4 tips for riding with your kids in low light

Kristen Bonkoski presents 4 useful tips for riding in low light with children.

As Spring and Summer are fast approaching, the days are getting longer with a promise of sun-filled evenings.

But, right now and maybe even for the next couple weeks, the days are still shorter with dusk falling so much quicker than it will at the peak of July.

If you’re trying to squeeze in some after-school, after-work evening rides or just some active time with the family why not read these tips so you’re never caught off guard by the setting sun.

4 tips for riding in low light with your family

Mount up lights

Rather than adding bike lights to your bike every time you go for a ride, why not add some fixed lights that you can leave on for times where you find yourself racing the sun.

Kristen recommends the lightweight Knog Frog lights for children as they are light and have a great battery life span.

Add reflective tape

Reflective tape can do a lot, so why not add it to your kids’ helmets, wheels, bike frames and backpacks?

Have your kids wear ankle and knee reflectors

Although reflective vests are great, ankle and knee reflectors are actually more effective. A 2012 study found that drivers saw cyclists with reflective knee and ankle straps 94% of the time, whereas, they saw cyclists with a reflective vest 67% of the time.

Go off-road

In the evening why not give off-road riding a go with the children. Riding trails and canal paths in the dark can be a great adventure.

Take part in Big Pedal 2019

Big PedalTake part in the UK’s biggest cycling, walking and scooting school challenge.

Families are invited to take part in the Big Pedal 2019!

Big Pedal 2019, supported by Angellica Bell, British television, radio presenter and cycling advocate, is a great way to encourage young people from across the UK to travel by bike, foot or scooter to and from school.

“I hope as many schools as possible sign up for the challenge and inspire children and families across the UK to get on their feet, scooter or bike.”

– Angellica Bell

Organised by Sustrans, the competition will run from Monday the 25th of March to Friday the 5th of April.

Across the 10 days, participating primary and secondary schools will compete to make the most journeys by bike, foot or scooter.

Alongside this great competition and for the first time ever, dozens of schools across the UK will be closing the road out the school gates to motor vehicles. This will not only limit the volume of traffic but help to reduce air pollution all while creating an environment in which cycling and walking are safe and enjoyable.

“The Big Pedal may only run for two weeks but can leave a lasting effect on the way children travel to school.”

– Xavier Brice, Sustrans CEO

This year’s competition looks to build upon the success of 2019 which saw over 1,300 schools register to take part, with teachers, parents, siblings and school children making more than a million journeys to school by bike or scooter.

Interested in the Big Pedal 2019?

Find out more here.

5 myths about cycling and bad weather

5 myths about cycling and bad weather cycle city

The weather is a constant topic of debate and discussion across the UK and very much associated with cycling.

But with discusses around cycling and weather comes misinformation.

5 common myths about cycling and bad weather

It always rains when I ride my bike

Living in the UK can make this statement feel true. But, we all know the saying,

“There is no such things as bad weather, only unsuitable clothes”.

A rain jacket and a pair of waterproof trousers (if it’s really chucking it down) are really all you need to cycle all year round.

According to data, England gets around 850mm of rain annually and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland get a little more. Denmark and the Netherlands get a comparable 700-900mm respectively and they’re famous for their cycling.

If you can walk in it then you can cycle in it.

It’s fine when it’s a nice day but when it’s windy cycling is impossible

Facing a headwind on a bike can be challenging.

The windiest part of the country, northern Scotland, has wind speeds in some places averaging 14 miles per hour. Although this may sound like a lot, according to the Beaufort Scale of Wind Force, this ranks as just a ‘moderate breeze’.

Wherever you live, cycling to the shops, to work and to school should be possible.

Cycling exposes you to more air pollution than other road users

Air pollution is highly topical and should be a concern whatever form of transport you use.

However, research from King’s College London showed that people cycling might be exposed to far fewer fumes than people in cars and on buses.

If you’re cycling you aren’t contributing to air pollution and you may have the option to take quieter and traffic-free routes.

Cycling exposes you to less air pollution than other types of transport.

If I cycle in the summer then I’ll get sweaty

Of course, speeding up a hill as fast as you can go will cause almost everyone to break into a sweat but, when you’re cycling to work or the shops or to meet friends there is no need for you to be hightailing it across the city.

If being sweaty is your main concern, then leave with just a little more time and go slightly slower. Bikes are made to be efficient so you can potter along and still get where you’re going in good time.

If you cycle at a steady pace then it is no more taxing than walking.

It’s too cold to cycle

The average temperature in the UK during winter is a little less than 4 degrees and while this isn’t shorts and t-shirts weather it doesn’t mean that the bike has to be abandoned during the colder months.

Normally, a few thin layers and a jacket is all you need to be nice and toasty. During the winter there is the risk of ice so either check the weather forecast or take extra care on the quieter routes that are unlikely to have been gritted.

Even on a cold morning, you’ll feel nice and warm after five minutes of moderate cycling. The UK weather is actually really good for cycling without extremes of hot and cold.

