The cycling bug has well and truly taken hold, but how can you take your own cycling holiday with the kids?
The UK cities that the tour will go through are Leeds, Harrogate, York, Sheffield and Cambridge, as well as Ypres, Oyonnax, Risoul, and Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour in France.
But just because you can’t compete in the Tour De France, it doesn’t mean you can’t join in, cycling has become trendy for those commuting to work to avoid public transport or enjoy a convenient exercise routine, as well as families taking to their bikes at the weekend to explore their surroundings. If you’re thinking of getting the cycling bug too, Charles Millward from Rural Retreats specialises in luxury UK cycling breaks, has answered us a few questions about how and why to cycle.
1. Why should I take a bike trip with the kids?
Taking your bike on holiday gives the most scope for exploring, as you can follow any route you choose, whether that’s quiet rural lanes or coastal tracks, depending on the difficulty you want and the age of your children. For the more adventurous and older children, there’s some great mountain biking trails in Europe.
You also get a totally different experience seeing a place on a bike, where you can explore the UK’s little villages and heritage.
A cycling break also offers great exercise, so you can keep the kids active while you’re away.
2. Are we all fit enough for a cycling break?
Even if you have little tots, cycling can be a low impact activity, and for especially little ones you can take them on the back or consider electric bikes for those that might need some help with steep hills.
Sightseeing is an important part of a cycling trip, so schedule plenty of stops and enjoy your routes through picturesque villages and dramatic dales which the kids can gaze at and play amongst. Just remember to consider how far you might want to cycle when you’re planning your itinerary.
3. Should I hire a bike or take my own?
If you’re experienced cyclists, or travelling more tricky terrain, you might want to take a bike you’re familiar with – but that does mean taking it with you when travelling, which can be tricky when you have a car full of your family gear already.
Hiring a bike can be around £50-£200 for one week, but then if something goes wrong with the bike, it will be replaced or repaired by the hire company.
Many luxury properties will have bikes for guests to use for free or can organise bike hire. Make sure you check when booking.
4. What kit will I need?
Helmet. A good helmet is a priority and a good example to set your children. It’s also important to make sure it fits properly – that is, snug with the straps fitting securely.
Cycling clothes. If you’re planning a lot of cycling on your family holiday, invest in cycling gear that is light and breathable so you and the kids and comfy all day. It’s also important to choose high visibility jackets or vests and/orbright clothes to make cycling safer.
Lights. If you’re cycling in the dark, or in conditions where it might be difficult to be spotted, for example early morning mist, it’s important to bring bike lights. Spare batteries might be a good idea, too, if you’re planning a long trip.
Bag. A bag is essential. Here you can store your essentials, such as money, water bottle, phone, camera, and plenty of snacks for the little ones.
5. Where should I stay?
When organising a cycling break accommodation will be a major consideration – because of the respite it will offer tired little legs, but it will also be a great base to discover what the area has to offer.
Rural Retreats has luxury rental holiday properties near some great trails in the country, including locations near the three UK national parks – the Peak District, the Brecon Beacons and the Lake District.
Book: ruralretreats.co.uk or call 01386 701 177.