Be Sparky

“What a child wants – and DESERVES – is a parent who is SPARKY!” Roald Dahl

I love hearing stories of the fun parents have cycling with their kids: seeing  the sparkle in their eyes and hearing the glow in their voices.  Something about riding a bike brings out the best in us.  Cycling with kids is such a good opportunity to be ‘sparky’.  Roald Dahl’s full quote is good advice for any parent, but especially when we are out on our bikes with our kids:

“When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important: A stodgy parent is not fun at all! What a child wants – and DESERVES – is a parent who is SPARKY!”

So when the going gets tough, or even when it doesn’t.  Get Sparky.  Here are some ideas:

Get Gaming

Do you need a crow bar to tear your kids away from a favourite computer/console game? Well, get with it.  Turn your bike ride into the game.  Have challenges, levels, characters, weapons, enemies, whatever it takes.  Join in the game, be the game, just do it outside, on your bikes, in the fresh air.

Be Silly

Kids too young for gaming.  Good, make the most of it!  Tap into whatever their thing is.  Fairies? Trains? Mermaids? Ponies? Minions? Pick the theme, the characters and harness up your imagination and theirs to power up some story fun.  Your bikes, your destination, your location….. they all become part of the game.  Let your hair down, give yourself permission to be a bit silly…… be sparky!

Once upon a timing

We love stories in our house…. do you?  Stories can come from anywhere.  If you are stuck for inspiration just borrow someone else’s.  You can tell stories from your childhood, kids love those, especially if they feature their parents being less than capable and perfect!  Or you can build a story together, taking turns to add a bit to the story.  It is always entertaining when the mermaids end up in space with the dinosaurs…..  And when you are busy telling stories, or listening to them, then you are less likely to notice that you are tired, or that it is windy, or that it was further than you thought….

So there you go, another important tool for your biking outings: sparkiness!

What are your sparky ideas?  Go on, tell us!


Forget Strava

If you don’t know what Strava is then head over to the archives and check out another post.  If however, you use Strava or another performance tracking tool, then read on my friend.  If you subscribe to the motto: “If it’s not on Strava then it doesn’t count” then commit this post to heart. Continue reading “Forget Strava”

10 Tips for when it get tough

In the real world kids get tired, squabble, whinge and whine.  I live in the real world!  So what do you do if you are out riding and the kids are finding it tough going?  After making sure they are physically sorted (fed, comfortable) it comes down to emotional support and distraction.  Here are ten ideas you can adapt to suit your family:

Continue reading “10 Tips for when it get tough”