So in 2019, don’t let the weather be your excuse for not getting on your bike and enjoying the great outdoors.

Bikepacking through Scotland

Bikepacking through Scotland


Scotland is one of the best holiday destinations if you are looking to spend your days outside discovering the lands through open trail paths, mountain passes and tiny country roads by bike.

So why not try your hand at bikepacking?

What is bikepacking?

Think backpacking, but with a bike.

Bikes can take you virtually any place in the world.

Explore the backcountries on your bike.

If this is something that interests you then check out http://bikepackingscotland.com/

Find out about all the unique, astonishing routes http://bikepackingscotland.com/routes/

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 2019 has launched

What is Prudential RideLondon? RideLondon

It is the world’s greatest festival of cycling.

Prudential RideLondon 46 is one of three sportives, designed to challenge all cyclists.

Prevent Breast Cancer has been appointed the first ever Charity of the Year for the 46 event taking place on Saturday 3rd to Sunday 4th of August.

Who is Prevent Breast Cancer?

Prevent Breast Cancer is the only UK charity dedicated to the prediction and prevention of breast cancer. This charity funds research into the different factors increasing the risk of breast cancer, a disease that affect one in nine women in the UK in their lifetime.

Event Director of Prudential RideLondon, Hugh Brasher said:

“We are delighted to be working with Prevent Breast Cancer as the first Charity of the Year for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46. We look forward to helping the charity maximise fundraising and raising awareness of the great work that Prevent Breast Cancer does.”

Among the many cyclists looking to take part in this event to raise money for Prevent Breast Cancer is the BBC journalist and former GB para-cyclist Sally Hurst.

Sally Hurst said:

“I’m a keen cyclist and a huge supporter of Prevent Breast Cancer, so taking part in this ride for the charity was a no-brainer. Training for the ride will be a great way to keep active and is a unique chance to take to London’s streets with no traffic. It gives those who have been affected by the disease an incentive to get on their bikes and help raise awareness. And, of course, raise money to pay for vital research, while enjoying themselves in the process.

Being diagnosed with breast cancer just 12 years after losing my leg to bone cancer was absolutely devastating and I had some very dark days. I’m one of the lucky ones, but no one should ever have to hear those words ‘I’m sorry, it’s cancer’ which is why prevention is so important, and why I’m taking part in this ride – to empower and encourage those affected – to do something positive.”

So call on your friends and family to sign up and ride in aid of the charity.

Anyone interested please enter the ballot here.

If you’d like to fundraise specifically for Prevent Breast Cancer, click here for more information.

Any more information, visit www.preventbreastcancer.org.uk.

Big Pedal 2019

Big Pedal 2019 is organised by the leading cycling and walking charity, Sustrans, and will run from the 25th of March to the 5th of April. children on bikes

Schools are now being invited to take up the challenge and compete with participating primary and secondary schools to make the most journeys by bike, foot or scooter.

Angellica Bell, British television radio presenter and cycling advocate, is backing this year’s competition.

Angellica Bell said:

“I’m delighted to be supporting this year’s Big Pedal. It’s a fantastic way to encourage more children to cycle, walk or scoot – doing wonders for their health and the environment around them. I hope as many schools as possible sign up for the challenge and inspire children and families across the UK to get on their feet, scooter of bike for their journey to school.”

Dozens of schools across the UK will be closing the roads outside the school gates to help reduce air pollution as well as to create an environment in which cycling and walking is safe and enjoyable.

Sustrans CEO, Xavier Brice, believes that even a 2 week event like Big Pedal 2019 will leave a lasting effect on the way people and children travel to school.

This year’s theme is ‘Travelling around the body’, children can track their progress on a wall chart, learn about the human body and how active travel benefits their health.

Both schools and classes will be entered into daily prize draws for rewards if more than 15% of a school cycle, walk or scoot each day of the challenge. Prizes include scooters.

Volunteering with Sustrans in the New Year

Sustrans has 3,500 amazing volunteers across the UK making a real difference in the local areas.

What does volunteering with Sustrans mean?

You could spruce up the National Cycle Network, encourage and empower people to walk and cycle, improve the wildlife and inspire young children in schools to get active.

Do you want to make a difference within your community?


Try out volunteering with Sustrans this year.






Join the group of passionate rangers volunteering to make the National Cycle Network safe for everyone.

Sign up here.

Play a crucial role in inspire your local community to walk or cycle this New Year and get active.

Sign up here.

Help monitor and improve the greenways for plants and wildlife as a wildlife volunteer.

Sign up here.

Find out what Sustrans events are near you here.

Become a Sustrans volunteer today and make a difference.

Explore the Aire Valley Towpath

It’s the wonderful chance to explore part of the longest canal in Britain.

The Aire Valley Towpath is a canal towpath, from Leeds to Bingley with a distance of 17 miles.

