Since we moved to a rural area in France, I have been wanting to get a bike. I know it is very stereotypical but I would love to bike down the lanes to the patisserie. I would love one of those retro looking bikes with a basket on the front, with Lucas cycling beside me, going to get a baguette and stop for a cake and coffee too. There are a couple of things I am missing for this dream though…bikes! We didn’t bring Lucas’ over with us and I didn’t own one in the UK. So, I have been looking into what bikes we are best getting for family bike rides.
It goes without saying that everyone cycling needs to wear a bike helmet. You need to ensure that the helmet fits correctly. If you buy in a store, most will be able to help fit the helmet and show you how to wear it correctly. Helmets should fit snugly on the head with the front sitting above the eyebrows and the side straps fastened securely below the chin. Helmet straps should lie flat against your head making the “V” shape from the top to the bottom of the ear.
Elbow and knee pads
Depending on where you are cycling or how confident you are, you may want to wear elbow and knee pads or you may want to just have them for the children whist they are learning to ride independently.
Whether you are planning on riding at night or not, I would suggest getting some bike lights in case it’s overcast and dull some days. Its easy to turn them on then if it becomes foggy or raining making it harder for you to be seen by other road users. Lucas had a mini hornit in the UK which he loved, with 25 cool sound effects and lights (white lights and green lights). It’s got everything from racing cars, motorbikes and plane sounds to lasers, UFOs, sirens and animal sounds. The fact that the Mini Hornit’s lights are 12 lumens means that they are brighter than many basic safety lights so it serves a genuine safety purpose at the same time, especially when riding home from school in the winter months.
It’s important that you are all reflective clothing on to be seen more easily from other road users. This could be reflective straps that you put around your arms, ankles or body, a high vis vest or clothing that already has reflective parts on it. Wearing bright clothing will help too, you will be far better seen wearing yellow or orange rather than grey or navy.
Which bike is best for you?
Buying a bike isn’t cheap so you want to make sure you get the right one for you, that you will get many years use out of.
A tricycle gives you more stability than a regular bike. They give you the freedom of two wheels with the safety and stability of three. Adult tricycles are the easiest way to get back into cycling. Ideal if you have mobility or balance issues, providing a smooth and enjoyable ride for both novice and experienced cyclists. Jorvik Tricycles have an incredible range of tricycles and electric tricycles. They also have an electric tricycle with a child carrier attached. Designed with seats at the front to fit one or two children up to 60kg.
A hybrid bike is a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike. The result is a bicycle that’s suitable for general-purpose riding over various types of terrain, which is why most hybrids tend to be used for general use, commuting and going to get your shopping.
Road bikes are similar to hybrid bikes and are built for speed on the road. The tyres are designed solely for gripping paved surfaces, which means they’re not going to perform very well if you want to take them off-road.
Mountain bikes are what you will want if you want to go off road together, they are designed for tougher terrain and can handle the dirt and grass better than a road or hybrid bike.