Any family touring groups?

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Tangled Metal
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Any family touring groups?

Postby Tangled Metal » 30 May 2016, 9:30pm

Simple really, are there any groups within CTC/CUK who cater for families on their tours? I'm new to touring with a young family and curious if the organization runs any groups or trips for families? It strikes me there's a social touring opportunity for the new all inclusive CUK.

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Paulatic
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Re: Any family touring groups?

Postby Paulatic » 30 May 2016, 9:53pm

Back in the days of CTC you could find a resource like this
http://www.cyclinguk.org/news/get-your- ... ive-summer
Some of those will be recurring events. I recall seeing many families at the Birthday Rides years ago. Can't think I saw any last year.
With the new all inclusive CUK best I can find is
http://www.cyclinguk.org/ride/family-and-leisure
if you just stand still you can never lose your way

https://stcleve.wordpress.com/2017/03/0 ... ng-gov-uk/

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Philip Benstead
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Re: Any family touring groups?

Postby Philip Benstead » 31 May 2016, 7:11am

Tangled Metal wrote:Simple really, are there any groups within CTC/CUK who cater for families on their tours? I'm new to touring with a young family and curious if the organization runs any groups or trips for families? It strikes me there's a social touring opportunity for the new all inclusive CUK.

Where do you live in the UK?
Philip Benstead | CTC London and FORMER CTC Councillor SE
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Organizing events and representing cyclist in southeast since 1988
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Tangled Metal
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Re: Any family touring groups?

Postby Tangled Metal » 31 May 2016, 8:54am

Northwest near Lancaster. There's a local group but I've heard there's not many at the young family stage of life. Used to live near a very active local group with a very wide range of members/activities, but chose other sports so didn't join. Guess it's a postcode lottery with living near groups that suit.

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Re: Any family touring groups?

Postby Vorpal » 31 May 2016, 9:23am

I'd say have a look around, not just a member groups, but also independent/multiaffiliated clubs. I guess we tried 4 or 5 clubs before we found one that was a good fit for us, and they weren't the closest, but based about 11 miles away. This was a multiaffiliated club, rather than a CTC member group.

It took me a while to find one that I was happy with, and one of my criteria was they support children and accomodate them in rides and activities. We found a good club, with a wide mix from touring and leisure to transport to sports cyclists and various rides that were fine with children. I took Mini V along on club runs and once I had two in tow, sometimes we (and other families) met the club run, or did a shorter family version.

I will say that four families with small children can take hours to cover sort of 10 or 15 miles. Unfortunately, it's a bit unpredictable. It might all go swimmingly, and one or two stops is enough, and it only takes an hour or so to go 10 miles, or you might have a day when a child has to stop and wee every 10 minutes, someone gets stung by nettles, someone else panics when a bee gets caught in the trailer, toys get dropped along the way, snacks or something are required (now!) in between the frequent wee stops, etc. and it takes 3 hours to go 14 miles. :lol:

Our club didn't do any tours designed for families, but there were some family-friendly trips, and one or two families went along on those. We also went to some events as a club including families, like Mildenhall, where we all camped together.

I imagine some of the locals your way will be along with recommendations soon :)
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Tangled Metal
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Re: Any family touring groups?

Postby Tangled Metal » 31 May 2016, 10:15am

I'm thinking a national body would have a group outside of area and local setups that cater for families. Perhaps optimistic. There's nothing local as far as I can find at least. I've looked from Preston to south lakes. Nothing so far. I'm guessing a fair few groups meet up outside their area so living near the lakes I could meet up with any group heading this way. Is that how CUK works? Once a member you can go out with groups in other areas if in their patch?

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Re: Any family touring groups?

Postby Vorpal » 31 May 2016, 10:23am

pm eileithyia? She knows that area.

As for CUK, being a member doesn't imply anything about member groups. You can be active in them, or not. Many members are not, or belong to multiple groups. Most a friendly and happy to mebers from other groups go along ont he occasional ride. Many have rides suitable for families, but few having touring arrangements suitable for families.

Local member groups are largely independent from CUK, and vary a great deal in their offerings.
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meic
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Re: Any family touring groups?

Postby meic » 31 May 2016, 11:28am

The only thing that I have found is the National Rallies. Especially the New Forest Rally which my daughter loves and looks forward to very much each year.

The problem is that children are not even compatible with slow easy riding adults. The children may have adequate physical ability but they just keep stopping (or the adults have to stop them) at lots of extra occasions and the group's overall average speed plummets.

My town actually has a very active children's cycling club (part of British Cycling) participating in training, races, cyclocross and track but they dont go on the road ever.
Yma o Hyd

Tangled Metal
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Re: Any family touring groups?

Postby Tangled Metal » 31 May 2016, 3:07pm

There's something similar for kids in Lancaster called the Cogset IIRC. A highly rated youth cycling project possibly an outcome of Lancaster getting one of the first cycling demonstration town funding cycles. AFAIK Lancaster area has produced some decent young competitive riders through that scheme.

The issue is there's nothing that involves adults with their kids, on the road just doing what families do on bikes. Nothing better as a kid riding out with parents. My happiest memories are rides with my dad and sister. It was the only times we got to go further afield without getting into trouble. In modern times I feel there's even less scope for kids to get out of their streets on bikes. I think this thread confirms my suspicions that all cycling bodies are not inclusive.

