There are few holidays as free and open as a classic family cycling holiday and with travel restrictions keeping many of us from venturing abroad this year, there’s never been a better time to dust off the old two-wheelers and hit the tracks.
But whether you’re an experienced clan of cyclists ready to hit up Hadrian’s Wall or are completely new to the pastime and want to spend a few afternoons casually riding up and down the Forest of Dean stopping off at the occasional country pub, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
1. The terrain
Before you decide on your destination, do some research about the terrain in the area. If you’re biking with toddlers then always choose an area with relatively flat terrain because they will complain if it’s too tough for them and everyone will suffer.
2. The bikes
Getting the right bikes for the right family situation is perhaps the most crucial thing to consider.
Will you require a child seat and are your children’s bike the right sizer for them. Remember, kids are notorious for going through growth spurts at the most inopportune times.
3. The time
If you can, you always want to be doing the lion’s share of the hard work early in the morning when it’s cooler, as around midday in the summer months, it will start to get hot, even in the UK. Make sure you find a nice shaded spot to eat lunch and recharge your batteries.
4. The route
This will depend on exactly how you’ve planned your holiday. Are you cycling between hotels or are you remaining at one home base throughout the holiday and cycling circular routes?
The genius of modern technology means we can now plan our routes from our mobile devices and this is something you should really take advantage of.
5. The food and drink
If you’re cycling with a family, always take more food and drink than you think you’re going to need because chances are even that might not be enough.
Cycling burns off a lot of calories, but that also means you’re going to want to keep yourself and your family hydrated and fed with lots of energy.
6. The clobber
Cycling in the rain can actually be quite fun and refreshing as long as you remember to bring a cagoule. Always carry extra layers on you too, just in case it gets a little chilly.
Oh, and long baggy trousers are always a terrible idea because if they get caught in the bike chains then it could derail your entire holiday.
7. The restrictions
Part of the joy of a cycling holiday is knowing there are some locations that are simply inaccessible on two wheels. Work with those restrictions and plan your days accordingly.
8. The fun
Finally, never forget that you’re not just going on a cycling holiday because it’s cheap and might help your exercise regime finally take off, you’re doing it because it’s fun and a wonderful way to spend some serious quality time with those you love the most. Which has never been more vital!