Cycling Gifts for Mother’s Day

So it’s not far away now. Mother’s Day falls at the end of March so now’s the time to start looking for that special treat to let her know you care. Of course, at Cycle Centre we’re sure you would like to check out the latest cycling gifts for Mother’s Day, so why not take inspiration from our suggestions.

Cycling Gifts for Mother’s Day:

Doesn’t every woman love a new bag? If the Mum in your life is a cycling fan, and a bag lover then we have the perfect cycling gift for Mother’s day.

Alba Single PannierThis Alba Single pannier from New Looxs is just beautiful and is both stylish and functional. Water repellant with an adjustable shoulder strap, this gorgeous bag has multiple internal pockets for great organisation. We have this available online for £39.99. Click here to find out more.

Want more bags? Of course you do. Why not take a look at these fashionable designs all available from our online store.

The Mondi Joy double pannier in Isis Blue has great carrying capacity and vibrant graphics. Available for £51.99.

cycling gifts for mother's dayOr perhaps you like a different style. Why not try the Femme Pannier bag in Romano Blue. Looks just like an ordinary bag doesn’t it? As well as being great for everyday use, the Femme Pannier bag comes with pannier mounting hooks and is waterproof. Practical and stylish, and available for £49.99Femme Pannier

If you’re hoping to make it an extra special Mother’s Day this year, why not treat her to the ultimate gift. How about one of our most stylish and fashionable bikes, the Red or Dead Cuckoo? Iconic British fashion brand, Red or Dead, have joined forces with British bike experts, Raleigh, to create a beautiful chic fashion bike – for those ladies with a passion for cycling and a whole heap of love for all things fashion.

mother's day cycling giftsYou can order this beautiful bike in store with us for £400 and let your Mum really know how much you care.

If you’re still looking for stylish, practical and good value cycling gifts for Mother’s Day why not check out the website and see what you can find. Alternatively, give us a call and try out our excellent customer service. We would be happy to talk you through our range.

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Do you Suffer with SAD?

Spring is most definitely in the air. The daffodils are peeping through and the sun is shining. Does it make a difference to how you feel? People seem happier and lighter with a more enthusiastic spring in their step this week. But does the pending change in season really make that much difference to our mood? Does the arrival of Spring help us feel better about life? Or is it all a myth?

Winter bluesSeasonal Affective Disorder

It’s a well-known fact that many people suffer with SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Most animals react to the Winter months in terms of behaviour, metabolism and human beings are just the same. With the reduction in light, many of us stay indoors more, sleep longer and eat more comforting food. For some this can turn into Winter Blues and for others, it becomes the more severe SAD.

The Lumie website quotes the following as symptoms of SAD, although not everyone will experience them all:

  • Sleep problems – oversleeping but not refreshed, cannot get out of bed, needing a nap in the afternoon
  • Overeating – carbohydrate craving leading to weight gain
  • Depression, despair, misery, guilt, anxiety – normal tasks become frustratingly difficult
  • Family / social problems – avoiding company, irritability, loss of libido, feeling emotionally ‘numb’
  • Lethargy – too tired to cope, everything an effort
  • Physical symptoms – often joint pain or stomach problems, lowered resistance to infection
  • Behavioural problems – especially in young people

If you have suffered with any, or a combination of these symptoms, and dislike the colder, darker Winter months it’s likely that your body is reacting to a lack of sunlight. The lack of light, directly into your eyes, causes a rise in the amount of melatonin in your body, so making you sleepy and depressed. It isn’t known why some people are more prone to the effects that others though.

How to Beat the Winter Blues

Keeping activeWe all know that getting active is a great way to beat depression. If you think you’ve been suffering with SAD or the Winter Blues, being active outdoors has a double benefit of course, giving you much-needed daylight as well as general exercise. Why not go for that bike ride!

Another, well-regarded way to help beat SAD and the Winter Blues is to use a light box. Research has shown that using the right sort of light box for just 30 minutes a day will increase your serotonin levels, decrease the melatonin and help reduce symptoms.Lumie pioneered research into this area, and supplies Lightboxes to the NHS. They were also the first company to manufacture the Active Bodyclock light a dawn simulator, which allows you to wake up to gradually increasing light. The growing levels of light in the room trigger your body to stop producing melatonin, and to produce much needed cortisol which makes you feel alert, awake and refreshed. They help boost your mood, energy and productivity levels all day, and many people rely on them in the Winter months.

Going away to a sunny climate, or on a skiing trip can help, but often sufferers report an increase in symptoms when they return.

