Hooray for Off Road Trails.

Before children I used to ride everywhere especially during time in Spain where the roads are generally wide and pretty empty. Cycling on the UK’s roads seems quite hairy in comparison and, since living in Ilfracombe where everything is very steep up or very steep down and always narrow and busy, the amount of saddle time has definitely decreased.

Hooray for Off Road Trails.

I’ve certainly had my share of crashes over the years – mostly due to gravel and crazy off road adventures rather than traffic accidents, thankfully. However, cycling with children brings the concept of risk to a whole new level and I’ve tried to avoid roads and risky situations as much as possible. Hats on, slow and steady, way to go!

wildlife watching

This week we ventured to a wonderful local reservoir, Wistlandpound, which is a lovely, fairly level 3 mile round route with – amazing! – regular play stops all the way. Ramona had her bike and Eomer was on the back of mine. But calamity! In the rush to get both bikes and seats on the car and children packed, the hats were left safely on the step by the gate. At home.

at the playground

However, Ramona was determined to stick to the ride but just insisted that at any slight down incline that she would jump off and push the bike. And of course for the ups. Eomer loved the bike seat – for the slow riding 10 minute intervals – between each play stop and managed to learn to shout “Nona, STOP” whenever she crept a little ahead. Needless to say we had a marvellous time, hat free, but sensible, muddy and oh so slow!

So, our adrenalin soaked riding days careering downhill may be over for now, but I do feel somewhat happier knowing the safety messages are stored in at least one child’s cycling. At least for now, and at least until Eomer in his more crazy, risk taking way is old enough for his own bike! Then it’ll be elbow, knee and chin pads – and fingers crossed! Thank goodness for off road trails.

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About the Author

Ruth Lively-Masters

Ruth Lively-Masters

About Me & Mine

Having lived in N. Devon for the last 12 years, we recently moved across to the other side of the world and now live in New Zealand on the North Island. Our adventurous family includes my husband Phil and 2 small cheeky children: Ramona 8½ and Eomer 5½. I have a wonderful day job as Lead teacher in the sensory unit of an SEN school and spend as much time as possible outside, exploring nature and environments both on our doorstep and further afield.

Favourite place in the world:

Hmm, that's really tough! I loved the west coast forests of British Columbia in Canada, such a humbling, incredible place - tall trees right down to the big ocean waves. There's a whole lot of other places I'd love to explore though...moving to New Zealand has opened up a whole world of new adventures and we’re slowly finding new favourites to add to the list.

Sea, mountains and forests in any combination please!

Favourite things to do outdoors:

Again, lots of favourites. Definitely a mix between walking, cycling, surfing, camping and exploring, combined with taking time to notice detail of a place, hear the sounds and absorb the changes over time and seasons. Active and quiet times are both invigorating for different reasons.

Comments (1)

  • Kerry Teague

    Kerry Teague

    28 August 2012 at 20:10 | #

    Sounds like a fab place to go biking - sympathising with the crazy number two child syndrome - we've got one of those two and the knee pads etc are very likely to be the way to go!


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