I am a cycling widow - but I don't mind, as we cycle regularly when we go on holiday, and it really is great for the kids. See for yourself!

Photo Credit: Anne and Tim from Flickr Ready to Ride

It may not have escaped regular readers of this blog’s notice that I am a little bit of a cycling widow. As I type this, my husband is cycling from London to Paris in 24 hours.

This Find my Phone App is great for making sure your other half hasn’t fallen off his bike on an Epic London to Paris 250 mile ride in 24 hours *modern technology bonus*

Posted by Helen Neale on Friday, July 24, 2015

Yes – you did read that right – 250 miles in roughly a single day…. Even he refers to himself as a MAMIL; a Middle Aged Man in Lycra. With a Dad like that, there was only one way that our kids were going to go…they have both been born with an insane amount of energy. Stuntboy has a set of wheels as well ;-)

This means that our holidays HAVE to have a certain amount of outdoor activity for us to enjoy them – we need the kids to be tired out before they hit the sack as otherwise the fresh air and excitement of a holiday means that the nights are long, and the faces even longer.

Poor sleep + holiday = Grumpy parents

After our kids turned five, and were able to cycle competently; we started driving on to the continent for convenience, AND so we could take our bikes. We have been to Austria and Switzerland, and would love to go further afield as they get older and more capable of tackling longer distances on two wheels.

Cycling is a pleasure in Europe, from the well-marked cycle ways, to wide roads and stunning mountain views; there is nothing quite like seeing a country from the saddle.

You would be surprised at how much you can learn on two wheels too; it is most definitely worth parking that bum on the saddle to give your kids a little bit of a different perspective and experience of the world. There are plenty of great resources out there offering information on planning a cycling holiday as well, including routes and destinations as diverse as Cyprus, The Algarve, and even Menorca. So why not grab the mouse, and explore the options for you and your family this summer and beyond.

If you need more persuading that cycling as a family on holiday is worth exploring further, then here are our ten ways that getting on your bike on holiday can really help both the kids and your holiday experience:

  1. Creating independence: Cycling gives your kids a sense of independence, if you take your own bikes, you may have opportunities for a bit of exploration on their own, or with minimal supervision, particularly as they get older
  2. Encouraging sleep: Tiring out your kids with the use of two wheels very much means that you can get that all important glass of wine in the evening as the sunsets with your partner – which is no bad thing, right?
  3. Staying fit: In the current global climate, we are encouraged to get our kids as active as possible – getting on your bike on a holiday is a fantastic start
  4. Associating activity with enjoyment: This links nicely to helping out kids to stay fit. If you are going on holiday and you are encouraging your kids to be active, this sends them a great message for life. Holidays are about having fun. If we include fitness activities on holiday, we are showing our kids that fitness can be fun too!
  5. Offering different perspectives: Cycling gives a whole new perspective on landscapes, and views. Cycling down a mountain, or struggling up one, allows you to take in those views from a different perspective. It also helps you to appreciate them all the more
  6. Instilling a sense of achievement: As my husband is such an avid cycle enthusiast, we have ways of measuring how far we go on our bikes. This gives kids a wonderful feeling of achievement when they manage to hit those mileage markers. Technology these days makes it so easy to measure the distance you are going with Smartphones too; using an App like Map My Ride.
  7. Having Fun: Need I say more?
  8. Enabling variety: It is easy to get stuck in a “beach holiday rut” when you are planning a family holiday. We have explored mountains, and lake destinations, as well as beaches. There is nothing like giving children lots of different experiences on holiday that they will remember with pleasure as they grow. Cycling is one of those experiences, but every holiday destination seen on a bike adds a further variety to our kids lives
  9. Allowing development: Cycling is a wonderful skill to develop from an early age, any opportunity to strengthen that skill should be grabbed with both hands, or erm, pedals…
  10. Providing educational opportunities: Finally, cycling presents lots of excellent learning opportunities. From understanding how we exercise, to discussing the Tour de France and its history of drug cheats; we can keep learning about our everyday life as we explore the world on two wheels.

All of these from just taking a bike, or a little trip to the hire shop on the family holiday. So what are YOU waiting for, get on your bike! :-D

Have you been on any great family cycling holidays? Do let us know we would love to hear from you.

This is a sponsored post.