Cycling is a cost-effective, fun and adventurous way families can spend time together. As a parent it can be difficult to find healthy activities that everyone will enjoy. Cycling is a great family activity that everyone of all ages can participate in and have fun at the same time.
Scheduling a family outing where everyone can be involved - including planning a route, taking photos, choosing an ice-cream shop at the end - can provide treasured together time that won't be forgotten.
The smallest tyke can clamber into a bike seat or who knows, your cycling habit could sow the seeds for the next Sarah Ulmer or Lance Armstrong. Studies have found that kids are influenced by their parents' exercise choices. Research emphasises the importance of dads, in particular, being good role models. Stay active and ride with your kids.
Cycling has also been proven to improve your mood and combat depression. And as an exercise the whole family can take part in, it helps make for happy families.
If your bikes have been sitting in the shed, or left out in the elements for some time, you'll want to give them a quick health and safety check before heading out on your first ride:
Tyres: should have some tread (unless they are slicks) and be well inflated
Wheels and frame: should be free from rust which can weaken the metal
Brakes: should be working smoothly and not dragging (constantly in contact with the wheel/brake disc)
Chain: should be clean, not sagging, and may need a bit of lubricant if it's been left a long time
Lights: (if you're planning an evening ride) - Should always have enough battery power to last
The rider: should always wear a helmet, be fed and well hydrated and be aware of their own abilities while planning the route for their first ride (no transcontinental journeys first up).
Woodhill Mountain Bike Park
Purpose built bike park with trails for all levels
Restall Road, Woodhill, Auckland
Red Rocks coastal track. Great family riding, 8km return.
Easy rides that allow the whole family to cycle without worrying about traffic.
Easy rides such as:
These allow the whole family to cycle without worrying about traffic. http://www.ccc.govt.nz/
Great tracks for cycling with kids include:
Source: Bikewise www.bikewise.co.nz
Published: February 2012