Saddle Skedaddle have been running cycling holidays around the world for over 15 years. Earlier this year they launched a new range of cycling holidays designed specifically for families – We asked them to share their top tips for creating a superb family cycling holiday that you can all enjoy together.
How to make the most of your family cycling holiday
Whether you cycle with your family every day, or you’re just starting to get into bikes, a family cycling holiday might just be the perfect way to enjoy some quality time in the great outdoors, and build your children’s skill and confidence on their bikes too.
When you’re planning a cycling holiday with your family, there are certain things you should keep in mind that can make the difference between an uphill struggle and a fantastic free-wheeling adventure – here are our top five:
1. Think about what type of cycling holiday would suit your family best
Travelling from place-to-place under your own steam is a big part of the perfect family cycling holiday, but if you are moving on each day you need to be confident that you can all comfortably achieve the distances from one night’s stay to the next. Alternatively, centre-based tours can take away the hassle of daily packing, and give you flexibility with each day’s activities and distances. If you’re not sure which type would suit you best, you can balance the two – like we do with our bike and barge tours in Holland: with your accommodation on board, you can cycle off in the morning and meet up with your barge later on in the afternoon.
2. Pick the right routes
Energy levels can sometimes be as changeable as the British weather, so it’s good to have a range of routes and shortcuts up your sleeve so you can judge the ride on the go: you can add in an extra loop if the wind is behind you, or cut things short if aching muscles ask for it. Incorporating bike-friendly trains or boats into the last leg of a route is always a winner, too – but check the timetables before you decide anything!
3. Get the whole family involved
Planning your cycling holiday together is key to building the excitement and getting everyone prepared, too; if everyone has a part in picking out extra activities then everyone will have something to look forward to. Knowing what’s coming up and what to look out for keeps everyone interested and eager to keep going. Breaking your route down into milestones and planned stops is a great way of getting everyone involved in the map reading too – you’ll all feel like true adventurers!
4. Cycle a few routes before you head off on holiday
Cycling before your holiday helps to build excitement and anticipation, and it also gives you a much better idea of the distances your family will manage when you’re away. The routine of safety checks, packing kit and picnic, and getting everyone saddled up and ready to go gets quicker with practice too. To keep the cycling as comfortable as possible, try to arrange cycling some routes on consecutive days to get yourselves used to riding daily. A cycling holiday is a great way to build up bike confidence and skills, and tying in cycling at home before and after your holiday just extends the fun.
5. Make time to enjoy the unexpected!
Being prepared with rain gear, extra layers and sun cream, plus emergency snacks and drinks, will keep everyone happy in most circumstances – but you can’t prepare for everything, so factor in some time to deal with the unexpected. A family cycling holiday isn’t all about racking up the miles, so having time to fix an inconvenient puncture, take an impromptu stop at a farm or playground or for another ice cream – rather than rushing to beat the clock and be back in time for tea – keeps the holiday spirit going. Everyone will feel more relaxed and able to enjoy themselves, including you!
If you want to find out more about Saddle Skedaddle’s family cycling holidays then visit their website at: www.skedaddle.co.uk/family Alternatively, call the team in the office on 0191 2651110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org