10 WAYS TO PREPARE FOR A FAMILY CYCLING STAYCATION WITH HALFORDS

When we think about camping trips with young children, our minds are instantly filled with dread. How are you going to entertain the children whilst setting up the tent? How will you provide entertainment throughout the trip without breaking the bank? Halfords have got you covered with their Camping guide, which is full of tips for camping, and even cycling staycations. Whether you want to try glamping, or you are more used to roughing it, the guide is full of places to visit, and tips for helping you survive the trip with the whole family. I've teamed up with Halfords to give you some top tips on how to prepare your family for a cycling staycation, and some great Cycling Bargains.




1. CHECK THAT THERE ARE SOME GREAT BIKE TRAILS NEARBY

There's nothing worse than getting to your camping destination and finding that it is just a field full of sheep poo in the middle of nowhere. This isn't too bad if you plan to drive everywhere, but not the best if you are planning to cycle as a family. It is not a great idea to take young children on dangerous country roads to cycle, so it is always best to find dedicated cycling routes, or national parks that you can all enjoy together. This doesn't have to make cycling boring, as there are a huge range of different trails in national parks that you can enjoy together. Halfords have a few recommendations on their website, including sites both in the South, North and Wales.

2. INSURE YOUR BIKES BEFORE YOU LEAVE

You can often add bike insurance to your house insurance policy, and if you have some expensive bikes it is really important to remember to insure them. There would be nothing worse then losing your £1000+ bike and not being able to claim back the money on your insurance. For a few pounds extra a month, you won't notice the difference, but trust me, you will notice the difference when your pride and joy gets taken by a chancer. 

3. MAKE SURE YOUR LITTLE ONES HAVE A HELMET

No child thinks wearing a helmet is cool, but as parents we should definitely be encouraging them to wear them. I know that I want to protect our daughter as much as we can on the bike, and she is only 19 months old at the moment. Halfords have a huge range of helmets to suit any child's individual style, and they make them small enough to fit the tiniest of children. My daughter has a particularly small head, and we would highly recommend the Polka Dot Toddler Bike Helmet which costs just £10! At first Elise wasn't too sure about the helmet, but once we get going she forgets that she is even wearing it.

4. PREPARE AN EMERGENCY REPAIR KIT

If you are going to be venturing into the great outdoors, you want to make sure that you have a basic repair kit for your bikes. You won't always be able to just return back to the car or campsite to make minor repairs, so it is always wise to pack something to take with you. This can consist of things like a pump, puncture repair kit, spare bike parts, and items not related to the bike such as suncream, snacks and water incase you get stuck for a while, or you are having too much fun to remember to return back to camp and eat!

5. THINK ABOUT HOW YOU ARE GOING TO CARRY YOUR LUGGAGE

Whilst your first thought may be to just carry a backpack, you may find that this is not the best option for long rides. For one, you may have a child sat behind you on your bike, so it wouldn't be practical at all. Carrying a heavy backpack is not great for your back either, especially on longer day trips on your bikes. Another thing to think about is weight distribution. If you have a child seat on your bike, it already throws off your balance a bit and changes your riding style, so it may be a better idea to use something like a pannier rack to carry your luggage. 

6. BIKE LOCKS ARE YOUR FRIEND

When it comes to camping, we often worry about the safety of our possessions, especially over night. That's where investing in a decent bike lock is worth it. Your bike insurance may not cover you if you haven't locked your bike up with particular types of locks, so always check this with your insurer. Plus you want a heavy duty lock that isn't going to be easy to cut, or remove from your bike. One of the tips that Halfords gives is to tie your bikes to a nice sturdy tree. Campsites are not full of lampposts, so the best option may be finding a tree, or using a bike rack on your car and chaining your bikes to it. There's still a risk of people stealing them from the bike racks though, so make sure they are very secure, or use the tree method.

7. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THESE CAMPING ESSENTIALS SORTED

A cycling staycation isn't all about the bikes. You need to think of the camping side of it too, and make sure you have all the essentials. These could include:
- Tent big enough for your family
- Basic cooking tools, such as a camping stove, a cooler box and something to put your food on. Also don't forget the gas!
- Chairs or a picnic mat 
- Torches
- Food that is easy to cook and bottled water
- Sleeping bags
- Lawn games to keep you entertained

The list could go on, so make sure you check out some camping guides to see what people recommend to take.


8. PURCHASE A SUITABLE CHILD SEAT

There are a huge range of different child seats that you can use on your bike, so it's important to do your own research. Certain styles will not fit on every type of bike, so make sure that it will work with yours before purchasing. There's also the option of a rear, or front seat to consider. We opted for a front child seat, and went with the WeeRide Safe Front Child Bike Seat that retails for £150, but is often on offer. We managed to get it for half price. It is worth the money in our opinion though, as we love being able to see Elise, and she loves being able to see the world, rather than one of our bottoms. The weight distribution is also better with a front child seat, and she will be able to use it until around the age of four. 

My husband rides a Cube XMS 120, with a "Horst Link" rear suspension layout, so a rear child seat wouldn't have worked on his bike. I could have Elise on my bike, but I'm not as confident as my husband. Plus it is more comfortable for her and has a 5 point harness, rather than the typical 3 point that most rear seats have. Again, she loves being able to see, and if my husband did have an accident, his arms would protect her and take most of the impact. 

The seat is also really easy to install, and took around 20 minutes. The base bar can remain on the bike, and the seat just screws on to it so it is easy to remove. This means it won't take 20 minutes every time you use the seat. My husband just keeps the bar in place, and although he says it weighs a bit, it doesn't affect his commute to work! 

9. CONSIDER A GPS SYSTEM


Sometimes getting lost is part of the fun, but with children it can be a little bit different. They may get sick of riding earlier than you expect, or may be asking for food or a drink whilst you are out riding. This is where a GPS system could come in handy. Whether it is on your phone, or a dedicated one for your bike, it will give you a peace of mind that you won't be lost. Even if you just use it as a last resort!

10. REMEMBER THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL - FUN

It's not possible to remember everything, and I'm sure there will be an emergency trip once you arrive at your destination because you've forgotten a key item. Remember that family trips are all about fun, so try to forget all the little stressful details. Pack the car the night before, prepare a picnic and make sure you've had a trial run of putting up the tent. Arrive early at your destination, and get the tent set up so you can go and explore straight away. It's fine to be adventurous and have fun...as long as you are being safe. My husband loves going to the pump track, so naturally he wanted to try some stunts with Elise*...

*no toddlers were harmed during the stunt session. Please notice her safety gear and how happy she is!

"10 ways to prepare for a family cycling staycation with @amundanesarah and @HalfordsCycling: http://dld.bz/fT526"
CLICK TO TWEET


SARAH HUGHES

CLICK THE PICTURE TO PIN THIS POST TO PINTEREST

SHARE TO FACEBOOK | SHARE ON GOOGLE+


THIS IS A COLLABORATIVE POST WITH HALFORDS. WE WERE PROVIDED WITH THE WEERIDE AND HELMET IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. ALL STUNTS PERFORMED BY STEFFAN HUGHES ON A TRAFFIC FREE STREET WHILST CUSTOMERS OF HALFORDS LOOKED ON.
SOME POSTS MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, WHERE I RECEIVE A SMALL AMOUNT OF COMMISSION IF SOMETHING IS PURCHASED THROUGH THE LINK. THIS DOESN'T AFFECT THE END PRICE OF THE PRODUCT. BY PURCHASING THROUGH MY LINKS, YOU WILL BE HELPING ME TO KEEP THIS BLOG RUNNING SO THAT I CAN BRING YOU AWESOME CONTENT. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE POLICY.


1 comment

  1. With responsible parents, there will be no problems for toddlers) The same can be said about other areas of life, for example, at work have to responsibility and control also important. This is helped by the popular transport tracking software gps tracking software. And I don't know what I'd do without it.

    ReplyDelete

If you would like to leave a comment about the subject covered in this post, please feel free! I allow links to your own blog, as long as you have left a relevant comment!