Thinking of buying a bike at Christmas?

Many children will be wanting a new bicycle this Christmas as Le Tour de France passes through Silsden 6th July 2014.

Whether buying a replacement or a first-time cycle there are things to remember.

Please ensure you buy a cycle which is the correct size for your child. The rider needs to be able to put a foot on the ground when sat in the saddle. The saddle should also be low enough for the rider to put their foot on the peddle to get full power from the push stroke. (While sitting on the saddle with the rider’s heel on the peddle there should be a slight bend at the knee.) The handle bars should be set at the height and angle to ensure the
rider can easily reach the brakes. Do not buy a cycle which is too large with the expectation that the child will grow into it.

Taking all this into consideration there is no need to get an expensive bicycle for a child. Children grow quickly and will have more than one cycle in a lifetime. If the rider cannot use the cycle easily the enthusiasm may lost – and your expenditure wasted. Please buy a cycle which the child will enjoy riding.

It will be necessary to give a beginner training. I did my cycling proficiency test in 1954 and still remember how to cycle safely and maintain my bike. Cycle maintenance may give rise to other interests. Cycling will provide exercise, a wider knowledge of places and, within a club, social development.

If you buy a second- hand cycle please ensure that it is fully serviced. If you do not have time there are local retailers who will do this. There are specialist cycle shops in Keighley, Shipley, Ilkley and Skipton.The nearest national bicycle supplier outlet is in Keighley.

Please don’t forget that you may also need to buy a helmet, suitable shoes and a security device such as padlock and chain.

Cycling with your children can be great fun and inexpensive family entertainment.

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