far is too far? Managed 3 miles then cafe and train home with a 7 year old in pouring rain in November once.

    Much further all day in summer.

    2 kids is more faffing and stopping for different places and needs and so patience of siblings gets tested (never mind the parents).

    In short go somewhere fun for them (ice cream park, etc.) and start with very unambitious plans and see where it takes you.

    Also if doll carriers and pink baskets are deemed needed then do it. They might be hateful, garish, rattly and need constant fettling to keep them on the bike but if the bike gets more accepted and hence used as a result then it is a means to am end.

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    Interest and places I’ve ridden before.

    They’ll climb faster and longer on easyish interesting single track than on a boring fire road. They’ll still prefer going down.

    Uplift is of interest at quite a young age – just need to know what the down is like.

    And I’m the responsible adult (I know 🙄) they expect interesting but rideable things. If I take them somewhere beyond their ability that’s my fault and if it’s too easy and boring that’s also my fault. I have to know what to expect on the trail and to be able to gauge their ability and inclination.

    Premier Icon richpips
    Free Member

    Ride somewhere traffic free like a disused railway or trail centre for starters. Riding with traffic with a small kid is hard work.

    Lots of cake ice cream etc.

    Oh and they can ride much further than you would think.

    Premier Icon stevious
    Full Member

    Most rides are just us tootling around the village (going to the park, post office, glass recycling).

    Other than that we’ll take the car somewhere without traffic. There’ll usually be a flask of hot chocolate and some combination of play park and cool nature. Distance just a few kms but he’s only 3.

    Premier Icon steamtb
    Free Member

    We only have one child, a daughter aged 8. She’s pretty much been brought up riding (she did miles +++ in a seat before she could balance bike) so she’s never really been a concern, we do roads, trails and a mixture up to 30 odd miles on big rides. Although any trail stuff is now way beyond my wife’s ability, so she only joins us on gentle stuff. However, my daughters friends are a different matter. Breaks and targets (coffee shop “treats”) matter lots, I also aim for stuff like tree swings or really cool trees to climb, anything fun really. I also did a fun sheet, where you tick off and score boxes for doing a whole host of different things, including bike skill stuff, trying hard etc. Points means prizes, collect so many and you get a prize. Worked well for her reluctant riding friends 🙂

    Premier Icon ceept
    Full Member

    Our daughter is 7.
    Never considered a family trip on the train. Too much hassle, and ScotRail probably wouldn’t get us home..

    We don’t ride from the door often, if we do, it’s to a destination with a purpose (maybe to a pals house, park, river for a paddle, or forest to build a den).

    More often it’s drive to a trail centre, often less than 40 minutes, but could be a couple of hours away & make a weekend of it. Weekends away don’t mean full day’s on the bike, it’s just a good fun weekend away with some biking & if your really lucky, a couple of hours riding on your own.

    Some rides are more winch & plummet, eg berm baby berm & blue velvet etc at Glentress, which we’ll happily lap. These involve a tow rope.

    Other, often longer, flatter rides will be interspersed with play parks, paddling/swimming, tree climbing, pooh sticks, etc.

    Take loads of snacks, if a longer day, consider a wee stove & hot chocolate, we’ve used tins of sausage in beans to have when off the bike mid ride on a cooler day.

    Premier Icon timber
    Full Member

    Ice cream and cake at the halfway point.
    Seriously!

    DrP

    That’s a given for all rides surely, children or not?

    Premier Icon bfw
    Full Member

    My two boys have just turned 11, and we all started to ride mtb together in the Summer of 2019, so they were 8 when we all started.

    I have been mtb since 94, and then again in 2002 with my now wife, everything stopped in 2009 and all the mtb’s went over the next couple years due to lack of use.

    My two were both started on balance bikes and then the normal Frogs over the year. So they were pretty used to bombing about local trails and woods on their rigid Frogs.

    Since when we started in 2019 we quickly progressed to the point we went to Afan in Oct 2019 and had a ball. We road 4x days on the trot. not long days and good food after back at the house and as much fizz and pizza that they want. If we ride they get payback, fun food and drinks etc

    Right so we can ride locally in okay parks and trails – Bushy Park is a 1000 acres and Richmond Park is 2300 acres, plus lots of common lands that go on for miles, but they are okay for a quick or easy ride in the winter, we would rather load up and drive to Swinley or Surrey Hills, but what a PitA, 4x bikes on top of the truck, 4 shoes, helmets, gloves, glasses, shoes, camelbacks.. and then all the cleaning after etc. I do enjoy it.

