Wednesday, 14 August 2013

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike

A couple of months ago, around the time that the prices in the car parks of my local town were increased (again!), I made an ebay purchase. I bought a barely used Hamax Kiss bike seat to go on the back of my bike. As well as saving money, I thought this would be a great opportunity to dust off my old bike and have some gentle exercise at the same time.

What a bargain!

As I side note, ebay once again proved to be a great place for picking up second hand bargains. I paid £26 for the seat. The RRP is £60, but I have just spotted that you can get the same seat in Halfords for £47.99. So at the very least, I saved £22 by buying second hand. Yippee!

Getting back in the saddle

After getting used to riding a bike again after at least 2 years out of the saddle, and getting the hang of loading and unloading Bobble, I was ready to start putting my best leg forward. Initially I used the seat for trips to the park and toddler groups - it was strangely liberating not having a pushchair! Bobble loves being in the seat as he gets a whole new perspective on the world. I'd also add that the extra weight really isn't noticeable. The hardest part is getting on and off the bike as you have to handle it completely differently to prevent it from tipping over.

A family peddle around Rutland Water

Recently, when we had family to stay, my biking-mad brother suggested that we join them for a ride around Rutland Water. I'll admit to being slightly apprehensive. I'd only ever done very short trips and wasn't sure that my legs would stand up to a longer distance. But with a husband who is also biking-mad, I knew that he would enjoy it too, so we agreed to join them.

I've never been to Rutland Water before, in spite of passing it about a million times on drives up and down the A1. I had no idea that it's one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe and is Anglian Water's drinking reservoir. In spite of its very functional purpose, it's actually rather pretty and is a globally important wetland site. There are loads of things to do there. Apart from riding a bike, you can take a walk, go wildlife spotting, try out any number of watersports, go rock climbing, or even take a trip out on the lake.

We had a great day out there, so I thought I'd share the details to inspire you.

What we did on our day out

We arrived in Witwell and ate our picnic on the grass alongside the lake before setting off on our bike ride. We took our own bikes, but you can hire them from £9.99 for the day for a child's bike. You can also hire a child seat for a bike from £3.99 for the day.

A complete circuit of the lake is around 15 miles. We had several mini breaks on the journey and a longer rest at the award winning Horse and Jockey pub in Manton, just as a few spots of rain started to fall.

During the first half of the ride the road/paths are a little bit set back from the lake and there are a few hills to huff and puff your way up. But the second part brings you much closer to the lake and is very pretty. We passed through a couple of Rutland Water's other visitor centres, as well as a couple of well positioned ice cream vans, so there are plenty of places to rest/pop to the loo/scoff an ice cream.

All in, we cycled for 2 hours, but we gone for almost 3 hours with all of the breaks. The majority of the route is on very safe roads and paths within the nature reserve. There is a very short stretch on a quiet road, and another section on cycle paths running next to the road.

Along the way we saw loads of families out on their bikes. Call me old fashioned, but I got a lovely warm feeling seeing so many people out enjoying such a simple and healthy activity.

Find out more

Rutland Water has its own website but for details on bike hire, this website gives much more information

Finally, for planning a family day out this website is the best place to begin

No comments:

Post a Comment