Cycling Quotes: Get More out of your Life and Cycle

Cycling quoteSo we hope you had a great Christmas, and as we look towards the New Year many of us start to think about goals and resolutions. If we’ve over indulged during the festive period one thing we tend to think about is how to get fitter and live a healthier lifestyle.Much of which can include getting out on your bike of course. During the next few months we want to help and encourage you to cycle more, and generally get more out out of your life. If you’d like to see us write about a particular topic that would be useful to you, do let us know.

In the meantime we would like to wish you a very Happy and healthy New Year from all of us at Cycle Centre.

Image via Pinterest

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Cycle Centre Christmas Offers

The pre-Christmas sales have kicked in and if you’re still looking for a last minute gift, or if you are hoping to treat yourself in the sales, look no further for some fabulous deals on family bikes. We have bikes for all types, enthusiasts, newbies, Mums, Dads and the children so carry on reading to see a sample of what we have to offer. You can see the full range over on our website www.cyclecentreuk.co.uk or drop in and see us if you are local.

Trek Domane 4.5 Compact 56cm 2013

Trek Doman 4.5 C 2013This fab bike in White/Black Titanite currently has 20% off in our sale and is only £1680; a saving of £420. You can see the full technical specification on the site but just to whet your appetite, it comes with a 400 Series OCLV Carbon frame, Shimano Ultegra rear and front derailleurs and Bontrager Race Blade VR-C, 31.8mm handlebars.

Cube Stereo Super HPC 140 Race Blackline 2013

Cube Stereo Super HPC Blackline With a whopping £900 off this bike you’ll want to take a good look! Originally £2899 and now just £2000 this is one for the serious and experience Mountain bikers. With Super HPC Monocoque Advanced Twin Mold Technology, Agile Ride Geometry, Efficient Trail Control FSP 4-Link, Adaptable X12 Hanger. Rear Shock: Fox Float CTD BoostValve, 200x57mm, Trail and Climb mode option, Rebound, and LV air canister.

For full technical info check the website. At the time of writing we have the 18″ available.

Claud Butler Solano Women’s Bike

Claud Butler SolanoThe Claud Butler Solano 2013 Womens mountain bike features a steel suspension fork for a more comfortable ride and the 18 speed Shimano gears provides the rider with increased power. We currently have this one on offer at £179. Please drop us a line at sales@cyclecentreuk.co.uk if you are interested in finding out more.

Giant Lil Puddn White / Purple

Giant Lil PuddnWe have a great deal on this cute little girl’s bike with the fab name. The Giant Lil Puddn is now only £99.99. A great bike for a great price!

Trek 8.4 DS in Matte Crystal White / Trek Black

Trek 8.4 DSFinally this 17.5, 2013 Model is on sale with us at just £540, a saving of £135. Again you can contact us directly by email or check out the website and buy online.

We have lots more offers and deals in the shop and online so do let us know if you need any assistance or more information.

How to Help your Child Become a Confident Cyclist

Help your child become a confident cyclistA while ago now we wrote about how to teach your kids to ride a bike, with lots of tips and even a video to inspire you. But what happens if you’re past this stage and your child can now ride their bike, but is lacking confidence? What’s the best approach then? How do you get them enthusiastic about riding a bike when they are anxious?

It’s true that some children will take longer than others when they’re learning to ride a bike. Gaining confidence to be independent on a bike is all part of the learning curve and some will take a while to get there. It’s really important (and often very difficult!) to be very patient. Getting cross or short-tempered with them will do more harm than good, and no-one will be having a good time. When you can get them out on their bike give them lots of praise and encouragement and don’t push them too far.

Back to Basics:

If you’re child has learned to ride their bike but lacks the ability to do it confidently, maybe take some time to go over the basics, for both of you. From a parent’s point of view, ensure your child feels comfortable and safe on their bike. Check their helmet for a good fit, give them some knee and elbow pads if they’re afraid of hurting themselves if they fall, and ensure the bike is the right size and the saddle in the right position. Some children find balancing quite hard when the bike is heavy, so ensure the weight of your child’s bike isn’t causing them a problem.

Practice, Practice, Practice:

Do you think your child isn’t confident on their bike through a lack of practice? It’s certainly true that in the Winter months a new, young cyclist may lose some of their cycling skills if they aren’t having the chance to use them. The more opportunities you can give them to practice the more confident they are going to be.

