Two wheels with a two-year-old
For every boy and girl, the joy of riding his or her first bike is special, a right of passage. It might be the sense of freedom they get or the achievement of accomplishing a task such as removing their stabilisers and feeling the wind in their faces. In recent years the phenomenal growth in popularity of cycling in adults means this is a sport that crosses the generational gap and delights families across the world.
The benefits of cycling are endless no matter your age including:
Developing your balance
Increased muscle strength
Read more: Keeping fit & healthy while travelling
Cycling offers so much more than health and fitness though, it offers freedom, confidence and much more. Best of all cycling can be done as a family no matter the ages.
So, when you go travelling is using a bike a viable option for exploring?
100% yes and here is why;
You see much more with your bum in a saddle than you do in a car seat.
You feel immersed in the destination because you don’t have a glass screen between you
You cover much more distance than walking
Young tired legs get a chance to sit back and watch the world go by from a carrier or trailer and we guarantee will be more interested in what is going on
You save money on rental, fuel and parking never mind the headache of trying to find a parking space and pay for it via SMS
You will feel healthier and not as guilty for the over indulgence at dinner last night
Mother nature will be smiling down on you; think zero emissions
Read more: Positive Impact Pledge
You will smile more. Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you smile.
Cities across the globe are revising how families are cycling around the city
Obviously you can’t avoid other modes of transport when you travel whether it be plane, train or automobile and making the decision to make the switch to pedal power when you can, needs consideration for a number of reasons. Here are some things to think about in advance.
Do your research into your destination and look for cycling events or activities. For example, if visiting Merida in Mexico, they close down a large portion of the city at the weekends to traffic and host family-focussed cycling activities. You can just turn up, rent some bikes, tandem bikes or even quad bikes for families and off you go.
Read more: Our destinations
Cities across the globe are revising how their inhabitants move around the city and transitioning away from cars and into public transport and bikes. Cycle tracks are common in every city and it is worth checking out maps and guides to see how far they go. Typically these are well maintained, safe and designed to let you get around the city with little exposure to cars.
To support this initiative, many cities also have bikes for visitors and residents alike to use. Santander Cycles in London is a great example of this. If you prefer, there are always local shops offering bikes, safety equipment, child seats and carriers for hire. Make sure you do a visual inspection of all kit ensuring they fit correctly and all the buckles and straps work. Take pictures so that any existing damage is noted. A bit of time online will point you in the right direction of reputable shops in the area you are visiting.
This is all about family time and relaxation
All this research will also give you a feel for how bike-friendly your destination is. If there is an abundance of bike shops and guides, you know there is a good chance you will be in good hands. San Pedro in Belize is ideal for exploring on a bike with very little traffic and most people use golf buggies instead of cars. However, somewhere like Seminyak or Kuta in Bali not so much, due to the amount of traffic and the lack of infrastructure to support cyclists.
Read more: Explore our Bali adventure
Remember this is all about family time and relaxation. This is family cycling so no need for Strava which is much more suited to Sunday mornings with your other MAMILs (middle aged men in lycra). Pedal a bit, have some refreshments, laugh and see a piece of the world from another angle.