Monday, 12 September 2016

Family life: Back in the Saddle - Cycling with Halfords

Back in the Saddle with Halfords - Orla Kiely Classic Womens Bike green leaf design review

The week before last we holidayed at Center Parcs, Longleat. More to come in an upcoming post but by day we made our way through the forest by bike, finding it the easiest way to get from lodge to pool or playground or lake and back again. Fast forward to this morning and the school form I've just had to fill in about our cycling habits. Do you cycle as a family? Well, yes and no.

My cycling career (ha ha, this is particularly non-apt after the Tour of Britain bungled up the roads around us this past weekend) is long and varied. Here goes...

Date: 1981
Bike of choice: Red bike with big white tyres and stabilisers
Memory: Biking round and round the garden. I distinctly remember the builder who was working on our house at the time, Patrick, who was so kind and used to help me out. Once I'd agreed to the stabilisers coming off, he'd hold the back of the bike and chase around after me. The inevitable happened - he let go but didn't let on and by the time I realised I was off!

Date: 1987
Bike of choice: Metallic blue fold-up bike bought from an ad found in the back of the local paper
Memory: 'Please can I get a bike, mum? They're doing cycling proficiency at school and I really want to do it.' And I did. So proud was I of this achievement that I kept the red-and-green, triangular enamel pin badge and card on my bedroom wall for years.

Date: 2006
Bike of choice: A mountain bike borrowed from my then pregnant sister-in-law
Memory: A huge reminder that the 15 years or so since my last experience on a bike were such a waste! Biking for enjoyment as an adult is such a treat - I love the feeling of speed, the breeze rushing past and the freedom.

Date: 2013
Bike of choice: Clementine, my vintage French fold-up
Memory: The revelation that biking to the train station two miles away takes a third of the time by bike than on foot. The less good revelation that three gears and irregular tyre sizes don't make for a particularly easy ride.

So, back to that question. Do we cycle as a family? We *have* done, but it's not a regular thing. Now, our home is about a mile away from school and we're that family that drives the school run. It's completely unnecessary. 

Back in the Saddle - Halfords Orla Kiely Classic Womens bike green leaf design review

Halfords got in touch with me recently to ask if I'd like to take part in their Back in the Saddle campaign. I agreed and they sent me this beautiful Orla Kiely bike to try out. Isn't it lovely? And it has eight gears! This is a game changer. Beautiful AND practical, that rare combination. 

Back in the Saddle - Halfords Orla Kiely Classic Womens bike green leaf design review

I love the white wall tyres, the comfortable seat and the sing-song bell.

Back in the Saddle - Halfords Orla Kiely Classic Womens bike green leaf design review
And the matching basket is on its way.

Back in the Saddle - Halfords Orla Kiely Classic Womens bike green leaf design review
And all in Orla Kiely's trademark style *heart eyes*

Plans? It's a classic shopper bike so I'll be pedalling off to the shops and markets. Plus, we're going to work out how to get from here to school, two cycling proficiencies down. Fingers crossed...

How about you? Do you like to cycle? Any biking memories?

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