Are you a Sufferer?

Maybe you weren’t sure if you were affected. Perhaps you’ve noticed that the lighter, brighter days has lifted your mood, helped you eat more healthily and generally given you a spring in your step. The lighter mornings help us get up out of bed and make us feel less sleepy generally. If you’ve noticed all of these things in the last week, it would be worth noting how you feel later in the year once the days get shorter again.

Cycling Quote: Reasons Why You Can

inspriational quote

If you read the blog regularly you’ll know that we are big fans of the odd inspirational quote. And as it’s Friday and March is pretty much here we thought it would be nice to end the week, and the month on something uplifting.

Wheel Brothers run some lovely quotes and we are big fans, so we hope they won’t mind us sharing this one that we saw on Pinterest. It reminds us to keep going even when the going gets tough. As many of you are parents, you might need reminding of this more often than others!

We were also very inpsired this week by the Team Honk cyclists and their 50k bike ride for Sport Relief. The team of 7 endured 8 punctures along the way, slowing up their ride and adding to their fatigue. They did it though and we were so proud to be a small part of their effort by providing some of their wet weather gear. Well done ladies! You definitely gave yourself the reasons for ‘why you can’. Great effort.

So if you’re facing an uphill battle in the next few days, hopefully this little quote will inspire you to dig deep and get through it. Have a great weekend everyone!

You can see the full range of quotes, and lots more on the Wheel Brothers website.

 

Team Honk Bloggers’ Relay for Sport Relief

We are very proud to be sponsoring part of the #TeamHonk blogger relay today with some cycling goodies from our shop.

Over 200 bloggers are aiming to raise £20k for Sport Relief by travelling 3000 miles across the UK carrying the Team Honk baton. There is still a month to go and remarkably it looks like they’re going to smash through the £20k barrier in the next day or so. Such a fantastic effort.

Team Honk 2014 blogger Relay

Team Honk kicked off their challenge on Sunday 12th January at Lands End, and the relay will see 38 teams pass the baton in a variety of fun and creative ways, finishing in John O Groats on Sunday 23rd March. By the end of the race over 200 participants are expected to have taken part and signed special ribbons on the Olympic themed baton.

Today, Tuesday 24th February, its travelling from Grantham to Nottingham by bike with Penny (one of the Team Honk organisers) and her team who are cycling 50k. Some are experienced cyclists, others might class themselves as novices but they all have one thing in common – they want to raise as much for Sport Relief as they can. We know it’s going to be a tough day for them. They will need to really dig deep as they take on this challenge. We sent a very comfy saddle, some padded shorts and of course, lots of energy bars amongst plenty of other bits. We are really pleased to be able to do our bit.

Sport Relief cycling bitsOh and did we mention they’re all dressing up as Robin Hood, Maid Marion and the band of Merry (Wo)Men?

Blogger relayIf you want to support them, and help them smash through their target you can click along to the Just Giving page and donate whatever you can afford. Even £1 will feed a child for a day. So go on, support Team Honk and donate today.

http://my.sportrelief.com/sponsor/nottinghamteamhonk

And you can see where the money raised goes too. One of our Cycle Centre bloggers, Jen went to visit a foodbank in Nottingham, supported by Comic Relief. It was a humbling experience with the realisation that poverty and homelessness could happen to any of us, at any time.

Want to join in too?

The first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. The public can join the fun and games by running, swimming or cycling their way to raising cash at over a thousand venues around the country, including the landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Happy Half Term: 15% Off Many Bikes and Accessories

Happy Half Term everyone!
The weather has been pretty awful for lots of us in the past few weeks and it’s been hard for the cyclists amongst us. You will have seen that we are running a fabulous giveaway on the blog at the moment, and giving you the chance to win £150 to spend on a bike of your choice, but we’re taking things one step further this week.

As it’s half term in most of the country we wanted to celebrate and offer you 15% of many of our bikes and accessories from both the online store and the shop in Newcastle. If you can’t get to see us in person, that’s absolutely no problem as you can buy directly from our website. Here’s a few examples of the offers we are currently running to whet your appetite:

The Raleigh Saturn Boys Bike

Raleigh SaturnThis fabulous boys bike, the Raleigh Saturn is currently available for just £84 over the half term holidays. A great saving of £15 this week only.

Or how about:

The Diamondback Remix 2014 Model:

Diamondback RemixWith 15% off this half term holidays, this great little Diamondback Remix is only £170, a saving of £30 his week only.

