Thursday, 3 August 2017

Summer Holiday Bike Ride Fun With Ridgeback Kids Club & The Bicycle Society

Ridgeback Bikes: Ridgeback Kids Club

The schools have been kicked out for summer just over a week now, and the little man in my life is asking me what fun we have planned for each and every day of the break, and my bank card is wincing in anticipation of what he may wish to do next...

This week though we had something very exciting planned, Leo and I were travelling to London to spend the day with Ridgeback Bikes at the #RidgebackKidsClub event in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 

The Ridgeback Kids Club is something rather special, you can sign up after purchasing a new Ridgeback Kids Bike, and it is a way of picking up some great tips and tricks for your budding adventurer (always great if your little people are anything like my zoom along Leo!). Upon joining you receive a FREE goodie bag worth over £25 and that comes kitted out with a lovely reusable bag, Hi Vis Vest, Sticker sheet, Crayons and water bottle! 

For as long as you are a member you receive exclusive offers and all of the latest news, birthday treats and even invitations to exclusive events! 

Ridgeback Bikes: Ridgeback Kids Club

Leo had been counting down the sleeps until this trip, he absolutely adores getting outside into the big wide world, and he loves nothing more than adding a bit of speed to his endeavours, and of course taking part in an adventure bike ride with Ridgeback Bikes and the Bicycle Society... How could his tummy not be somersaulting excitedly!?

So we awoke early and hit the road, quickly whisking away from the sleepy little town we call home, and before we knew it we were on the tube heading into the big smoke of the city. Every couple of minutes Leo asked me 'Are we there yet Mum, are we there yet!?', so when we met Jaime, Joshua and Jacob from The Oliver's Madhouse, Leo was happy to meet someone more of his own age, and the boys very quickly became friends.

Ridgeback Bikes: Ridgeback Kids Club

The sun was shining and the day looked like it was set to impress, and we could not have wished for better conditions. We arrived just before 11am and were invited inside Pave Velo where there were a number of impressive pastries to enjoy and an even more impressive selection of Ridgeback bikes set up to have a look at!

Each of the children in attendance had been assigned a bike for the day, they had taken the measurements of each child ahead of time to ensure that they would be perfect for a good bike riding session on the day. Leo is currently in between sizes, and the initial bike that he was assigned was just a little bit too big for him, and this knocked his confidence slightly. The team noticed this straight away and presented him with a Silver 16" that was just right. As soon as Leo had perched on the seat and one of the guys said 'Take it slow!', Leo had zoomed away at speed to demonstrate all the while modelling a very big smile!

Rob Reed The Bicycle Society

Rob Reed The Bicycle Society

We were lucky enough to have instruction from Rob Reed of The Bicycle Society, and he quickly got a grasp on each of the children's levels of ability (could they ride already/were they learning still), and with this knowledge he set up different teams each with their own objectives (all on their own Ridgeback Bikes of course!). 

The Bicycle Society aim to teach children to ride a bike through fun games, and they even teach children as young as 18 months old. I was really impressed with how Rob was with all of the children and they all responded to his gentle teaching methods instantly. 

It became apparent rather quickly that Leo had a need for speed, I later discovered that Leo was treating the courses as a Mario Kart track, which was plain to see as he weaved through the other children on their bikes (I am just glad he didn't have turtle shells or banana skins!).

Ridgeback Bikes: Ridgeback Kids Club

Ridgeback Bikes: Ridgeback Kids Club

Leo zoomed around the track like he had always known how to ride a bike (and may have perhaps been a little bit too over confident, who needs brakes anyway!?), and you wouldn't have thought that he had just started riding the Ridgeback bike that very morning. He took a few short breaks to get some water, but then it was straight back to business.

Leo started riding without stabilisers last summer, and in true Leo style he literally just took off one day out of sheer determination to prove me wrong. He had been outside playing with a neighbors son and decided to have a go on his 2 wheeled push bike. Of course I had my reservations because we hadn't even taken the stabilisers off of his just yet, but he assured me he could do it, and then he just did. And that was that. 

Learning to ride with balance bikes

I firmly believe that it was all of those years of riding his balance bike that aided his transition so quickly, and we introduced that just before Leo's Second Birthday. By the time Leo graduated this bike, he really had mastered the aspect of balance and could take corners and combine the speed just like a pro.

When the time came to make a move back home towards the Cotswolds, Leo discovered that Ridgeback Bikes had very kindly gifted the bike he was riding to him. Leo was so happy, as he had fallen in love with his speedy set of wheels, and he loved that it was a proper 'big boy' bike (it had no stickers unlike his Thomas the Tank Engine Bike that he refused to ride these days!).

Ridgeback Bikes: Ridgeback Kids Club

Ridgeback Bikes: Ridgeback Kids Club

So we thanked the team for an incredible day and Leo navigated the London cycle paths back to Stratford International Station, turning countless heads as he went (he must have been London's youngest cycle commuter of the day!), the sweet little glances that passing pedestrians gave him as he carefully made his way home. 

Upon getting back to the car at Uxbridge, Leo fell straight into a very deep sleep, and slept the entire way home... I can only begin to wonder why he was as tired as he was?

Leo has now informed me that I need to get a bike of my own, as family bike rides are apparently imminent, it would be rude not too though, I can't keep my little speedstar cooped away, he wants to leave me eating his dust as he zooms off ahead of me! 

We have shared our day on our YouTube Channel, you can check it out below!







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