Great Bike Rides for the Family
With us entering the New Year, most people will be starting their New Year Resolutions. There is no doubt that more than half of you would have told yourselves to get fit, lose weight or just improve your health, but this is not necessarily straight forward. Work, family and other commitments can get in the way and interrupt your rhythm so why not try to combine some of these to save time?
Family bike rides are not only a great way for you and your family to stay fit and active, but they are also a fun way of spending some quality bonding time together. No doubt most children would have woken up on Christmas day unwrapping a shiny new set of wheels, and by now they will be itching to try it out – so get your gear on and embark on an adventure with the family! Below I have listed some great places/events that are suitable for families and cyclists of mixed abilities.
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
From a nice easy ride to some slightly more technical routes, the Forest of Dean is a brilliant day out for the family with several specially designed routes for those of differing abilities. With gradual gradients, rough and smooth terrain, the available routes are ideal for young learners as well as those who may not be the fittest. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t been before as there are maps available to help guide you through all cycling routes! As a great hit in spring time, you can observe the beautiful colours and wildlife whilst also having fun and spending time with the family.
Hastings and Bexhill Waterfront, East Sussex
Perfect for beginners and those who just want a casual ride, Hastings and Bexhill Waterfront is an easy, 20 minute ride alongside a railway line at the beachfront. Maritime views and a refreshing sea breeze go hand in hand as you can enjoy a gentle cycle to help develop your confidence or to get your heart rate going. Also, the paving has been recently upgraded to include Netpave – allowing your tyres to grip the surface much easier. Your journey will take you to see the spectacular views of Beachy Head and across the channel. East hill lift directs you to Hastings Country Park – providing cliff top views of a shingle beach which has Europe’s largest fleet of beach-launched fishing boats. With plenty of Café’s around, there are more than enough rest spots for a nice coffee and ice cream to take in the great views.
Harrogate to Ripley, Yorkshire
A tranquil, traffic-free ride takes you along the former Nidderdale Greenway railway which used to link Leeds and Northallerton. The route takes you along a tarmac path which makes for easy riding stretching 4 miles, with duration of approximately 45 minutes – dependent on your ability. One small climb takes you up to the crossing of the A61, which has recently been improved to be more safe. A couple of pubs feature along the trail, with the Boar’s Head, which is an old coaching inn on Ripley Castle Estate, and The Traveller’s Rest, which is a 17th century inn.
Watermead Country Park, Leicester
Starting at Syston and stretching through to Cossington town centre, this mostly traffic-free route is another great one for beginners, although the distance of 7.6 miles may push some. Following the river Soar and Grand Union canal from the East Midlands commercial hub, you travel north towards Cossington. Along the way are some fantastic sights, such as redbrick factories and Watermead country park filled with wildflower meadows, lakes and a variety of wildlife. At the halfway point, the White Horse is a great pub for a bite to eat and drink with great pub grub!