Overcome your concerns

"Bikes are too expensive"

A good bike needn't cost a fortune. Visit a selection of bike shops or use the internet to get a feel for what is available within your budget. There's no need to buy a really expensive bike with lots of gadgets that you don't need. But beware of bikes that are too cheap as they may not last.
Look out for second-hand bikes too. If you see one you like, get someone who knows about bikes to go with you and check it out. You could end up with a bargain! And remember, by using a bike instead of other transport, you'll also be saving money on travel costs.

"I don't know what sort of bikes to buy for me and my family"

Your local bike shop can help you choose the right bikes, and the Change4Life ‘Getting and looking after you bike' guide is full of helpful tips too.
If you're unsure about buying bikes, you could hire some for the day or the weekend. Then you can see how enjoyable it can be before deciding to buy your own. Just search for ‘bike hire' online or get in contact with a local bike group. Your local authority may be able to help you find suitable groups, or try your local telephone directory.

Ask your employer if they are a member of the Cycle to Work Scheme which provides tax free and interest free loans for new bikes from participating cycle outlets.

"The roads are too dangerous for children"

Busy roads can be daunting for inexperienced cyclists, but with the right training and practise there's no reason why more confident children can't be encouraged to cycle to school or when meeting up with friends. There are dedicated cycle lanes available, traffic free recreational routes or some of the quieter rural roads network that are ideal for families and young riders. Plan your route to avoid those parts of the road network that act as barriers to cycling and you'll be surprised just how easy it is to get about on two wheels.

"I don't feel confident on a bike"

Start slowly by finding a quiet stretch of road or track away from traffic to practise on before setting off on your first journey. Consider some approved training for you and your family through Bikeability, the new name for cycling proficiency, at www.bikeability.org.uk

"My children aren't interested in cycling"

It's easy to make cycling a really fun activity by building in visits to places like play-areas or taking toys and games with you. For a real family adventure why not explore an imaginary dragon's cave or some woodlands where the fairies might live. They'll soon discover the freedom that cycling offers!

"We live in the middle of a busy town"

Do a little research and you'll be surprised how many pleasant cycling routes there are, even in the biggest and busiest places. Investigate your local park and consider the opportunities along river and canal corridors as they move through the city. Visit the Sustrans website www.sustrans.org.uk to find information on the National Cycle Network. You can also contact your local authority to find cycle routes where you live.

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