We’re saddling up for Bury Goes Biking on September 30th and it’s safe to say, people are ‘wheelie’ excited! After all, it isn’t every day you get the chance to cycle uninhibited by traffic in and around a town centre.
With just a couple of weeks to go, we got to thinking about cycling as a family in general. You don’t have to wait for the roads to free up – there are myriad opportunities to clip in and enjoy the adventure that comes with cycling as a family unit.
Why cycle as a family?
Outside of the fun, the freedom and the independence that is?
If you’re a parent who feels that their cycling days were over the moment you popped a child into the world, or you’ve simply struggled to get back into it post-parenthood, here’s the thing: cycling as a family is easy – even for those who are slightly newer to the world.
Cycling with your child is possible from 6 months with a specialised bike seat or even a trailer.
Still, there are several assumed barriers to family cycling – the risk factor for one. Time and cost, for another. At present, 42% of parents ferry their kids to school by car for fear of busy roads. But just think of the money that could be saved by simply cycling in.
On its own, cycling carries monumental benefits to a child’s health and development, including:
- Improved fitness and health
- Enhanced motor skills
- The ability to see physical activity as something fun and not a chore
- Relieved stress levels and enhanced mental wellbeing
- Increased confidence, boosted decision-making abilities and better road-sense at a later age
Most of all, it’s something fun to do together. Cycling is a great way to thicken the bond between parent and child.
Ride with your kids in front of you – or, if there are two adults, one at the front and the other to the back. This way, your exercising maximum protection and visibility.
Keep cycling short in the early stages – this way you’re not in any danger of putting them off. Without distance being the focal point, you can also spend more time teaching them the ropes.
Check the bikes regularly – save yourself the hassle of a broken bike mid-ride by conducting regular maintenance-checks.
Bribe them – giving your kids a treat to look forward to during or after the ride isn’t a bad thing. It gives them a goal to look towards and makes the ride more enjoyable.
Make it into a mini adventure – this is an opportunity to get creative and think outside the box. You could go orienteering or even visit somewhere you wouldn’t normally go. Suddenly cycling is much more exciting!
Bury Goes Biking is a FREE community cycling event taking place on September 30th from 10am – 2pm. People of all ages are invited to join in the excitement, which will see the roads of Bury St Edmunds closed off to allow participants to cycle through completely traffic-free.