Kids cycling round up - April 2019
Is it just me, or is this year flying by? We're already almost at the end of April, and so much has been happening in the world of family cycling! Thank you to everyone who provided positive feedback on our first monthly round-up format - it's good to know it's useful, so we'll continue to do it until you tell us otherwise. Do please share on your social media channels if you know anyone else who has an interest in all things to do with kids cycling and bikes.
Here's this month's round up of new kids bikes and accessories, family friendly events and other interesting news:
Cube's first kids e-bike released
Cycle Sprog readers with good memories will remember that last September we brought you news of a new kids e-bike being developed by Cube - the 24" wheel Cube Acid 240 Hybrid Youth. We'd seen an early prototype at the Cycle Show at the NEC. Well, the bike is now available to buy from Tredz with an RRP of £1,599.
The Acid 240 Hybrid brings Cube's experience of building adult e-bikes to a junior bike. The idea is that the Sprog in your family can benefit from the extra power boost so they can tackle longer off road rides and keep up with the grown-ups. Making use of the same technologies and design features as the full size Acid Hybrids, it features a Bosch Active drive unit with Purion controller, and a 400Wh battery for long-lasting power. The Suntour XCT JR fork will help smooth out the trail ahead, while Shimano's easy-shifting 9 speed transmission is designed to work with the Bosch system to get power to the rear wheel.
See more details of the Cube kids e-bike and full specification here
Update: Please note that Under 14's are not allowed to ride e-bikes on the road and we are checking the legal position on other types of land and will update shortly.
Kona update their kids mountain bikes
Kona are a long established mountain biking brand, who, like so many others, went through a bit of a lull period. However, they've been on the up for the past couple of years, with a range including the Kona Shred kids mountain bikes. For 2019 they've come up with a new name for their kids MTB's - the Kona Honzo.
Previously the bikes were named Kona Shred 20 and Kona Shred 24. For 2019 it's the Kona Honzo 2-0 and Kona Honzo 2-4. Personally this looks to me like the results of two football cup ties which Honzo won on the away goal rule!
Thankfully the bikes themselves continue to do the Kona name proud. For 2019 the gearing has been updated from 6 to 7 speed. Where previously the Kona Shred was fitted with a 36T chainset at the front and a 14-28T cassette at the back the new Honzo 2-0 comes with 14-34T at the back coupled with a 32T chainset, which will make climbing hills that little bit easier.
The Kona Honzo range is available from Evans Cycles, priced at £549 for the Honzo 2-0 and £649 for the Honzo 2-4.
New kids cycle clothing range from Stolen Goat
Stolen Goat have released their new Spring / Summer collection, which features 5 exciting new kids cycling jerseys (including the Stargazer design shown above) plus some bib shorts. They come in three sizes designed for children aged between 5 and 10 years of age.
Pedal on Parliament 2019
This weekend (26th - 28th April) is the 6th annual Pedal on Parliament - a chance to get your voice heard and demand safe places for everyone to cycle.
Sadly it's only in Scotland, not the rest of the UK, but it's a great inspirational event for everyone to get involved in supporting on social media - there will be lots of updates on their Twitter and Facebook pages. Of course, if you're based in Scotland, then it's a brilliant event to take the Sprogs along to. This year they're doing things differently, with lots of local POP-UP events so there's no need to travel to Edinburgh. Check out their website to find your nearest event - there's at least 20 of them taking place over the weekend all over Scotland as part of Pedal on Parliament 2019.
New kids books featuring bikes and cycling
There's been a couple of new books released this month that are great if you want to show your child that cycling is a normal way to get around or a great activity to enjoy in their spare time. Most are Amercian books that are now available in the UK. "Bikes for Sale" by American author Carter Higgins has just been published in the UK.
Aimed at ages 3 to 5 years, the story is about Maurice (who rides his bike to his shop every day) and Lotta (who rides her bike to collect sticks every day). Both go about their separate routines, unaware of the friendship that awaits them just a few blocks away. But what happens when a branch and a lemon peel get in the way?
For slightly older kids, BMX Blitz by Scott Ceincin is an American graphic novel that has just been re-released in the UK.
BMX Blitz was first published back in 2011, but has been out for print for a number of years. A good choice if you're looking for a female BMX role model, as it features race winning Houston Morikami up against her long term rival Luke Lawless.
Mountain Bike Mike Shreds the Gnar by Sam Hartstock is set in Austin, Texas and follows the adventures of Mike, an avid mountain biker who loves to skillfully ride the trails - “shredding the gnar”.
Today, Mike’s ride turns into a chain reaction of adventurous encounters with the wildlife as he tries to reclaim his runaway bike. Filled with animals and the local Texan vibe the short poetic verses are illustrated by Austin artist . The wacky and whimsical rhymes and alliteration are fun to read aloud and the story serves as lighthearted lesson for responsible and safe trail etiquette for Cycle Sprogs aged between 4 and 8 years of age.
Making cycling safer for our children
The Government has published a new report on how people are going to move around our towns and cities in the future.
It recognises that the dependence on the petrol and diesel powered motor vehicle cannot continue and it was encouraging to see that out of their 9 principles, number 3 was that "Walking, cycling and active travel must remain the best options for short urban journeys." It will be interesting to see if anything is actually done to make this a reality, as in most places in the UK whilst it's the best option, it's certainly not the safest, easiest or most direct. You can read the Government's Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy here.
Improvements to the existing network
Sustrans have been awarded £21m in government funding to upgrade the existing Cycle Network and improve connections between various parts of the network. It's a good start, but significant amounts of money will be required if the government strategy is to become reality.
Debate around cycle licences
Sadly, in the past month there's been a lot of debate in the media about whether all cyclists should be licensed (and even taxed and tested).
This is coming from a small number of high profile voices who delight in getting their name in the press, despite the overwhelming evidence that this policy would be totally unworkable and deliver no obvious safety benefits. You can read my thoughts on the entire cycle licensing debate here.
Big Pedal 2019
Big Pedal took place at the end of March and first week of April. Over 3.8 million journeys to school by bike, scooter or walking were recorded, with schools across the UK putting on bike themed activities and some areas even being able to arrange road closures to make it safe for pupils to arrive by bike. Sadly this is only a fortnight's initiative each year, and much more is needed to make routes safe for children to cycle to school all year round and to encourage parents and kids to choose active transport choices every day.
Closed road family rides
British Cycling has announced a series of 19 closed road cycle rides through major UK cities in the run up to the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire. Starting in Cardiff on 12th May the HSBC UK Let’s Ride events will offer a safe environment in which to cycle to thousands of families during the summer. The events are being billed as "cycling festivals" and promise to provide stunt shows, street food and endless family-friendly activities. For more information on dates and locations go to the British Cycling Let's Ride website.
That's all for this month folks! Have a great month enjoying the lighter evenings and warmer (and hopefully drier days). Don't forget to head over and follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with everything in the world of family cycling 52 weeks of the year!
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The great new A to Z book helps teach young kids their alphabet and their mountain biking skills at the same time - learning has never been such fun!
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