Start Small:

We all know that a lack of confidence needs a nurturing and encouraging attitude to help build it up. If your child is refusing to go out on bike rides with the family it’s time to think small again. Take the time to give your child some one to one cycling, over a short distance for a short time. Take it easy, offer the praise and know when to stop. If the last thing the child remembers is a successful experience, they are more likely to try it again next time. If you can, take them to a quiet, smooth and easy park or path to help build that confidence and feel good about being out on a bike. Slowly build up the trips over time, taking care to always end on a high note.

For some children, particularly if they’ve had a bad experience it may take some time to build up their confidence. You may even want to start again and take them back to the balance bike stage although not all children will respond well to going ‘backwards’.

However you approach this, your time, encouragement and praise will eventually pay off. Just be patient and they will get there.

We have lots of kids bikes and accessories that make your child’s cycling experience fun and exciting so get in touch or check out the website if you think we can help.

Cycling Quote: Today Was Good from Dr Seuss

cycling quoteWelcome to Friday’s little Cycling Quote of the day. This one we’ve shared from a lovely blog called Wheelbrothers.com. If you want a slice of really uplifting loveliness head over there and take a look through all of their quotes; they really will cheer up your day.

For those cyclists out there who live for getting out on their bikes, this one is for you. Have fun, no matter what you’re doing, and enjoy your cycling.

Hope you enjoy our Cycling Quote – Happy Weekend!

Top 10 Cycling Blogs for your Inspiration

Top 10 cycling blogsImage: docentjoyce

Do you love reading cycling blogs? Have you been on the lookout for more blogs (maybe a bit like this one) to read on a regular basis? If so, check out our Top 10 Cycling blogs to add to your reader today. This isn’t a definitive list. There are hundreds of cycling focused blogs and website out there so this is just a small, quite varied selection that you may or may not have come across already. If you want to suggest others in the comments that we’ve missed, please do.

Top 10 Cycling Blogs as chosen by Cycle Centre:

London Cyclist: A great resource for anyone who loves cycling. Andreas’ aim is to encourage more of us out on our bikes, in London or anywhere.

London Cycle Chic: Encouraging women to take to their bikes, this blog has a fashion and lifestyle slant offering tips, advice and style inspiration.

Cycling Europe Blog: Andrew cycled around Europe on a bike called Reggie. Then wrote a book about it. You can read more about this and his cycling expertise on the blog.

Travels with my Mule: The cycling adventures of Phil, a funny Yorkshireman and his bikes or Mules are documented in this personal, amusing blog.

Bicycle Design: A great resource for the design enthusiast or anyone interested in how bikes look and work.

Fat Cyclist: A very popular blog written by Elden, a self-confessed overweight cycle enthusiast, with a poignant family angle.

Road Cycling UK: A resource for expert road bike reviews, with the latest road bike features, news and advice.

Bike Ride : If you want to know what cycling events are taking place near you, this is the blog to follow.

Kents Bike Blog: Kent has lived car-free in America for over 2 decades. The blog follows his cycling adventures and DIY mechanics. A great green read.

Urban Velo: A bi-monthly magazine this site promotes cycling culture in current day cities with lots of reviews, news and video.

What do you think of our Top 10 Cycling blogs list? What cycling blogs do you like to read?

 

Cycling Quote: Do More of What Makes you Happy

Bicycle quote

Does cycling make you happy?

A study in the US earlier this year found that cyclists are the happiest of all commuters. Well that’s probably no surprise I guess. The Over40Cyclist has found a study that says just 10 minutes of cycling every day will lift your mood and make you feel happier. It all makes sense really. Get outdoors, feel the wind in your hair and forget about work and family responsibilities. We all know exercise is good for us and increases the endorphins in our system helping us to feel better generally so it’s no wonder that getting out on your bike every day will do the same.

How often do you get out on your bike?

When asked why cycling is such a good thing, Adrian Bell of Transport for London says, “It’s quick, it’s cheap, it’s good for you, it’s pretty much free once you’ve got a bike. And it’s fun! Cycling also offers a sense of independence, of being able to get up and go wherever and whenever you want. That’s invaluable.”

And it’s bound to make you feel good!

There’s even a Danish Study that shows kids who bike or walk to school do better in class. I guess many of these studies are stating the obvious but it’s always good to see it written down in a scientific way to help prove what most of us have known for a long time.

Cycling makes you feel happy! And if you still don’t believe us, check out this blogpost here that shows why cyclists are definitely the happiest people on earth. It’s a fun read.

