Active outdoors – cycling

Learning to ride a bike is major childhood milestone – and cycling is a fantastic way for kids to be more active.

It is right to be safety conscious, but this shouldn’t put us off from being active outdoors. To be safe always insist that your children wear a properly fitting helmet and lead by example by wearing one yourself. It’s also important that you all learn the basics of how to ride a bike properly and understand the rules of the road. Obviously for young children you should supervise them and stick to traffic-free routes where possible.

Cycling to school is becoming popular again and it’s easy to see why – no need to drop the kids off and they get active too. Ask at the school to see if they provide facilities and if they don’t, ask why not! Visit www.sustrans.org.uk for more information on biking to school initiatives.

Cycling is great fun when done with a group and surely there’s no better group than your own family? There is a lot more equipment now available to enable you to cycle with children whatever their age. For more information visit www.whycycle.co.uk

Northern Ireland now has miles of cycle paths, many of them traffic-free and ideal for beginners, see www.cycleni.com for details.

New bikes can be quite expensive, but you might be able to buy a relatively cheap second-hand one. Ask for advice at your local bike shop.