Hitting the road on a family bike ride is fun. Fresh air? Check. Nature? Check. Heaps of exercise? Double check.
Take along a picnic and drinks, and you can be out all day for a (totally free) bonding day.
And making it extra special is easy. Kids love making their bikes individual by customising them with baskets, streamers and bells. (Well. Maybe not too many bells, if you’d like to hold onto your wits after a day out with them.)
For pocket money treats, Halfords have a great range of bicycle bells ranging from Frozen to Batman for £4 each, plus baskets and water bottles, while you can buy coloured bike spoke beads from Amazon for just £2.99. Jazzy.
But to really stand out from the crowd, here are some ideas for ways to customise their two wheel drives – and have a fun crafty time too. Just remember, for safety’s sake keep gears and chains free from decorations.
Personalised license plate
Use a piece of card or an old cereal box.
Cut out a rectangle of cardboard. It’s up to you how big you make it, as long as it doesn’t touch the wheels.
Decorate your license plate with your bike’s name or licence number - the sillier the better. You can let your imagination run riot with drawings and stickers or keep it simple with just the name.
Use a hole punch to punch two holes about ½ inch from the top of the cardboard. Use pipe cleaners or string to secure the licence plate to the underside of the seat and you’re ready to ride.
You’ll need two thick rubber bands or hair bands (one for each handle bar) and some coloured ribbons, plus 24 pieces of ribbon, 12 for each handle, about 14″ in length. You could also use strips of coloured crepe paper, lengths of wool or neon-coloured strips of paper for extra safety reflection.
Slip each streamer one at a time through the band and knot into place. Rather than fiddling with a limp band, it may help to keep it taut by putting it over a water bottle and sliding each streamer between the bottle and the band before knotting.
Once the band is covered, slip it off the water bottle and slide onto the end of each handlebar. Twist the band a couple of times, if necessary, to secure.
Decorate the spokes of bike wheels with colourful pipe cleaners. Wrap the pipers around a pen or pencil, then release so you have a curly-wurly shape. Simply transfer the curls to wrap round a few spokes.
Doing every single spoke would be very time-consuming, but every fourth spoke makes a colourful whirl.
Craft paper pinwheels or windmills out of fairy cake paper holders, or you could use circles of cut out paper just as effectively.
Attach the layers of papers with a long drawing pin into a plastic straw, then attach the straw to your child’s bike using pipe cleaners.
Personalised cycle helmets
Encourage your children to make their cycle helmets truly individual with stickers and stuck on drawings. They’ll be much more likely to wear a helmet without a fuss when it looks this good and is the envy of their friends.