The Claud Butler Aspect

Claud Butler AspectIf you’re looking for something for an older girl, how about this Claud Butler Aspect suitable for girls aged 9-11. With a Hi-ten steel frame, this 2014 model bike is on sale for this week only, at £152.99. A great bargain!

The Claud Butler Origin

Claud Butler OriginIf you’re looking for something for the older boy though, why not take a look at this fabulous looking Claud Butler Origin which we are selling at just £135.99 this week. A saving of £24 on the original price.

Now it’s not just the kids that we’ve thought about with our flash half term holiday bike sale. If you’re looking to treat yourself the savings are still there on the adult bikes.

Claud Butler Cambridge Pink

Claud Butler Cambridge PinkHow about this wonderfully stylish, very cool Claud Butler Cambridge in a soft baby pink. With a whopping £37.50 discount, this bike is for sale at just £212.49.

Giant Revel 3 2014

Giant RevelAnd of course we didn’t want to leave the men out so here’s an example of guy’s mountain bike that’s also in the half term sale. This 2014 Giant Revel with an aluminium frame and 21 speed Shimano shifters is just £254.15, a fabulous saving of over £44.

This is just a small selection of the full range of bikes we have in the 15% off sale this week, just take a browse through our website www.cyclecentreuk.co.uk to find out more.

You’ll need to be quick though! All of these prices are valid until 24th February 08:00 so grab the bargains while you can. Of course as usual, everything is subject to availability and this offer can’t be used in conjunction with any other.

Happy Shopping!

WIN a Bike Worth £150 from Cycle Centre

Giveaway is now Closed.

Congratulations to the winner – Louise Asekokhai.

 

Well it’s very cold outside, and very wet so to cheer us all up we thought it was about time that we ran another giveaway. This time we would like to give you the opportunity to win a bike worth £150 from our shop. It doesn’t matter which bike, you get to choose which one you want if you should win, and of course you could always put the prize towards a bike of a higher value if you wish.

So why don’t we show you what you might like to choose from.

To start with how about this fabulous Diamond Back BMX currently in our sale for just £144.50.

diamondback bmxOr how about this very cute, and very popular little girl’s bike, the Giant Lil Puddn which sells for £139.

Giant LilpuddnOr for the older girl, how about this very stylish Claud Butler Blossom, currently £139.99.

Claud butler BlossomIf you’re after a bike for yourself we have this Raleigh Atlanta mountain bike for just £150 in our shop right now.

Raleigh AtlantaThere are lots of choices on our website and in our shop. What we’ve shown you here are just examples of what you could possibly have but for a full selection just take a look at our website or let us chat to you about what we have in stock. So what do you have to do to win this great prize?

WIN £150 to Spend on a Bike of your Choice at Cycle Centre

To be in with a chance of winning you need to tweet this message:

I would love to win £150 to spend on a bike of my choice via @cycle_centre http://wp.me/p2cJsV-nO

then leave us a comment letting us know you’ve done it.

For extra entries you can also:

Leave a separate comment for each extra entry.

The giveaway closes on Wednesday 12th March 2014 and the winner will be contacted by email shortly afterwards. Full terms and conditions are below.

Good luck!

Giveaway Closes: Wednesday 12th March 2014 11.59pm

UK Entries only

Terms and Conditions:

  • The prize is £150 to spend on a bike of your choice from Cycle Centre. There is no cash alternative.
  • Entrants must Tweet the text and leave a comment saying they’ve done it.
  • Entrants can also follow Cycle Centre on Twitter, Follow Cycle Centre on Facebook and Follow the blog.
  • A separate comment must be left for each entry.
  • UK Entrants over 16 only
  • Competition closes on Wednesday 12th March 2014 at 11.59pm
  • Winners will be chosen by random and contacted by email
  • Winners must respond to the email within 7 days or forfeit the prize. Another winner will then be chosen.
  • The prize will be given direct from Cycle Centre
  • Cycle Centre’s decision is final

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

Valentine’s Day Treats from our Store

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner what better way to treat your cycling obsessed loved one that with a gift from our shop. You know we’ve been writing about keeping fit recently and about how to get your family out cycling in the Winter so I’m sure lots of you are keen to stay active in this gloomy weather. Maybe your girlfriend or wife has been hinting about a new bike, maybe her old one has seen better days, or maybe you’d like to be treated to a new bike this Valentine’s Day. Whatever your situation we have some lovely deals and offers on in the shop at the moment that you could take advantage of.