    We quite often take a portable BBQ for bacon sandwiches and flasks of hot chocolate – this they love. We often go with some other dads and school chums.

    We started with a Frog HT and a Whyte one I forget the model. The smaller Frog was hard graft. ASAP I bought a pair of Orange Zest 26 used and its transformed their rides. Son #1 is less enamoured but this is mainly due to ADHD/ASD that makes him hate getting lost, he like set routes what he knows from a previous ride. Son #2 loves new trails. We were on a family holiday with extended family and he and I went off for the day to Brachfa Forrest and did a 22k red in the wet and mud followed by Mucky-D on the way back. He loved it.

    TBH both are super brave and pretty tough now. I look for used Endura kit on Ebay all the time, and buy some good decent kit for them. I believe good kits and bikes really helps the enjoyment factor a lot.

    Times, we quite often have a 50/50 split of time riding and stood about chatting and eating snacks, sometimes I can get this ratio better…

    couple hours and 10 to 20k is the limit. If we can get a cafe stop half way you can push this to 15k x2 maybe

    The cost. The other bikes I sold on, I actually made money on the new cost (due to Covid), but still think I will get my money back on the Zests baring the maintenance costs of course. The kit, most is good used that goes back on ebay after they have outgrown

    They love managed trails like Swinley blue x2 runs and bacon sandwiches after. Oh and the dog comes most of the time 🙂

    Premier Icon Mugboo
    Full Member

    All the above, but the biggeset thing for me, is pitching the ride at the right level, this applies to my wife too. It turns out that my Type 2 fun thing isn’t their thing, who would have known!
    Too flat, boring, too techy, grumpy face!

    And you (me) will have to give up lots of your (my) precious riding time too…

    Plus reading the room. Just because you’ve got your hopes up and made plans, doesn’t mean that they are up for it. Sometimes its better to admit defeat before you inflict the misery on you all.

    Just last week though, it was all worth it, when we drove to Norland Moor for a loop (and a reward of a visit to see the pigs). All the bits that have previously foxed him he nailed and realised how much he has improved. So much so, he asked if we could cycle home, happy days 🙂

    Its only now that I realise how poor trail centres really are for kids. So many blue trails are just an afterthought.

    Sherwood Pines is great in the dry.

    There is a short fun trail at Oakwell Hall near Gomersal that is fun but the last few berms are scary for them till they get a bit better.

    Gisburn is just plain dull.

    Coed de Brenin is pleasant with a strange last section that makes you pedal up a steep bit for a crappy section just when they are knackered.

    I reckon Dalby is ok if you know it well enough to put a few sections of Blue and Red together for them.

    Looking forward to getting up to Glentress next Spring though.

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    I reckon Dalby is ok if you know it well enough to put a few sections of Blue and Red together for them.

    The purple route as it’s known at our club.

    Note on this, my 10 yr old can ride 95%+ of the red route, but not on one day.
    As he gets tired sections he could ride easily start to get sketchy. Working more difficult stuff in with more straightforward stuff is the way forward.

    The 15 yr old waits for me provided I ask nicely.

    For the ten yr old –

    Red to Dixon’s Hollow, cut across by roads to Bomb Hole Alley, cut across by roads to the pumpy bermy bit where the Blue first starts to head down, follow the Blue home.

    Start at the ice cream van by the lake, straight onto the red climb, mix red and green to the point where you’re almost at Dixon’s Hollow, cut across, red round to the top of Medusa’s then off piste down.

    Premier Icon timmys
    Full Member

    OP – are you doing research for something or hoping to get ideas for rides for your own family? If the latter then if you say where you are, that’s going to help a lot.

    Premier Icon ThurmanMerman
    Free Member

    Thanks a lot, team. The above is absolute gold.

    are you doing research for something

    Yup. Been commissioned to devise a lot of cycle routes for a local authority, some of which will be “family-friendly rides including under 10s”. I’ve lots of experience devising advisory networks for competent cyclists, but never short routes tailored to include such a young age group.

    Never having been a father or responsible uncle, I needed you guys to confirm my suspicions of what should/shouldn’t be involved in taking little’uns for a ride. Which you have 🙂

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Free Member

    Oh it varies so much.

    Mostly we ride from the house, we’re lucky enough to live somewhere with lots of car free cycling, because taking small kids on the road scares me to death. My 7 year old rides on the pavement, and I don’t care what anyone else thinks about that. She’s a sweet Girl and gives everyone plenty of room.