Image Source

Top 5 Essential Kids Bike Accessories

So you’ve got the new bikes planned for your little ones this Christmas and you know exactly how you’re going to wrap it up to keep it a surprise, but do you have all the correct accessories? Well if you’re not sure what you need never fear, we are here to help. Check out our Top 5 essential kids’ bike accessories that will make your child’s cycling experience much safer and great fun.

1. Cycle Helmet:

kids bike accessoriesIt goes without saying that of all the kids bike accessories available the helmet has to be the most important. Remember to get ensure the helmet fits properly and ask an expert if you’re not sure. If you’re in Byker, Newcastle we are always happy to help in the shop. Buy the best you can afford and make sure your child likes it too as they’re more likely to wear it then, of course.

2. Cycle Lights

kids bike accessoriesNow you might think these aren’t necessary for your child’s bike, and for a younger child maybe they’re not that important. For the slightly older child, who is maybe riding their bike to and from school they are an essential for the Winter. You might have seen us mention the debate on altering British Summer time recently but it’s not going to happen very soon so do make sure your child’s bicycle lights are in good working order.

3. Bike Lock

kids bike accessoriesAgain, maybe not something you’ll need for a very young child, but the older child will need to keep their bike safely locked when they are out and about. A good bike lock is another of our essential kids bike accessories.

4. Bike Bell:

kids bike accessoriesNow here’s something the younger children will adore. Don’t forget to get them a brand new bike bell for their brand new bike. They come in all shapes and sizes and the kids will just love annoying you with them. Seriously though they’re a good habit to get into and will help your child develop safe bike riding skills.

5. Bike Saddles

kids bike accessoriesDo make sure your bike has a comfortable saddle. It can help younger children feel more confident on their bike, and of course the older children might benefit from one if they’re riding their bikes for longer periods. Again they come in all shapes and sizes so get one that suits your child.

Would you add anything else to our essential kids bike accessories list? Maybe some streamers and stickers for the young kids, or paniers or baskets for the older ones? Do take a look at our online store for more ideas and to purchase all those suggestions we’ve mentioned above.

The Pros and Cons of British Summertime

pros and cons of daylight savingIt’s a well-known fact that more accidents occur on our roads, many of them involving cyclists, during the Winter. Once the clocks change, as they have recently and our evenings are darker earlier, the danger to cyclists on the roads increases. Of course it’s not just cyclists that are affected, the elderly, children and motorcyclists are all at greater risk from the darker evenings.

You may be aware of a proposal to alter what we know as ‘British Summertime’. The SDST or Single/Double British Summertime proposition would mean adopting GMT+1 in the Winter months with GMT+2 in the Summer. The clocks would be 1 hour further forward than they are now in the Winter, and 2 hours further forward in the Summer. The result would be fewer accidents on the roads (effectively our Winter daylight hours would be the same as our current Summer) because of lighter evenings all year round. However, it’s not just the roads that would benefit, it’s thought that significant benefits would be felt economically, environmentally and to general health too. The change would also align us with Central European Time Zone so aiding business transactions and business travel.

The Pros to SDST:

The biggest advocate of altering the time in this way is ROSPA or the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. They have very compelling evidence that this change would result in fewer accidents, particularly in the evenings when there is currently a road accident peak. Many factors affect this increase, including the fact that motorists are more tired and less focused after a tiring day at work. Of course, the flip side is that SDST would mean darker mornings and so slight rise in accidents, but they predict an overall drop.

Other benefits include the ability to trade with Europe at the same time of the day, a reduction in Co2 due to less car pollution, an extended Tourism season, and an increase in outdoor leisure activities across the whole year. Gardeners would benefit too with the UK experiencing an average 55 extra minutes of daylight every day.

We are sure there are lots of cyclists out there who would welcome the change, particularly if it makes the roads a safer place. But what is the downside to SDST? Surely if it was all good we would have seen it implemented by now?

The Cons to SDST:

The biggest downside to changing the clocks in this way is having to deal with much darker mornings. An experiment back in the very early 1970’s saw the clocks altered in this way yet it didn’t last long and was cancelled after just 3 years. Farmers for example are greatly affected, with much of their work being done in the early mornings. If milking finishes at 7am when it’s just starting to get light, SDST would mean a whole morning working in the dark, with the potential for more accidents. And what about Scotland and northern parts of England. One of the main reasons the 1968/71 experiment was called to a halt was because of an increase in child-related accidents in the mornings. ROSPA does say, however that the report at the time failed to mention a decrease in child-related accidents in the afternoons.

So what happens next? Well SDST as a proposal has been around for some time but it has yet to make it to the Commons for debate. In 2012 the Daylight Savings Bill failed to make its passage through Parliament and no further action was taken.

