Family biking fun around Christchurch

family-biking-fun-around-christchurchThe summer holidays are a long stretch for kids, and for parents too at times.

A great way to beat the boredom, utilise their excess energy and get a bit of fitness in for you too, is biking.

There are plenty of fun places to cycle in and around Christchurch, depending on your kids’ age and their confidence level on a bike.

Here are a few preparation points before you head out for your biking adventure:

1    Check that your child’s bike is still the right size
Kids have a habit of growing! Chances are that on the first ride of the summer you may need to raise the seat or amend the position of the handle bars.

2    Check that the bikes are road-worthy
Check the chain, brakes and gears before you head out. Take a puncture repair kit with you.

3    Have a quick practice before you go
Your kids may have lost a little confidence since last summer, so get them to go for a few rounds of the back lawn before you pack up and ship out.

4    Pace yourselves
Just because your kids rode 15km uphill at the end of last summer doesn’t mean that they, (or you!), are fit enough to do the same now. Make sure that your first family cycle ride of the year is a gentle one.

5    Take supplies
New Zealand can have four seasons in one day, so make sure that you have a warm jersey and a waterproof layer just in case, especially if you’re heading out for a longer ride. Take some water and snacks for on the track too. Don’t forget sunscreen!

Where to go

Family cycling along the Avon
Did you know that you can cycle city to surf in Christchurch? There’s a fantastic, family-friendly cycle route that goes from Victoria Square in Kilmore Street, all the way to Ebbtide Street, Southshore. The route is composed of low-traffic roads and off-road cycle paths.

You can do the whole route, or just part.

Bottle Lake Forest cycle track
The mountain bike tracks at Bottle Lake Forest wind through the 1000-hectare pine forest. The terrain is mostly flat but towards the coast, planted sand hills provide some challenge.
The two easiest tracks are the family loop ride (approximately 7km) and the coastal ride to Spencer Park (10km round trip.)
Family Loop ride

Start: Bottle Lake Forest entrance car park, Waitikiri Drive, Parklands.

Finish: Same as the starting point.

Description: Follow the blue markers towards the coast and return.

Coastal ride to Spencer Park

Start: There are two starting points:

1.    Spencer Park, Spencerville.

2.    Bower Avenue, Parklands.

Finish: Same as the starting point.

Little River Rail Trail
The Christchurch to Little River Rail Trail is a cycleway and walkway that mostly follows the route of an old 19th century railway line between Hornby Junction and Little River via Prebbleton, Lincoln, Motukarara and Birdlings Flat.

You don’t have to ride the whole thing though – there are stages. What’s super cool is that you can download kids’ activity sheets for the trail when you visit www.littlerivertrail.kiwi.nz.

Enjoy your family cycling adventure this summer!