Sunday 29 June 2014

Center Parcs' June Blogger Challenge - on yer bikes!

The Tots 100 blogger challenge this month was to embrace Center Parcs' favourite mode of transport by going on a family bike ride. I knew it would be a challenge of rather large proportions, but I wasn't going to let that stop me dragging encouraging my brood out to the garage and strapping on their helmets.

Truth be told, I've been on a bike maybe errr... four times since giving birth. One of those was today. It's definitely not because I don't love cycling; I do, it's just that I always have so many other things to do inside the house and I find myself easily distracted by blogging.

So anyhow, I looked upon this as a great opportunity to get out and get fit, whilst laughing and joking with my beautiful family. I was inspired by the tip

'If your little ones are new to cycling, confidence and practice is key. I’ve found that concentrating on gliding, rather than peddling, helps children to balance in the early stages. Taking them to a park is a great, safe place to get them started on two wheels'

Sasha has not yet progressed on from stabilisers at the age of 7, largely due to her autism and her fear of failure, and of new things, and general fear all round. Tamsin, our 9 year old, recently had a new bike as her birthday present, but sadly Daddy did buy it just a little size or two too big for her, and so she's not quite as confident as she once was.

I'd had in mind to go round the local park, and try to set Sasha off free-wheeling down a gentle slope. She was having none of it though, and refused to give up her mini bike with stabilisers or to go further than the local park. Tamsin wobbled off successfully on big bike and soon picked up speed. She *may* have fallen off in order to stop, but I didn't see that bit thankfully. No harm done to her or the bike anyway. As I pushed Sasha along on the bike that is way too small for her, trying to wheel my own bike at the same time (Mr C was off supervising Tamsin), Sasha and I did manage a little chat, and she did vocalise her anxiety at not being able to balance. She talked about how she wanted to learn cycling so much but that she was scared. That was actually a great step forward for me, the fact that she could explain why she was refusing to do something, so I think we did actually achieve something today! I think we're going to need a little more building up to the big event (am thinking get her out on bike, blindfold her then take stabilisers off... do you think that'll work?!).

By the time we made it to the local playground Sasha had grumpily given up on the bike, and insisted on returning home for the scooter. Luckily we hadn't gone far.... so we swapped said bike for scooter and as you can see from the picture, she was instantly happier. I know that Center Parcs is also a great place for scooting, so I'm more than happy to let her carry on being confident on that for a while yet! Meanwhile Tamsin continued to grow in confidence on her big bike and I'm now looking forward to a lovely mummy-daughter bike trip. Via a coffee shop.
Happy at last! Oh what fun we had.... why are there no stylish bike helmets?!

This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots100 June challenge. If I'm chosen, we would like to visit Elveden Forest. 

Although in all honesty we would travel anywhere to any one of their sites!!!!