BY MICHELLE SHARLAND of Michelle Rides
Many people ask me where there are good places to take children cycling. We are spoilt for choice around here but we do need to be mindful to keep distances and terrain manageable for our younger members on two wheels. My motto: ‘Quit while you are ahead’… you really do want them to go out again. Also take a backpack stocked with a few ‘motivators’ (biscuits, haribos etc…. they’ll burn these off anyway).
Here is a list that I have put together but there are many more out there – please do let us know of any good ones you find!
- Brooklands Airfield – a great place to teach your youngster to ride independently.
- Sheepleas – for older children who have bikes with gears. You can’t get too lost here either.
- Hatchlands park along the periphery path. Why not cycle to The Queens Head in Clandon?
- Francis Corner (one of the car parks at the top of Green Dene) – on the North Downs way. There is a 5km circular route or you can ride to Newlands Corner for an ice-cream and back again through the forests.
- Newlands Corner – a great place to have a go at single track and different paths. Ice-cream is always available at the tea-hut. There are a few longer trails that can take you into Guildford from there (via St Martha’s Hill) but I only recommend doing this with older children who have ridden a bit.
- Virginia Water
- Windsor Park
- Swinley Forest, Bracknell – great for all levels as they have graded purpose built trails. There is also a fabulous play area too for afterwards.
- Down’s Link disused railway line – starting at Bramley. A great, flat trail for all the family to ride. Take a picnic or cycle all the way to Shoreham (I’ve done this in 2 days with my kids).
I am a British Cycling Level 2 coach and is very keen to help your little ones develop their confidence on their bikes so that they are safe when out and about. I run small groups during the warmer months in the holidays. I also offer 1:1 sessions for those children who are not quite managing to get onto 2 wheels independently. Please contact me for more details through the contact form here.
Horsley Heels on Wheels
Horsley Heels on Wheels is back on track to ride out every Friday morning from Quaich after school drop off. Ladies, if you have a road bike and want to join us, please do. We usually ride for around 2-3 hours (depending on how long we stop for coffee). Many women are worried that they won’t be fast enough to keep up or that they don’t have the right kit. We have a ‘no drop’ policy so that everyone rides together. The more you ride, the fitter you’ll get so now is a good time to join us. This is an exciting year as there are a few events we’ll be doing. Come along and meet some great ladies in lycra!!
I aim is to have two groups in the future of varying average speeds but with equal amounts of enthusiasm. We also have a few ladies who are keen to mountain bike so this is also an option for those who really don’t want to ride on skinny tyres!
All the rides are supported and guided by myself where safety is paramount. I can also handle simple mechanical issues and even feed you gels / bars if you run out of energy too!