The Cycle Sprog review of 2017

Well, another year draws to a close. 2017 has just flown by – it seems like only yesterday that I was writing the Cycle Sprog review of 2016!!   As our boys get older, we’ve been able to get out and do more and more adventurous cycling – it feels as if the years of hauling them around and shouting instructions are now really paying off!   For us, the focus for 2017 was very much on mountain biking together as a family.

Cross country mountain biking with kids in the Lake District, Cumbria

The boys had been doing a long term test of the Islabikes Creig Mountain Bikes (both the 24″ and 26″ wheel models), and during the course of the year long review we morphed from a family who cycled into a family who LOVED mountain biking.

During the winter months we got out as much as the weather allowed, and tested some winter cycling kit from Polaris on the trails near us. You can read our reviews of the Fang Winter Jersey, the Strata pack-away waterproof jacket and the Mini Attack Winter Cycling Gloves.

Review of the Islabike Creig 24 Kids Mountain Bike

As well as our boys reviewing bikes and kit, we’ve also been growing the Cycle Sprog review panel.  This year several new members have been testing out bikes for us.  The Bobbin 12″ Gingersnap was a hit with it’s 4 year old reviewer, and the matching Bobbin Brownie got the thumbs up from her mum Jen.

Brownie and Gingersnap

Another 4 year old, Jess, has been testing the Woom 2 14″ wheel bike – a new arrival into the UK during 2017.

Woom 2 review - the lightest 14" wheel kids bike for ages 3 years, 4 year olds and age 5

We’ve also had a first peek of the new Squish bikes 18″ wheel bike, which has gone out to Katherine to review.

Squish Bikes review - the Squish 18 is an 18" wheel kids bike

In early May we celebrated Cycle Sprog’s 5th birthday with a fabulous family mountain bike ride in the Yorkshire Dales followed by a delicious cake!

Views from the top of the world - riding the Islabikes Creig MTB

During the May half term we were invited to the French Alps for a family cycling holiday, where we stayed at Maison Amalka.  We had three fabulous cycle rides, including a day riding down the stunning Vallée de la Clarée and a day of descent from Col du Lautaret.

Family Cycling in the French Alps - the top of Col du Lautaret

Over the summer holidays we went on a road trip around the North West Pacific coast of Canada and the USA, cycling as much as we could.  You can read about how we got on cycling with our boys in the large but cycling friendly cities of Vancouver and Portland, and how we didn’t dare get on bikes in Seattle.

Cycling infrastructure in Portland, Oregon

We then moved inland and had some amazing family mountain biking in Bend (Oregan), Ketchum (Idaho) and Helena (Montana). I’ve still got to write up our final stopping place, which was Fernie in British Columbia – if you sign up for our newsletter I’ll let you know when I finally get round to it.

At the top of Mount Helena Montana

We’re really lucky to have a number of regular Cycle Sprog contributors who write fabulous articles about their cycling adventures. Mum of two Emma visited the new Brownlee Centre near Leeds for a British Cycling pop-up event and also rode the York Solar System cycleway near Leeds – a fabulous family friendly cycle route.

The Solar System Cycle Ride in York

Kathryn shared her experiences of taking her family’s bikes by plane in a really useful article, and also made us jealous with her family cycling holiday along the River Danube.

Taking the boat along the River Danube with bikes and kids

Towards the end of the year we were looking at what can be done to get more children cycling to school, in this post co-written with cycling campaigner and mum of two Sylvia Gauthereau. We also came up with some common-sense ideas on what can be done to tackle “dangerous” cycling to school.

School bike shed

We know that our readers are interested in quality kids bikes, and the increasing options available. We were lucky enough to attend the press days for both the London Bike Show and the Cycle Show at the Birmingham NEC, where we brought you news of all the exciting developments in family cycling and kids bikes.

Cycle Show 2017 - Ridgeback Stand

During 2017 we’ve expanded out our series of articles looking at the best bikes for different age ranges and types of cycling, with posts including the best kids hybrid bikes with 20″ wheels and the best 14″ starter bikes for ages 3 and 4 years

The best 14" wheel kids bikes with pedals

Our last adventure of 2017 took place on New Years Eve, when we had three adventure cyclists come to stay as they attempted to cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats in just 4 days.  More details to come about that soon…..

We’d love to hear which was your favourite Cycle Sprog article of 2017, and also what you’d like to see more of in 2018. Do leave us a comment below.

Thanks for your ongoing support, and here’s to 2018 being a great year for family cycling.

Karen, Chris and the Cycle Sprogs



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