Photo Credit: Tom and Katie Jones @FamilyByCycle
It doesn't need to be Land's End to John O'Groats
Like us you were probably inspired by the story of the Jones family, cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats – the youngest member of the group being just four years old!
We first came across them via the video of their daughter Rhoda giving a thumbs up to a considerate HGV driver as he passed at a safe distance (and more than just the recommended 1.5 metres for passing a cyclist).
Her parents tweeted:
“So often we see or share videos of awful driving around cyclists, so this textbook pass from an exceptionally patient & careful HGV driver for D&W Agri coming into Jedburgh deserves sharing, as does Rhoda's response! They're not on Twitter but we've thanked the haulier directly."
- and the internet loved it.
Now, Tom and Katie Jones say they are not ‘hardcore cyclists’, they simply enjoy exploring the world by bike with their children.
This all got us thinking about local families and the resources we can share to make cycling with kids easier to start. We had a terrific time this summer with our Big Summer campaign helping families to access the fun on their doorstep by cycling, as well as walking, taking the bus and train. This included a number of family rides around Tees Valley which proved very popular.
We’ve pulled together these tried and tested cycle routes suitable for beginners and young children
Confidence comes with experience and training. If you would like to start your children out on some quiet rides to build up their stamina and experience we have pulled together the routes we used for the Big Summer family cycle rides.
Want more family friendly stuff? You can sign-up on the page.
Teaching your child to ride
We’ve pulled together some tips on teaching your child to ride a bicycle. Tom and Katie have a nice article on their site detailing how they taught their daughter to cycle on her own.
In Tom’s words: “Our approach to teaching children to ride has developed over time. Thomas Ivor had stabilisers and a heavy bike. We've learned a lot since then!”
Tools to help you in planning a cycle route
Fist on our list: getting your hands on local cycling maps for Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on Tees. Did you know that the detailed large fold out maps (for walking and cycling) are available in hard copy for your local cycling hub?
The Darlington map is modelled below by Paul : -)
We can help you access training to help you with cycle confidence
There are a number of ways to improve your cycling confidence. From simply getting out more and building up from the park, to cycle paths and quieter roads. There comes a time when you will want to graduate to busier routes.
Did you know that there are confidence rides and cycle training available in Tees Valley via the hubs as well as, local councils and other providers like Wheel Education and Sustrans?
All of them offer something different so there is bound to be something that suits you.
Take a look at the Bikeability website to arrange training, contact your local hub to find out what free courses and rides they offer or get in touch with us here at Let’s Go Tees Valley.
Already cycling with your kids and want to take it up a level?
The Jones family have some other great content on their family cycling blog including:
- Three key things you need to do to survive on a family cycle tour
- Five reasons to ride your bikes even when it all goes a bit wrong
- Ruth entering the world of under 8’s cycle cross cycling - Stockton Wheelers Cycle Club offer youth coaching with beginners and racing sessions
By Nicky at 6 Sep 2018, 15:48 PM