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meic
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Re: Any family touring groups?

Postby meic » 31 May 2016, 3:17pm

I think this thread confirms my suspicions that all cycling bodies are not inclusive.


I dont think that is the reason. You might want to go out for a ride with the kids as do I. However there are not enough others between West Wales and Lancashire to make a group from.
It may even turn out that our kids are not enough of the same level to ride together!
Yma o Hyd

Tangled Metal
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Re: Any family touring groups?

Postby Tangled Metal » 31 May 2016, 3:47pm

I live just off NCN6 and there's a canal towpath nearby too. I see families cycling a lot. Individual family units and in groups of families. It's just there's nothing organized. I suspect if someone started such a group and got backing to publicise it you'd get families coming out to join in.

As far as abilities goes I wonder how much of an issue it is. A lot of families will have kids with different ages and abilities. The older kid could do more than the younger kid but they all ride together. This is no different to the adult group rides I've been on with.nearby cycle scene group. Everyone keeps loosely together and faster cyclists always wait for the slowest at junctions or regular occasions. This has never caused problems between the fast and slow riders. These are classed as leisure rides and kind of the approach I'd envisage a family cycling/touring group would have.

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meic
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Re: Any family touring groups?

Postby meic » 31 May 2016, 3:55pm

They can ride together in groups and do so in the New Forest but even there there were groups for different abilities and a lot of humming and arring about which group their children could deal with.

I led one group which was advertised as for very young children, including those on balance bikes, with emphasis on that point. After only a mile I had a mutiny over the slow progress (quite a few complaints that such children were allowed on the ride!) and about half the group was "invited" to do their own ride without us. :lol:
Yma o Hyd

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Re: Any family touring groups?

Postby Vorpal » 31 May 2016, 4:25pm

There are plenty of family-inclusive rides in the East of England. Several organisations, lots of volunteers, and even some paid staff, run them. I know that rides in the East of England aren't much help to you, but I'm going to give some examples, in the hopes that it will help you find rides in your area.

They use phrases like 'beginners ride' or call them easy, but include 'suitable for families' in the description. Sometime they say 'at the pace of the slowest' and a short distance indicates that it may be good for children or families. Some are for small groups going short distances together. Some are for medium sized groups with a common destination (tea rooms, typically) and enough volunteers to split the ride if people have very different capabilities.

Some are very large indeed, and have a defined route, some support along the way, and/or different routes that include a short family or beginners' route.

https://www.braintree.gov.uk/events/sta ... 30-04-2014 I don't know if these are still running, but they were suitable for families.

http://www.maldonandburnhamstandard.co. ... e_Dengie_/ is a New Years Ride that usually has a good turnout for families (it's shame that newspaper doesn't show any families). The last time I did it, in 2012, we were in a group of 5 families and we saw others along the way. It's not widely advertised, though all the cycling clubs in the area know about it. There's tea and cakes at the church afterwards, and it's a nice time.

http://2withamboys-brigade.org.uk/le-tour-de-witham is another example. The family led ride is much shorter than the other rides, but they don't give a distance.

Besides googling for easy rides, some groups use Facebook to organise. And you can try contacting local 'BikeIt' officers or Cycling development officers, or Cycling UK representatives in your area who often know about events, even if they aren't CUK events. If you se information about led rides, contact the organiser and see if they know about any that are suitable for families.

Good luck :)
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Bensons
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Re: Any family touring groups?

Postby Bensons » 2 Jun 2016, 8:00am

We are interested in the same thing Tangled, with a 9 year old on a tandem who manages a good speed with her Dad. I got the impression that the groups I contacted recently weren't especially keen on having a child on their rides, not actually said of course. We certainly don't want to get involved if that is the case.

I am not sure that the member groups are representative of the family image on the new 'front' page, but of course we are definitely a minority, riding a bit of a distance with children.

Other cycling organisations seem to have a much clearer plan on rides with young people. Sky ride social for instance, the distance, grading and age allowed is very clear from a quick web based search. But then a ride search is much more efficient and productive - all in one place rather than searching lots of local group (often outdated) webpages.

We have given up looking for a group to ride with for now and will just carry on doing our own thing and joining in with non CTC 'events' rather than regular group rides.

We won't be renewing our membership as it stands. Our cycling has changed with our daughter growing a bit and the purchase of a tandem last year, I don't think that the CTC has much to offer us as a family rather than two adults.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Any family touring groups?

Postby Tangled Metal » 2 Jun 2016, 9:04am

I just wish I was an organising type of person. I'd consider trying to set something up around family cycling. I'm not a member of CUK as I'm struggling to see benefits to my family. If I was to try to set up up a family cycling group I think I'd join so I could try to do it through CUK. I feel such an undertaking needs the support of a membership mass like CUK.

Having been involved with the early days of a sub-group in the Ramblers during their change I appreciate the help a large body can give such as undertakings. Not least with money.

I just find it a shame the CUK council, executive and more local representatives haven't considered family cycling at grass roots level. There's advice online but that seems about it. A falling in leadership perhaps? Maybe Philip Benstead might have a better view on the thinking of CUK over family cycling within the ctc/CUK structure.