Monthly Archives: August 2013

Running

I hate running. Its as simple as that really. Ive never liked it as a sport and always tried to avoid it. Over the past few years I’ve got into cycling to the point that I can now ride 35 miles (and probably more) quite comfortably. I used to mainly commute to work on my bike 2 – 3 times a week. This was a 20 mile round trip each day. However, I have accepted a new job at a local high school and now my commute is only going to be a 4 mile round trip.

So, now that the cycling has been cut down I’ve decided to try and take up running. I started about 6 weeks ago and have been out a few times. i started off with short 1-2 mile runs and have now started on 5 mile circuits. I have 2 goals at this stage.

1. Run 5k (3 miles) in less than 30 minutes. PB is currently 33

2. Run 10k (6.2 miles) furthest is currently 5 miles

Im never going to be quick at running but being able to run these distances comfortably will be a start.

I track my runs using the Strava app on my iPhone. I like that is collects all my information including my cycling stats. Hopefully I will still run during the winter months when I find that im out on the bike less.

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Cycling With 3 Children

During a recent trip to Devon, Amanda, myself and our 3 children went cycling in Haldon Forest Park. I had not taken any bikes down to Devon so we needed to rent some. Luckily the forest park had its own cycle hire shop on site. We were able to hire 2 adult mountain bikes, 1 childs mountain bike and 1 two seater trailer for the girls.

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Amanda had not done any cycling for a long time so I was surprised at how well she took to it and how much she enjoyed it. We cycled for around 4 miles that day around the Forrest park and had a really good time.

 

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So when we returned home we decided that we would make more of an effort to get out riding more as a family. This involved us getting new bikes and finding a solution that meant we could bring the girls along without them being towed all the time.

After a few days hunting on eBay I managed to come across 2 Dawes XC hard tails. They both needed a little work but having spent a minimal amount they are both now fully serviceable and safe. So that was us sorted now we needed to figure out something for the kids.

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William is fine as he has his own bike and is able to cycle miles unaided. Felicity and Verity however cannot. I didn’t just want to get a double tailer like we hired on holiday. Firstly because of storing it and secondly I wanted to get Felicity (4) to get used to riding a bike more rather than just being towed.

So, looking at the options it was either going to be a tag a long bike or a trail gator. Both achieve the same end goal, they provide a bike that is towed along by the adult bike. The only difference is a tag a long is a half a bike fixed to a bar that then attaches to the adult bike. A trailgator is a bar that allows you to attach your child’s bike to yours. It lifts the front wheel of the child’s bike up preventing them from steering.

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The advantage of the trailgator however is that you can detach the child’s bike and allow the child to cycle as normal and then when they get tired or bored hook them back on and tow them home. We opted for the trailgator for this very reason. It’s working very well. It was a bit awkward to fit but once it’s all adjusted properly its very easy to use. It also folds away and clips to the adults bike when not in use.

For Verity we opted for a child seat which we have attached to the back of Amanda’s bike. This now allows us all to go out cycling as a family.

Since getting the equipment we have been round Cannon Hill park, Kingsbury water park and woodgate valley park. We’re not breaking any records for speed, just plodding around and enjoying being outside.

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The kids seem to really be enjoying the time out on the bikes and I can see us getting a lot more use out of them over the coming years.