It’s easy to let hectic work schedules and other commitments take precedence over family life but there’s nothing like a trip with the kids to lift the spirits and create some fantastic memories.
There are a whole host of things that you can do with the family but getting active is one of the best, as you are not only bonding but also getting some vital exercise. Investing in bicycles for you and your children opens up a whole world of adventures and An Post has launched Cycle Series events with routes to cater for everyone from the serious amateur to the enthusiastic beginner.
Kicking off in Sligo on Saturday May 3rd and Sunday May 4th, the series travels to Clare on Saturday June 21st, Meath on Saturday June 26th and Sunday July 27th and Waterford on Saturday August 23rd and Sunday August 24th, before finishing in Cork on Saturday September 13th.
To help you along the way, here are our top tips for cycling with the family.
To make your trip go as smooth as possible, make sure to prepare everything you need well in advance. Check that your tyres are properly inflated, chains are oiled and all the necessary gear is on hand, including clothes and safety helmets. This will avoid any rising tempers or stress before you hit the road and can also be a fun activity to get the children looking forward to the trip.
Plan for all eventualities
Whatever the age of the children, heading out en masse means that you may need more gear than usual. Make a list of everything you need, from water bottles and snacks for energy to first aid kits and repair tools. Just a few extra additions to your bag can result in avoiding major drama later!
Do your research
Bringing a group of children on a cycle can mean catering for a few levels of fitness and ability so make sure to do the legwork and be sure that the route you’ve chosen is suitable for everyone. Consider things like the type of surface to the length of the trip so that it is an enjoyable experience for all.
Play it safe
Safety is the most important thing when taking the children on a cycling trip so start your preparation by making sure that they are familiar with the rules of the road. It also helps to set some basic rules and boundaries about how far ahead/behind they will ride during the cycle so that everyone knows where they need to be at all times.
Before you step on the bike, strap on that helmet to provide protection from head injury (about 75 per cent of all cyclist deaths each year result from head injuries). Make sure that the helmet fits snugly and consider buying, gloves and knee and elbow pads to guard against scrapes and falls.
An Post Cycle Series is supported by An Post and the Irish Sports Council and encourages communities around the country to get on their bikes. The Series began in 2009 and over 56,500 people have taken part to date.
The Series is a great way for family, friends and work colleagues to spend a day of fun together while the serious rider can follow a more challenging route. Family routes will be approximately 10kms while short, medium and long distance routes will be approximately 60kms, 100kms and 160kms. For more details, click here.