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Spend the school holiday on two wheels

Get your kids cycling during the summer holiday – here’s our pick of where to go and what to do

As the long summer holidays stretch out before us, many parents (okay, me) will be wondering how to occupy their children over the six-week break. Fortunately, help is at hand in our activities round-up. Here are some of the best things to do for cycling families or enthusiastic youngsters during summer 2015.

Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle

Head to London for the mother (and father) of all free family events, the Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle.

On Saturday 1 August, families on bikes take over central London and can experience traffic-free riding past Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and many other landmarks.

To make a day of it, six parks are also being taken over to host activities including bike polo, stunt cycling shows, a superhero zone and bling-your-bike to name but a few.

My kids always enjoy this day out; it’s a great vision of what London could be like if cars were banned.

The BikeBus Explorer

Every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, the BikeBus Explorer heads out of Cambridge to the countryside, towing a 20-space trailer behind, and for £5 per adult, £2.50 per child and £2 per bike, you can hop on and off all day.

The National Trust’s Wimpole Hall with its family-favourite Home Farm is on the route, and the flat Cambridgeshire countryside makes easy biking for little ones.

Off-road skills

If your youngster is more of an off-road type, why not book them in for a two-hour mountain bike skills session with Cycle Chilterns?

The courses run each Tuesday throughout the summer, and are free, though booking is required. They take place at the Aston Hill Bike Park, near Wendover, and kids get to go on the new pumptrack as well as the extensive trails.

Pop up to Bristol!

Celebrating 20 years of the National Cycle Network, Sustrans are hosting a variety of pop-up events, including Fair in the Square on Saturday 22 August in Bristol, where it all began.

There will be Shaun the Sheep-spotting rides, live music, cycle skills demonstrations and many more activities throughout the day.

As evening falls, an illuminated Lullaby Ride will take place. This is a specially decorated entourage of bikes, which will play gentle bedtime music through the city’s residential streets. Ahh bless.

Welsh side story

Further west, Sustrans Cymru are renaming their popular family cycling app from TaffTales to CelticTales. There will be six routes to choose from, each with a history or a mystery theme. The app helpfully includes picnic sites, cafes and attractions en route.

Park life

Lee Valley Velopark in East London is the place to visit if your child wants to try out different types of cycling. Their popular day sessions give youngsters a go at two disciplines of cycling: choose from mountain biking, BMX, track and road. 

Costing around £30 for a full day’s activities, these sessions are suitable for riders aged 10-16 years. For tiny tots, there are Velobalance sessions at £4.50 per mini-rider. These will help little ones aged 2-5 years move towards riding without stabilisers/on two wheels with the help of supplied balance bikes.

There are also bike routes suitable for the whole family and some lovely picnic spots to be found too.

Great Scot!

Dundee is hosting a free cycle fest on 8 August. As well as a Penny Farthing Showman there will be cycle stunt team, The Clan, and a variety of bikes to try, plus face-painting, food and stalls. Head down to the City Square between 11am and 4pm to join in the fun.

Coach class

If your children are serious about their cycling, then Go-Ride, British Cycling’s development programme, could be for them.

Covering the disciplines of BMX, cycle-speedway, cyclo-cross, mountain biking, road and track, there are regional programmes of training and open rides scheduled for across the summer holidays. Check the website for details as they’re added.
And if you hear of any other great events for kids, let us know in the comments.

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