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Here’s our write up of what happened when we took our Cycle Sprog to the Cycle Show several years ago.
On Sunday we had a family cycling day out with a difference – we took our two boys to The Cycle Show at the NEC Birmingham. It was their first experience of a major exhibition, and they were fascinated, educated and overwhelmed in equal measure.
The first things to catch their eye on entering the hall were the kids test tracks, and I’d anticipated them wanting to get straight on the bikes, but the noise and crowds seemed to unsettle them a bit, and they said they wanted to come back later.
We were lucky to have been invited by Quest 88 to learn more about their range of inclusive bikes, which are primarily aimed at those with disabilities. Their test track was outside, a quiet retreat from the bustle of the show. The boys immediately relaxed and threw themselves into the task of testing out the various bikes. N, aged 6, is now the only person in our family to have experienced recumbent and hand cycling. His face was a joy to watch as he mastered the techniques and he would have carried on completing circuits in the recumbent Victor Trike all day had we let him.
T, who celebrated his 4th birthday the day before, was passenger on several tandems, a step up for him from the front seat he’s used to using on a daily basis. His huge grin brought home how transformational these bikes must be for disabled children and their families.
We’ll be bringing you more information about inclusive cycling and a write up about our time with Quest 88 shortly, so watch this space.
Following my visit to the Trade Day on the Thursday, I’d predicted that the Monkey Light would be one of the hits of the show, and sure enough they had one of the busiest stands. The boys loved watching the patterns formed by these clever LED’s which can create hundreds of different patterns on a bike wheels. They were seriously impressed when they found out they’ll be reviewing one for Cycle Sprog over the coming weeks.
Both boys loved the Crazy Stuff stand, which has a wide range of animal themed helmets, pumps, bells and locks. They were officially deemed “cool” and T had to be prized away from the display.
I was slightly surprised on the way home when T said his favourite part of the day was watching the BMX park contest finals, as at the time he appeared shell shocked by the noise of the crowd, and having to perch on a metal railing to get a view. That said, I could tell he was taking in every trick – his eyes keenly following each rider, as wide a saucers and unblinking as he tried to comprehend their gravity defying stunts. His favourite trick was when they did a 360 degree loop, and he assures me he’s going to recreate this on his scooter.
N loved both the BMX park contest and the DMR Mountain Bike Pump Track, and having seen so many bikes in action they were both suddenly keen to have a go on the test track.
It was the end of the day, so the queues had died down, and they both picked out a Kiddimoto helmet and were ready to go. On the 6-10 year old track N rode a Cuda Mayhem Lightweight Alloy Orange Boys 20″ Bike with 6 Gears, but he really had his eye on the RALEIGH Hot Rod Mountain Bike. Nothing to do with the bike, but the fact it was equipped with a Turbospoke, the new (and loud!) bicycle exhaust system, which got a big thumbs up.
On the under 5’s track, T only had eyes for the Kiddimoto Kurve Balance Bike – this is definitely the dream bike of this little boy. He entered an almost zen-like state as he completed lap after lap after lap on the Union Jack decorated bike.
Never one to be left out of the fun, N realised there were a couple of balance bikes aimed at older children, and he was soon racing round on the Go Glider 16″ Balance Bike. It’s always fun to regress to a younger self, and he could have been 3 again as he scooted round the track.
Suddenly it was time to get our train and two very tired but happy boys headed back to the station. It was gone their bedtime when we reached home, and they were both exhausted after a long and eventful day. As he got into bed T had a solitary tear rolling down his cheek. “I wanted to wear a police jacket” he lamented as he started the slow journey into the realms of sleep. I guess that’s the first entry on this years Christmas list!