When I was growing up I used to go out on bike rides all the time with my Dad. He always was a massive cycling fan and as such it was a thing that we used to do together a lot. He taught me to ride a bike, I still vividly remember the day he helped me ride without stabilisers. I have such fond memories of hot summer days cycling around a big lake near us, stopping for a picnic or an ice cream at one of the various spots along the route. It sounds a little cheesy, but because my Dad was often working late I didn’t see him a lot, so I truly did enjoy these weekend days where we would go on bike rides together, it was something that myself and him did together, although my Mum would also occasionally join us.
I can also vividly remember one of the bikes that I got for my birthday one year. We got it from Halfords because that is where we got all our bike stuff, and it was black with a magicians theme. It had a little box on it, I can’t remember what that was for but I think it made sounds, and I went with my Mum and Dad to choose it, I remember being so incredibly excited for it to be my birthday and for me to get to open it. Being a child during the 90’s (how old do I sound?!) meant that so much of my childhood was spent on my bike- out with friends, cycling to the shop to buy penny sweets, cycling to the phone box to prank call boys we liked, and cycling to the fields on the edge of our village to make dens. Even reminiscing about them now makes me smile, having a bike and slowly getting more freedom as I got older was just such a fantastic part of my every day life. I often say to Jon that I hope my girls have that same care free existence growing up, where life isn’t behind phone screens or being in a rush to grow up quickly.
Fast forward a lot of years and cycling isn’t something I do on a regular basis. However one of Jon’s biggest passions is cycling. He goes out on his bike as much as he can, he competes in races, and a couple of years ago he even joined a local cycle club near us so he could meet other people who love it as much as he does. Before he worked for himself he used to cycle to work every day, and he has always just loved everything about bikes and cycling. Myself on the other hand, I wouldn’t say it is something that I particularly have a passion for. However as the girls are now getting bigger I am excited to start to have family bike rides in the future, around the same lake I did with my Dad all those years ago. I can’t wait to pack a picnic and head off on an adventure. Over the last couple of years if we have gone out on a bike ride before our baby boy we used one of those bike trailers- it was fantastic but nothing like them actually riding their own bikes alongside us.
Halfords got in touch with me a while ago to see if we wanted to work on a national campaign encouraging more families to get out cycling. They have teamed up with Cycling UK to help get millions of Brits cycling more often and enjoy the benefits that cycling can bring. One big part of this is Bike Week which runs from the 10th-18th June. As we have always got our family bikes from Halfords, including Mads first ever bike, we were thrilled that we were asked to have been involved in this project.
The first part of our mission was to head to our local Halfords store to get kitted out with some gear. We headed there after school one day last week and the girls were beside themselves with excitement. As we went to the Cambridge store (Cambridge is pretty much home of the bike!) we found there was so much choice and we had great fun wandering around and looking at what was on offer. We spent a good ten minutes having an initial look around and the girls were just besides themselves with excitement.
They were more excited about the accessories than the actual bikes, they couldn’t wait to choose a helmet and a bell for their bikes. Halfords had a great choice of plain and character helmets. Lottie ended up going for a batman helmet (she is super hero obsessed) and Mads went for a cool looking one that would go with her skateboard as well.
After choosing our helmets we got advice from Dan the store manager about our bikes. This is where we saw first hand the Halfords service. Dan was so knowledgeable and he spent ages with us helping us choose the bike that was right for us. Once we had chosen he helped us completely sort out the bikes so they were ready to take home- he adjusted the seats, gave us all the paperwork and pointed out features of each of the bikes.
I’ve never seen anyone as excited as Lottie, she was so incredibly excited to have a bike of her very own rather than her sister’s hand me down. She rode it around and around the shop while she was waiting us to sort everything out.
Posing with my bike. Dan helped me pick out what was fight for me and something that I would feel confident on. He also helped us fit the baby seat attachments on both bikes so it will be easy to take the baby seat on and off.
Posing before we left the shop, we were so impressed with the service we received in store.
But the amazing service didn’t stop there. We were so impressed to find that as part of their service, Halfords will fit your bike rack for you while you wait for a small charge. I must admit that I was already wondering how complicated it was going to be, the last thing you want is for your bike to fly off when you are driving, so I was so pleased to find out that they offer this service to all their customers. Not only that but another thing that I thought was even better was that they get another member of the team to come out and cross check the bike rack before you drive off- I thought this again was brilliant service and fantastic safety and reassurance wise.
These two were so incredibly excited and couldn’t wait to ride their new bikes, but by the time we had finished it was way past their bedtime.
We finally got the chance to test them out at the weekend and the girls absolutely loved it. Mads has only just started to ride without stabilisers and even in a quick ten minutes outside she really grew in confidence and Lottie just loved pedalling about with her favourite toy Baa Baa in the seat on the back.
Now we are all kitted out with some fantastic cycle gear it is time to have some fun. Over the next couple of weeks we are going to be getting used to our bikes and taking them out on some lovely family bike rides- we are going to head out on our first proper one this weekend. I am really excited and hope the weather forecast stays nice so we can pack a picnic too. I will be publishing a blog and video all about how we got on, but in the meantime here is a little video I made of our Halfords experience…
NB: We are working with Halfords on this exciting campaign but all words and opinions are entirely my own.