    Anyway, sometimes we just ride to the park, it’s 5 mins away, and then around the lanes by there.

    Sometimes, we ride a bit further into the big park, it’s cool because we ride through a tunnel, there’s a bit of mud and some roots, but nothing scary or hard for her. Again, there’s play area there.

    A couple of times in the summer we’ll go to Afan and ride the rookie trails. The Green and Blue combined is about the max for her, she’s a super fit gymnast but she gets bored riding after an hour or two.

    I find, unless you’re lucky enough to have a child that just loves riding, then breaking it up with a play area, or a picnic helps a lot, and don’t try to push them to ride stuff you like. Both my Kids hated berms, but I was always trying to get them to try Blue Scar and they hated it, it’s just not their thing.

    Premier Icon thestabiliser
    Free Member

    Flat

    Wait for summer

    Premier Icon csb
    Full Member

    For God’s sake don’t just create a green dullfest on an old railway line. Have loops that go off the side though trees, berms, etc. that can be repeatedly sessioned. Stick some picnic benches there.

    Premier Icon thestabiliser
    Free Member

    It’s a broad spectrum, just like adults, some Kid’s are in to mtb others aren’t. Mine couldn’t give two shits about mtb but do enjoy a nice steady pootle to feed the ducks etc. If these are utility paths then the flatter the better but if they’re introductory mtb trails it’s a totally different ball game

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Yup. Been commissioned to devise a lot of cycle routes for a local authority, some of which will be “family-friendly rides including under 10s”.

    Ah, this does make sense now.

    I would add to the cafe thing with “don’t underestimate the draw of a play park” for motivating younger ones.

    Premier Icon gingerflash
    Full Member

    “family-friendly rides including under 10s”

    “under 10s” is a bit broad. the ability of a typical 3 year old is a bit different to a 9 year old who’s been mountain biking for a few years, and what works for one will be of no interest to the other.

    for us, at 3-4, it was flat smooth converted railways, like the Wetherby-Spofforth thing, or the planets ride near York, maybe an hour or two at most, with something to aim for like cafe, playground etc. often a trailer would be involved too.

    for us now,(they’re 8 and 11), it’s blue/red trail centre stuff, around 20 miles in a day.

    Premier Icon BillOddie
    Full Member

    “Speaking as someone who has 2 boys now 11 and 13…

    If, as a family, you all want to go for a bike ride together, what do you look for in a ride?

    General fun, maybe build their skills a bit, fresh air, opportunity for a treat/coffee.

    What puts you off from riding somewhere with the kids?

    Do you mean riding from your front door to somewhere or going somewhere to ride? If the former, traffic and lack of safe infra.  If the latter, lack of suitable trails.

    Being proud of your planet-saving activity, do you leave the car at home, all hop on a train together (bikes and all) to go somewhere that’s safe to ride?

    You’re joking aren’t you?

    Or do you all drive to somewhere with a carpark at the start?

    Have done this, we’re lucky enough to live 20 mins from a very kid friendly trail centre (Hick’s lodge) and I think the boys rode the Red at Sherwood Pines before turning 10.

    Or start the ride from your front door?

    We’re lucky to have trails we can access within a 5min ride from our front door, so we did that when they were younger too, and continue to do so.

    Do you look for somewhere that does bike-hire so you don’t have to take your own?

    Nope.

    Do you ride somewhere that’s entirely traffic-free?

    If possible but local rides inevitably involve some traffic.

    How far do you travel to get to the start of the ride?

    20-60mins.

    Do you make sure the ride has a destination with something else to do (park, swings, ice cream stall)?

    Generally, yes.

    And how far is too far for under-tens to cycle? (appreciate “depends” is probably the answer to that one) 🙂

    Depends on how much haribo you have on you…  My eldest rode round Rutland water when he was under 10, which was 23miles.  They have also did some reasonable rides at Coed-y-Brenin etc.

    Premier Icon andrewreay
    Full Member

    Yup. Been commissioned to devise a lot of cycle routes for a local authority, some of which will be “family-friendly rides including under 10s”.

    In which case…

    As above, out and back old railway lines are dull, dull, dull for kids and adults alike: Phoenix Trail, I’m looking at you. Something circuitous is always preferable.

    Play park is critical, ideally not at the start / end so the kids have a break along the route. Adventure play park (zip wire etc) for the win.

    Reckon 8-12 miles of distance for under 10s is doable, and fine for those older than that.

    Cafe / coffee van somewhere on route also key.