How about this Trek Domane 4.5 Compact 56cms? We have this in store at a massive £500 off currently which makes for an amazing bargain if you’re looking for a special gift.

trek-domane-45-compact-2013-road-bikeOr we have this Cube Aim SL26 on offer at £399 – a saving of £100. A 20″ wheel in Black ‘n’ Red. Ok not technically a Valentine’s gift, but still a great bargain and a lovely way to show someone how much you love them!

mdb-f7742_501001-aimsl26blackredFor the lady in your life how about this great Giant Revel 0 W Women’s mountain bike. Complete with an AluxX Aluminium frame this is a massive 50% reduced at just £249.99 currently. What a great bargain eh?? And what a fabulous looking bike.

13700-38552-full-revel-0-w-47

Alternatively if you’re looking for more of a leisure bike, how about this Raleigh Strada 1 Diamond Frame which currently has £30 off at just £270. This one is available in various sizes so let us know if you’d like more information.

13426--full--50If you’d like to know more about what we have on offer or if you’d like to check on availability of these bikes do drop us a line.

You can email us at sales@cyclecentreuk.co.uk, call us on 0191 265 1472 or leave a comment right here on the blog. We will get back to you as quickly as we can and look forward to doing business with you. Don’t forget we will price match too.

Prices correct at time of writing and all offers are subject to availability.

Winter Family Cycling

It gets harder and harder to get the kids out on their bikes at this time of year, and even harder to go out as a family. If the kids had new bikes at Christmas then I bet you’re doing all you can to help them either learn to ride them or gain in confidence. But with the wettest January on record it’s very difficult to motivate both them and yourself. So what are the opportunities for Winter family cycling in the UK and beyond.

family cycling in winterSet an Example:

If the kids see you getting out there on your bike whatever the weather then they’ll be inspired to give it a go too. If the children are still little there’s nothing to stop you hooking up the trailer and transporting them round with you. Winter family cycling can be just as much fun, just make the sure the cover on the trailer is watertight and windproof. Wrap the children up well too, and give them a snack or toy to keep them occupied. Everything gets a little muddy and dirty of course but keeping an old sheet in the shed or garage ready to park on when you return home is an easy way to contain the mess. If you’re going to be out and about as the light fades, remember to add some reflective strips and colourful accessories, maybe even a flag, to the trailer to ensure it will be safe and seen.

Kit Yourself Out:

It’s a sure fact that if you or the children get too cold you won’t feel inclined to get out on your bikes again anytime soon. So make sure that you have all the right clothing and equipment; get this right and your adventure will be all the more pleasureable.

winter family cyclingThis Lusso thermal jacket from our Raleigh shop is ideal for the colder weather and is made from Resistex carbon fabric, breathable with safety reflective strips. Costs just £65.

winter family cyclingThese windchill fleece Winter gloves by Avenir are durable and flexible with an elasticated cuff ideal for the chillier weather. It’s imperative you kit the whole family out in warm gloves when you’re out cycling. There’s nothing worse than freezing cold hands. We sell these in our online bike shop for just £11.99.

family winter cyclingMake sure everyone has warm ears too. You know we lose a huge percentage of body heat through our heads, so best to wrap them up and pop on a hat or earwarmer. This lovely Lusso Earwarmer is just £9.99 and come sin 5 different sizes.

Take a Trip:

winter family cyclingIf the British weather just gets you down and you’re desperate to get away with the family on your bikes, then why not consider taking the family on an organised trip abroad. Saddle Skedaddle, a wonderful cycling holiday company runs a variety of family cycling holidays both in the UK and abroad. Why not take a gentle self-guided tour of Sardinia for example or why not try an easy paced family cycling holiday in the Azores. Spend some time whale watching and let the kids splash around in the waterfalls. An amazing tonic for the dull UK weather.

So however you choose to do your Winter family cycling do enjoy yourselves and if there’s anything we can help with please get in touch.

Image: Observing Life

Should It Be Compulsory to Wear a Cycle Helmet?

compulsory to wear a helmetLast summer, Ryan Smith, aged 16 was cycling to work when he was knocked off his bike by a van. He wasn’t wearing a helmet as he didn’t want to mess up his hair. Unfortunately Ryan suffered the worst kind of brain injury, Diffuse Axonal Injury, which means his brain now has to find new pathways to function normally. Ryan was in a coma for four months, waking up last November, and has recently started speaking in sentences again for the first time since the accident.

