Get on your Bike this Autumn

british cycling

Anyone else feeling like they come back to earth with a bump in September?

It feels like almost overnight, you have to switch gears. Gone are long days with time to waste, beaches and sunshine and hours to spend with the people you love. Now it’s early mornings, hectic schedules, homework and commutes.

It sucks.

This year, I’m really feeling it. And I’m having to take some real active steps to try and boost my mood and my energy.

You’ll probably laugh, but I’m using some guided meditations on YouTube to try and help me relax in the evenings. And I’m making a real effort to go swimming in the mornings after taking Flea to school. If I have a swim, I find I have a bit more energy and positivity for the rest of the day.

Over the weekends, we’re also taking every opportunity to get outdoors. One of my favourite things to do is to get our bikes out, and head down to the beach.

As adults, I think it’s really easy to get out of the habit of cycling. But last year when Flea started senior school locally, she wanted to cycle, and I took the opportunity to get on my bike to keep her company.

flea on a bike

It has to be said, that I am very, very far from a professional cyclist. But I have a pretty bike and we live by a gorgeous coast, and it’s lovely when the weather is good to cycle along the seafront and chat about the day. Luckily the ride to and from school is only around 4 miles, so it’s not TOO challenging.

This autumn, British Cycling have asked me to spread the word about their new initiative, HSBC UK Guided Rides. These are organised group bike rides taking place around the country over the coming months. They’re FREE and perfect for families. Check out the British Cycling website to find a Guided Ride near you. 

I think it’s a brilliant initiative. In these days of car-based school runs and tech-dependent kids, it’s always surprising to me how few children you see on bikes. Anything that helps Flea to become more confident and experienced as a cyclist has to be a good thing.

The British Cycling HSBC UK Guided Rides are a fab idea if:

  • You like the idea of cycling but aren’t sure of WHERE to go
  • You want the kids to get outdoors and for you all to meet new people
  • You need a bit of extra motivation to get outdoors and active
  • You like the idea of having a ride leader who will ensure nobody gets lost

The guided rides take place all around the UK and right now there are a bunch of rides around where we live in Lancashire and Cumbria. Rides are graded so you can see in advance whether how challenging the terrain might be. This is very handy if like me your cycling thought process veers between, “Oh, this is such fun, just look at that scenery” and “OMG I’m about to fall off, where are the brakes??”

It’s never too late to learn to ride – and there are other events, like Breeze rides, that are perfect if you want to get back into cycling. Fellow blogger Kate even became a British Cycling Breeze ride leader earlier this year!  I’d love to do this but I suspect the fact that I get off my bike to walk up hills would rule me out as an inspirational leader…

I’d love to hear from you if you have cycling tips, or any other tips to help beat the September blues!


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 20th September 2017 / 11:16 am

    Ooh thanks for the recommendation Sally! My youngest has just learned to ride a bike and we did 11 miles at the weekend, although I ran with her while everyone else cycled as I’m not convinced she’s got the hang of the brakes yet and I was petrified of her taking out a pedestrian! I’m going to check out the guided rides to see if there are any suitable for tiny people who can’t stop!
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    • Sally
      22nd September 2017 / 9:37 am

      11 miles is amazing! Flea did 13 last year and that’s the only time I’ve ever got her to go even nearly that far without complaining.

  2. 20th September 2017 / 8:29 pm

    I’m completely with you re autumn. I know we’re supposed to be very positive about cosy evenings and cashmere but I prefer sunshine and swimsuits so it’s not a good time of year for me. We have friends in Holland who automatically cycle to the supermarket, school, friends’ houses etc. I guess there are less cars on the road in general but there are also lots of cycle lanes so it all feels a bit safer. I’d definitely cycle more if it was the same over here.

    • Sally
      22nd September 2017 / 9:37 am

      Yes! Cycling even in the small town where we live feels scary. I guess we’re lucky because there’s a coastal path which of course is much more bike friendly. the great thing about guided rides of course is the route is worked out for you 🙂

  3. 20th September 2017 / 10:25 pm

    We love cycling as a family, I can’t wait to get out again when Charlie is old enough to go in a seat.

    • Sally
      22nd September 2017 / 9:36 am

      Definitely Emma, although it’s WAY more fun when they can pedal themselves 😉