Often the biggest challenges and rewards when we ride can come from what mother nature makes us contend with – the weather.
We can plan and prepare for the weather by;
- checking the weather forecast and making an informed decision; to ride or not to ride.
- having the appropriate riding gear; for example warm and waterproof. See, Am I safe to goRide? Comfort & protection Padded Bike Underwear
- having a spare set of clothes to change into when you finish the ride – that may mean a change in the car.
Being prepared makes being out in the weather safer and lots more fun.
Overcoming the challenges of the weather needs resilience, perseverance, motivation and determination. When you are riding with your family you may find that some of these characteristics may not shine. That can make it hard going for everyone but think of what will be learnt, what will be gained. Get them to see the fun, the challenge and the adventure in it. Make small achievable goals, once you have reached that goal, set the next achievable goal. Communicate with them, keep the mood up and give them some tips and suggestions on how best to deal with the elements.
However don’t forget to be flexible, you need to be safe and you want this to be a positive experience so maybe turning back this time is the best option…
Riding on the coast and in Wellington is a combination that means wind, and on our recent family ride from Eastbourne (Wellington) out to the Pencarrow Lighthouse (New Zealands first lighthouse) we had wind.
Hear how Sam (10 years old) managed a windy Wellington ride. Want to know more about Sam, see Sams profile.
I had to learn to tuck in behind Mum to shelter from the wind and to catch my breath. I also slowed to have a breather in the more secluded bays before I took on biking around the exposed headlands. I quickly learnt that I needed to save my energy when I had the chance. The path along the coast is a flat, wide, gravel path so it makes it achievable for kids like me and a little younger. The path is 7km one way so 14km return or you can start at Eastbourne village like we did making it a 20km return trip. Check out this link for more detailed information about the ride.
The things that made the ride interesting for me;
- It was great to see all the ferries as they pass going into and out of Wellington Harbour. If you do a Ferry crossing look out for Pencarrow lighthouse as you enter Welllington Harbour as you will cruise past it.
- At the turn around point you get to walk up a bit of a hill to Pencarrow Lighthouse. There is a whole lot of information and history about the lighthouse and the lighthouse keepers, but I am not going to share that information with you, you will have to go and find out for yourself. You may want to lock your bikes at the bottom of the hill, so a bike lock is a good thing to add to your riding kit for this family ride.
- The views from the top are pretty awesome. Wellington and the harbour, and you get great views all the way across to the South Island but only if you manage to pick a good clear Wellington day. We waved to Nelson.
- Also at the end is Barron Head Lighthouse, the current lighthouse in operation.
Note; you can choose to continue on and explore some cool lakes. The weather, the ages of the members of your group, and how you are feeling may determine if you continue onto the lakes. For me and our group the weather meant it was not a day to visit the lakes. We only made it back in time before the Wellington skies opened up and rained. I am looking forward to going back to ride the trail and visit the lakes.
This is a great achievable family ride I hope you get a chance to enjoy it like I did.
By Sam (10 years old) with a little help from Jo (my Mum).
Thanks for reading. Used together our stories and resources support you to achieve and develop as a rider.
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