For Cyclists, many we’re sure would welcome the change, but there are negative consequences to several communities and so it’s unlikely we’ll see it happen anytime soon.

What do you think? Would you welcome a change to Daylight Saving hours?

Don’t forget to wear your high visibility clothing to help you be seen in the dark. Lots of options in our online store!

Image: Outsider

How to Teach your Child to Ride a Bike

how to teach your child to ride a bike

It can be one of the hardest, but definitely most rewarding things you can teach your child. How to Ride a Bike!

Before we go any further and give you some of our top tips and suggestions for further help, take a look at little Hannah mastering the art of riding her bike for the very first time!


Thank you to Emma from Science Sparks for allowing us to share her daughter’s magic moment.

How to Teach your Child to Ride a Bike:

In bullet point from here are our tops tips for helping your child master the art of cycling.

  • To start with, ensure you have all the right equipment including a decent kids’ bike helmet and that all important camera or video for capturing the magic moment.
  • Remember to not overload your child with instructions but do heap on the praise to keep their confidence high.
  • Find a flat, smooth secluded spot where they can practise.
  • Before you do anything else teach them how to use the brakes.
  • If they’ve started on a balance bike, fantastic but even if they’ve gone to a bike with stabilisers it’s no problem, there’s still a way forward.
  • Ultimately they need to learn to balance so, if they’re on a small child’s bike ensure the saddle is low enough for them to put feet flat on the floor and remove the stabilisers and pedals.
  • Now encourage them to move the bike forward, using one foot after the other to propell them forward. Let them get the hang of this, increasing their confidence and balancing ability. You may need to do this over a few sessions.
  • Once they’re feeling good about this put the pedals back on and teach them how to push off with one foot, whilst the other is on the pedal.
  • Practise this action a few times until they get the hang of it and can start to pedal. As they have already mastered balancing, it should all start to fall into place.
  • Resist the urge to hold the handlebars or the back of the seat. Instead run alongside the child with a hand on their shoulder allowing them to balance themselves knowing you are there for help if they need it.
  • Remember all children are different and will master these skills at different times.
  • Try not to lose your patience. If it’s not going well, put the bike away and try again another time.
  • Praise, praise, praise!

If you want more detailed information on how to teach your child to ride a bike, Sustrans have a fantastic ‘Ditch the Stabilisers’ guide that you can download here.

You can also find lots of handy tips and hints on the Bike Radar website too. This one is particularly good if you’re finding the whole experience a little stressful!

Image: Thierry Draus

Dads and Cycling: Muddy Bonding

Earlier this week we posted about whether to cycle when you’re pregnant so this time we thought it would be good to address the balance. Today we’re talking about Dads and cycling and why that means so much to children and family.

cycling with DadImage Source

Sometimes, as a cyclist and a Dad, it can be hard to maintain the family balance and find time to fit in your cycling. Once the children come along it’s not always possible to take a few hours out every day or weekend and go cycling, whether you’re a serious cyclist and part of a group or love it just for fun.

It’s just as important for Dads to find time for themselves from busy family life and if cycling is your thing then make time for it. But remember cycling can be an amazing way of connecting and bonding with your children, as well as teaching them worthy life skills such as being healthy and active.

Cycling with your Dad:

There are lots of ways you can use your love of cycling to bond with your children. Remember there are many different modes of cycling for very young babies and children that enable them to grow into cycling from a very early age. Getting them out cycling with you will show them how to love being active and the great outdoors. Later when they’re old enough, the time comes for you to teach them how to ride their first bike. It’s a magical moment and one in which Dads play a pivotal role. There can be nothing greater than the look of accomplishment on a child’s face when they can ride their first bike.

Weekend Bike Rides:

It may take a while but when they’re ready get them outdoors at the weekends on regular cycling trips. What a wonderful way to bond with your kids, getting muddy and sweaty on a long bike ride. Take a snack or picnic and build a den in the woods for some rest time and really make the most of the time spent together. It doesn’t cost anything except your time and will create memories that last a lifetime. What better way to spend time with your children?

Staying Active:

If you’re stuck for ideas of where to go or what do with your kids on your bike rides, the NHS has a great article with lots of relevant info on how to find cycle routes around the country. You can view the article here.

The main thing here is for Dads to get out and enjoy time with their kids. Cycling is a great way to do that providing fresh air, exercise and lots of fun that the whole family will enjoy.

Do you enjoy taking your kids out on bike rides? We’d love to hear from you if you do.