Cycling holidays are always good fun, but whilst you might love the idea of disappearing with a few cycling buddies for a week long adventure, once kids come along, your opportunities to do this will be few and far between. Planning a cycling holiday with the family is a way to combine a love of cycling with some quality family time, and if you plan it right, everyone will have a fabulous holiday.
Choose the Right Destination
Think very carefully about where you fancy exploring on a cycling holiday. Ideally you should look for a destination that offers the right combination of great scenery and interesting attractions, but take into account the general terrain and make sure it is suitable for everyone’s ability and fitness level. For example, a seven year old might struggle cycling through the Lake District
, but be fine with some longer rides through Netherlands because it’s flat as a pancake.
Heading abroad can be enormous fun, especially if you choose a cycle-friendly country such as the Netherlands.
But don’t dismiss the UK for there are plenty of lovely places to be explored on two wheels and you are never too far from home if it all goes horribly wrong.
Take Into Account Fitness Levels
When cycling with children, it is essential that you take into account individual fitness levels. A holiday is supposed to be enjoyable, so the last thing anyone needs is a temper tantrum every five minutes because little legs are tired but daddy wants to cover at least fifty miles a day. To avoid this type of scenario spoiling your family break, be sensible and don’t try and overdo it. Plan plenty of rest stops and take some days off to visit local attractions. The kids will be a lot more amenable if you chill out.
Pack the Right Equipment
One of the biggest problems with cycling holidays is that you are limited in what you can pack. One way round this is to join an organised cycling tour where luggage is transported between overnight venues. Alternatively, use a central location as your base and explore outwards on the bikes. For families with younger children, this is probably the best idea, but if you have teenagers, you could pack your equipment in bike panniers and stay in B&Bs along the way.
Plan for the Unexpected
The key to a successful cycling holiday is to be prepared for every eventuality. Try and imagine every possible scenario and have a plan of action in place. Packing a first aid and puncture repair kit is a no-brainer, but it is also sensible to take a few spare parts and inner tubes, a small tool kit, and enough changes of clothing to accommodate freak weather conditions.
Lastly, before you set off on a family cycling holiday, get your bikes serviced or invest in some new ones. Check out the selection of new and used bikes from UK Cycle Centre
if your old bikes are not up to scratch. And don’t forget to pack plenty of energy gels and sweets for an instant boost when the kids start to fade.