Can you remember the first bike you had when you were a child? More importantly, can you remember that huge sense of fun you had riding it? So many of us have fond memories of long summer days, exploring the world with friends, away from the school timetable and excited by the freedom to head out to wherever you please.
If you’re that little bit older and you’ve had the chance to pass on that ‘first bike’ feeling to your own children, there’s no better excuse to get out and have some fun on the saddle together when the sun is shining.
Here are a few activity suggestions from Cycling UK you can put on with a young family to help make it more exciting.
Cycling treasure hunt
It requires a little work but gives the chance for the whole family to rediscover your local area and work together to reach the final destination. There’s no need to race (unless you’re all very competitive!) but you will soon find time will fly by, particularly if you have a fiendish route-setter and clue-giver!
Top tip: If your family is young and new to cycling, keep the clues located close together and in your local park.
Time: 45mins – 1hr riding time is ideal to keep motivation high.
Go on a family picnic
What better way to spend time together than to go on a family picnic? Pack a selection of tasty treats and drinks, cycle off to find a quiet, picturesque spot off the beaten track, spread out your blanket and enjoy the outdoors.
Top tip: Pack your food into lightweight containers so that, when you’ve finished eating, you’re not loaded down by unnecessary weight or anything breakable.
Put on a fun cycling skills session
Play simple games on a bike to boost confidence and skills. You could set out a series of cones to slalom around, which will improve balance, or see who can freewheel the furthest down a hill (without pedalling).
Top tip: Pick a safe, traffic-free location such as a park, playing field or playground. Always stop before your child is tired, bored or hungry.
Go on a wildlife-spotting ride
Take your family out into the local woods or nature site. You’ll be amazed at how much wildlife you’ll see, from cows and horses to birds and crazy-looking insects.
Top tip: Grab your camera and notepad to record the wildlife you see when you’re out (great for a show-and-tell project when back at school).
Ride out to meet other families
Meeting up with other families who cycle is a great way to encourage the whole family to get out together, and it will help improve everyone’s fitness.
Top tip: Ensure the children are all of similar age and ability level.
Take part in your local Bike Week event
When Bike Week comes around every year, participate in your nearest event. You can find out more by visiting www.bikeweek.org.uk
Teach your child to ride
If your child is new to cycling or needs to improve his or her skills, Cycling UK has a whole host of resources, tips and how to guides.
For grown-up families, please consult Cycling UK’s guide on how to encourage your family and friends to start cycling.