His family has set up the Ryan Smith Foundation and are campaigning to make it compulsory to wear a cycle helmet. His sister Rachael, has given up her job and is making a twice weekly 8 hour round trip to help care for her brother. She is training to do this on a long-term basis. What shines through when learning more about this family is their determination and courage in this horrific situation.

Whilst campaigning, the family set up an online petition which needs 100k signatures for government to respond. In this case though, Ministers responded before the 100k signatures were reached. You might think the response therefore was a positive one, however the Government has said it has no plans to legislate to introduce mandatory enforcement of cycle helmet wearing. 

In fact, it goes so far as to say that such a law would be very difficult to enforce and would have a negative effect on cycling. Having to wear a helmet would discourage people from getting on a bike so having a knock on effect to lifestyle and health. The response, which you can read in full here goes on to list all of the campaigns and improvements the Government is making with regards to cycling awareness and training, which of course is all positive. However would making it compulsory to wear a helmet really put people off riding a bike?

It is interesting though, that only 2 countries, Australia and New Zealand have managed to make this law. Both Italy and Mexico City, for example have not been able to make the compulsory wearing of helmets law, even though they’ve tried. There is a big debate on whether the cycling helmet is actually effective. In Dutch countries, cycling is seen as a normal activity that requires no special clothing or equipment. Dutch Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV) finds contradictory evidence but on balance concludes “that a bicycle helmet is an effective means of protecting cyclists against head and brain injury”. They also mention that cycling helmets give cyclists a false sense of security and encourage them to make riskier decisions and behaviours.

Does wearing a helmet have a positive effect on head injuries? There are very few conclusive studies in this area. Some studies find a reduction whilst others find no change at all.

Does wearing a helmet have a negative effect on the amount of cycling? Possibly. An Australian study, conducted before and after the law came into effect, showed the amount of cycling to work had reduced by one third. A 2011 review however, found little evidence to support the claim that mandatory helmet usage discouraged bike riding.

So wherever you sit on this debate, no-one would want their family to endure the suffering that Ryan Smith’s have done in the last 6 months. If you support their campaign, they are still collecting signatures and you can sign it online here.

How to Keep your Kids Active in Winter

Winter is in full swing. The days are short, althought getting longer every week, but it’s cold, damp and dreary outside, and so it’s much easier to snuggle up under a blanket and turn on the tv. But finding ways to get your children outdoors in the fresh air is so beneficial for both them and you. Childen need to burn off energy. They need to run around and have fun in wide, open spaces where their imagination is sparked and they have time to bond with you, their siblings and their friends. Sitting in front of the tv just isn’t going to do this for them.

But what can you do outside when the weather isn’t so great? Well of course, you can get the bikes out and go for a bike ride but sometimes there needs to be an extra enticement. We’ve found some great ideas and activities you can do with your children if you’re wondering how to keep your kids active in Winter.

1. Winter Tree Activities:

If your children love art and craft why not take this outdoors. Marnie at Carrots Are Orange has a lovely idea for taking the children out and identifying various types of trees which leads to leaf rubbing. Great fun which everyone enjoys.

2. Stone Crafts for Valentines:

Stone craftRed Ted Art shares a lovely craft idea, particularly relevant at this time of year with Valentine’s Day on the horizon. Collect some pebbles and create a love stone by glitter glueing on a heart. Simple, fun and very effective. Maggie’s blog is an amazing resource for anything craft based for your family so do check it out.

3. Snow Activities:

Now if we do get some snow this Winter you’ll be well prepared in getting the kids active. We love this list of fun and free snow activities from Kiddies Corner Deals. We want to make snow ice cream too!

4. The Boredom Jar:

how to keep the kids active in winterBecky at Baby Budgeting has a great tip for getting the children moving. She uses a Bored Jar. At the beginning of every school holidays she asks the children to write down lots of fun, and usually free activities that they would like to do with their time. The ideas are then put away into the jar. Whenever they are at a loss for something to do, they go to the jar and pick out a piece of paper with a new activitiy to try. If you keep this imaginative and outdoors based you’re onto a winner.

5. Visit a Forest:

The Forestry Commission, set up by the Government, is responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woodlands and increasing their value to society and the environment. They run lots of family friendly activities that you can sign up to and the Rangers are always on hand for advice. Go for a yomp through the Forest and engage the children by using a free activity sheet as you go. Discover the wildlife, make a den, or simply get muddy. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon for the whole family. More than half the people in England live within six miles of a Forestry Commission woodland, so find out more about a forest near you from their website.

There are lots more ways to keep the kids active in Winter. What suggestions do you have?