The book that wasn’t

This is the story of a book that wasn’t, a few crazy years and what happens next. Oh, and hello, I’m back!

I started the Cycling with Kids blog site when I started writing a book on Cycling with Kids in New Zealand. I was inspired to write it when our family completed the Hauraki Rail Trail. It started as the idea for a blog post, but I had so many ideas I knew I wanted to write a book. Later that year I spent months getting up a 4 am, sitting down at the computer and writing the book I’d sketched out. I completed it and started approaching publishers, and sent most of the manuscripts off the same day as the Kaikoura earthquake. I got pretty good feedback on the manuscript, but the publishers were unanimous – ‘there isn’t a market for this book’ – apparently families in New Zealand don’t bike with kids, and the few that do aren’t going to buy a book about it.

At the same time as writing the book, I got swept away by the desire to change the often ignored road rule that prohibits most New Zealand children from legally riding on the footpath. That turned out to be a much bigger undertaking than I realised and is still on-going today. I’m hopeful the rule will be changed, and one day I can update what I’ve written about kids on the footpath to reflect a new rule.

In the meantime my manuscript gathered dust (apart from giving a sample chapter to the then expectant associate transport minister Julie-Anne Genter. After much pondering I have decided to publish what I’ve written to this blog – to give it away – in the hope that it encourages more families to have fun on bikes. And that is what it is all about!

Life is a beautiful ride!

Remember the thrill and freedom of getting out on your bike as a kid? The wind in your face, the power in your legs, the feeling that anything was possible and adventure was just around the corner? Do you smile at memories of freewheeling down hills, showing off your tricks, and mastering your first two wheeler? This website will help you rediscover that joy and freedom, bring back that smile, and pass it on to your kids.

Firstly we will look at how good it is to cycle, the gear you’ll need, essential skills and safety, getting you all set to go. Part two is all about getting out and riding: where to ride, day rides, cycling in daily life, adventures and ways to go further with your riding. At the end you’ll find sample itineraries and links to helpful information.

How you use this website will depend on whether you want to breathe new life into an old passion, or whether you are just getting started. It will encourage you on your first tentative outings and aid you when you are ready to take on bigger adventures. Come back to it for more as your riding progresses and your family dynamics change. Whatever approach you take, I hope you will find the information you need so that you can be a cycling family too.

What happens next

Over the course of the next year I will publish the book onto this website as blog posts. At some point I will create a downloadable e-book version too. To me notified whenever there is a new post either like Cycling with Kids on facebook, or subscribe to this blog. I’d love to hear your feedback and inputs in the comments. I won’t be trying to sell you anything, just share the love of biking with you and your family, so enjoy.

Ride on!

I am so excited for you and your family as you embark on your adventure of cycling with kids. When I was tentatively learning to change gears in a cemetery I never guessed that I would fall in love with cycling and have so many wonderful adventures. I went from being WRX driving rev-head to a pedal-head, whose primary means of transport is a huge orange cargo bike. This transformation took years, as most lasting change does, but it has left me healthier, happier and given me so many wonderful memories and experiences. Now I share that passion with my kids, and by way of this book, with you and your kids! Now it is your turn: I wish you well as you embark on the next steps in your amazing adventures. Take it one pedal turn at a time and enjoy the journey. See you on the trail!

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