By guest blogger Tom Nelson
The countdown to Le Grand Depart has at long last begun with a one hundred day cultural festival that celebrates the start of arguably the greatest cycle race of all time, the Tour de France. Indeed it is the first time that such a cultural event has been held in the honour of the race. The host county for Le Grand Depart, Yorkshire, has been pulling out all of the stops to celebrate the race from start to finish and of course also including the many points of interest it passes along this starting leg in England’s fairest county.
The point of this festival? To start with it is, of course, to raise awareness in this massive sporting event. But the legacy of this raised interest will, the organisers hope, be an increased interest in uptake across the country as youngsters everywhere leave their video games and get involved in the excitement of the blur of coloured jerseys that whizz past the end of their road.
Before You Start
So if your youngsters are interested or beginning to be interested in cycling as a competitive sport, way to keep fit or even as a away to spend more time with friends and family, then where exactly do you get them started?
Well, first thing is first, can they ride? If not, then off to the local park with you for some parent/child bonding sessions of the most traditional sense as you teach your young one the way to ride successfully. Remember to wear lots of protective gear including waterproofs, padding and a helmet. Once they’ve cracked the basics and are happy riding round after the ducks it’s time to explore bikeability, today’s cycling proficiency to make sure that they are road safe too.
Once they’ve got that cracked the world is your oyster and you are free to try all sorts of different cycling events and pastimes to see what excites your child most.
What’s Out There
Time trails are an increasingly popular way of developing youngsters in the field of cycling, something that has really taken off since the Olympics were held in London and Team GB did so amazingly well at the cycling events. To get your youngster involved, keep an eye out for local clubs or if you’re lucky enough to have a local velodrome then head there for all the latest information.
Mountain biking and off road trails are probably the most popular way of exploring cycling as a competitive sport. There’s just something about the outdoors and the mud that really appeals to youngsters so consider BMX trials or mountain bike rallies to get the most out of your child’s outdoor cycling experiences.
What do you think?