Family Cycling

by Janet Miller

Cycling with the children is a great way for the whole family to have fun and enjoy exercise

It was one of those lightbulb moments – ‘wow’ how exactly did my life end up like this? I was sitting down drinking a cuppa with a friend and nattering while our kids ran around the playground. They were having a fabulous time tearing about chasing each other and jumping, bouncing and leaping. The only part of me that was getting exercise was talking muscles – which is the only kind of exercise I’m not short of these days what with the constant – “don’t do that to your brother…”, “good work…” “gentle hands with the cat..” and on and on and on. Anyway, I was talking and watching the kids and I suddenly reaslised I could easily be doing the exact same thing in 5 years or 10 years. A cuppa and chat is nice but I’d really like to be getting some exercise. I wanted to feel my heart pumping and feel that I was fit and active and still young(ish). Sitting down was fine when my boys were babies, but my youngest is now 2 and sitting down at the park seems a bit granny-like – not the behaviour of a thirtymumble mum like me! More to the point, I don’t get any exercise by myself. Life is full to bursting. I need to exercise when my kids do. I spend a fair bit of time watching my kids playing soccor or running around games, how could I get exercise at the same time?

Cycling was my family’s answer to this problem. We all like biking – hubby gets misty eyed whenever anyone mentions mountain biking, and my boys both love to zoom along on their bikes. I’ve never been very keen on cycling, but it was exercise, so I’d give it a try. So onto the bikes we went. We made it our new habit to schedule in a bike outing every weekend. Each Sunday off we all went, hubby grinning on his good old mountain bike, Mr 6 years zooming along on his first ever bike with gears, me on my low tech town bike and Mr 2 years in the bike trailer being towed by dad. If we went to a trail where Mr 2 could have a zoom we’d take along his wooden bike so that he could get out of the trailer when he wanted to zoom about, and then jump back in the trailer when he was worn out. The wooden bike fitted neatly in the back of the bike trailer.

I’m pleased to say its been fantastic! I’m feeling much fitter and am even starting to lose a bit of weight. I love the fact that we can talk while we are cycling. We chat away, in a relaxed manner and I love the exercise. We all love zooming along on our bikes. It’s a bit of an adventure each time we head out. One time we ended up stopping at a mini museum to read the histories of the boats and sailors that had once frequented our coast. Another time we ended up at a Cycle X event and Mr 6 years got to ride his bike on the muddy cycle course. Sometimes we stop to climb a hill or play on some rocks or eat icecreams. We’ve even managed a cycling holiday…but more on that next time.

Img 3002