    Some sort of attention diverter along the way is a big bonus. Whilst I’ve dissed the Phoenix trail, it does cross a steam railway, and my kids would have happily cycled just for the sight of the steam train up close. Something out of the ordinary en route will increase the attractiveness of the cycling elements.

    Some features on the trail too – like berms / switchbacks. Just keep things interesting.

    Hills can be off-putting so try and break them up so the kids won’t remember the long slog. This can make them not want to go again. My two readily remember the up hills and will moan well in advance.

    Finally, if people can cycle to the centre, they probably will BUT not if the road design on the way to the site or in its immediate vicinity is poor. So as well as investing in the trails, try and make sure that there is some decent cycling infrastructure leading to the site itself.

    By way of example, I reckon the Forest of Dean setup is pretty good. Whilst it does use a railway line, it’s not out and back, and there is plenty of interest along the way, plus some technical stuff. Also, whilst I have kids bikes, I’ve rented from there for convenience, and the rental options were definitely a draw on those occasions. Great cafes too.

    Premier Icon djglover
    Free Member

    We started ‘family’ rides (the wife wouldnt go near a bike) when the kids were 7 or 8 at a disused railway. We chose this due to lack of hills! Had the ice cream etc at the end.. https://www.cyclesprog.co.uk/get-cycling/harrogate-to-ripley-cycleway-family-route/

    It took a couple of years to graduate to rides from the door on actual roads, cumulating in 14 miles down the back lanes. Mainly traffic free, but with many rests for the inclines.

    They lost interest at 13

    Premier Icon blakec
    Full Member

    as a family, you all want to go for a bike ride together, what do you look for in a ride?

    Stuff that keeps it interesting. Trial centre. or adventure ride to cafe/park or a sense of achievement at the end etc
    What puts you off from riding somewhere with the kids?

    In the UK traffic.

    Being proud of your planet-saving activity, do you leave the car at home, all hop on a train together (bikes and all) to go somewhere that’s safe to ride?
    Or do you all drive to somewhere with a carpark at the start?
    Or start the ride from your front door?
    A mix of local stuff. but need the car to get to the interesting stuff

    Do you look for somewhere that does bike-hire so you don’t have to take your own?
    nope no hire bike has ever fitted me

    Do you ride somewhere that’s entirely traffic-free?
    If we can

    How far do you travel to get to the start of the ride?
    normally under an hour but 3-4 hours for BPW, FOD etc

    Do you make sure the ride has a destination with something else to do (park, swings, ice cream stall)?
    Not always. if its trails and fun stuff then not really. if its a xc ride then yes

    And how far is too far for under-tens to cycle? (appreciate “depends” is probably the answer to that one) 🙂

    You can be surprised what they can do if you plan properly and keep them warm and fed. eg My eldest did Both his first century (miles) and rode the West highland way (over 4 days) when he was 9 and youngest (not so keen as his brother) at the same age did a century(KM) and red routes at cwmcarn and Afan all of them were about motivation keeping it interesting and buying lots of ice cream

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    Remember, the folk on here are not normal.
    A lot of their children aren’t either.

    At 5 or 6 our two were riding the Planets, the old York Selby railway line.

    At 7 they were riding Les Gets.

    The older one first did the red in Les Gets at 8, the younger one (due to covid) not until he was 10.

    On here that’s not unusual. In the real world it probably is.

    Things like cake, ice cream, play parks etc translate into both real and STW. Some of the other stuff (ie the riding bit) possibly not so much.

    Premier Icon susepic
    Free Member

    Take a look at Chichester provision – pretty good and a mix of fun loops as well as commuter and other routes. https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/23971/Cycle-lanes-and-routes
    They have a few family routes that we have done with younger kids with some interesting bits (the short ferry crossing was a hoot, along with the tidal pools to cycle through).
    Once they got more proficient we were off to FC parks nearby where there is more challenge.

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    For future reference it would be easier if you numbered you questions both for those answersing and for yourself to extract the information.

    1. Close drive, at least partially traffic free and the rest low traffic. Circular route.
    2. From home and drive, from home preferred but as always limited range so limited route. Otherwise drive. 30-45 minnmax.
    3. Bike hire no. I might consider it if we were somewhere u expected but it would have to be a special place to ride to make it worth it financially as the same money could fgo to something else as we can go for rides for “free” other times
    4. A destination is good particularly with a now cycling child / toddler.
    5. As above 30-45 min max
    6.Our 5 year old max out at 5 miles probably with a beak in the middle. If possible I plan a rout with a short cut home from furthest point.

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