You can access it through the Leeds, Shipley and Bingley train stations as well as the National Cycle Network routes 66 and 69.

If you want to take in the gorgeous scenery of the countryside, wiz past galleries, shops, museums and drink in the rich history along the longest canal in the country then why not give Aire Valley Towpath a go?

The Aire Valley Towpath is perfect for a morning bike ride, an easy day’s pedalling and a day out with the children.

Pass through urban areas vibrant with life and the calming, gorgeous countryside as you move through Leeds, out past Kirkstall Abbey, Bramley Fall, Rodley, Calverley Woods, Apperley Bridge, Buck Wood at Thackley, Shipley, HIrst Wood, Dowley Gap and the Three and Five Rise Locks at Bingley.

Along the Aire Valley Towpath you can visit:

  • Leeds Industrial Museum
  • Kirkstall Abbey
  • Abbey House Museum
  • West Wood
  • Saltaire World Heritage Site
  • Five Rise Locks


January is the month of New Year’s resolutions and challenges for the year of 2019.

Veganuary is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions and so Sustrans have complied a list of vegan-friendly restaurants on the National Cycle Network that are a guaranteed amazing meal out.

Map of world

Bike outline

Liverpool – National Route 56

Down the Hatch

Down the Hatch is situated right along National Route 56 in Ropewalks in the creative bohemian heart of Liverpool. With an array of vegan and vegetarian options, Down the Hatch can tickle your taste buds any day of the week with mac n cheese, a spicy seitan burger, salad or fries. Just like Nando’s they have an amazing assortment of sauces, so indulge in a vegan sauce to be paired perfectly with whatever you choose from the menu.

Bike outline

Durham – National Route 14

Jumping Bean

The Jumping Bean is the first ever established vegan restaurant in Durham and unique in itself. The Jumping Bean looks to create plant-based takes on all of your favourite fast foods. This means that when you are craving a vegan hot dog or nachos, you can find these and more at the Jumping Bean.

Bike outline

Bournemouth – National Route 25

Mad Cucumber Vegan Lounge

Located in the heart of the vibrant and quirky Bournemouth sits the Mad Cucumber Vegan Lounge. It’s a promise that you will never go hungry here with their array of options to suite every craving in the book. In the mood for the breakfast burritos, wraps, chilli or curry, maybe one of the daily specials starring quiche, stew, nut roasts or maybe you just fancy a homemade cake, Mad Cucumber Vegan Lounge has everything.

Bike outline

Southwark – National Route 4


Tibits caters to all, if you’re on the go or looking to refuel, why not do this with salads, breakfasts, soups and pressed juices. Every day of the week serves fresh and delicious foods, 80% of which are vegan with the added bonus that Tuesday’s are totally vegan.

Bike outline

Norwich – The Marriots Way

Namaste India

Namaste India, the family-run authentic Indian restaurant that encompasses all the flavours and foods of India in the dishes served. Whether you fancy a dish from north or the south, Namaste India has it all with mouth-watering masala dosas, spiced curies and side dishes to take you on an adventure of food.

Bike outline

Llanidloes – National Route 81

The Great Oak Café

With Vegan and veggie dishes fresh every day, organic and fair trade coffee, teas, hot chocolate and vegan shakes this café is one that you can’t skip. They not only cater to your thirst but your taste too with soups, lasagne, curries, pizza and flan and of course, what’s a café without dessert?

Bike outline

Glasgow – National Route 75


Mono is not just a Vegan café but a bar located in Glasgow’s Merchant city. Serving fresh and home cooked favourites, coupled with starters and puddings galore, this is the place to go. You’ve got pizzas, burgers, hotdogs, stews and noodle salads to pair with delicious sides.

Bike outline

Middlesbrough – National Route 65

The Green Room

A Vegan bistro that gives you the perfect combination of home cooked vegan and gluten-free options. Spend your lunchtime or dinner there and sink your teeth into the variety of fresh and tasty mains and desserts.

Bike outline

Derry – National Route 92

Hidden City Café

If you’re looking for an independent, family-run café that stars organic and local ingredients, then the Hidden City Café in Derry is where you need to go. If you want breakfast, lunch, a healthy snack or something sweet to treat yourself then the Hidden City Café has it all.

Bike outline

Glastonbury – National Route 3

Excalibur Café

Are you in the mood for a feast? Then look no further, here you can experience Arthur’s feast, a vegan buffet with salads, seasonal vegetables, hot dishes and dressings galore. All you need to do is pay for the size of plate you want and go crazy. If a crazy, fresh and multi-coloured buffet isn’t on your menu for the day then treat yourself to a selection of pressed juices, smoothies and biscuits.

Bike outline

Inverness – National Route 1

Velocity Café

If the words locally sourced and organic ingredients makes your mouth water than why not try the Velocity café. Scan the menu and fluffy pastries calling your name from the counter, warm up your toes and fingers with soup and fresh bread or give yourself that extra burst of energy with a piece of homemade carrot cake. But before you go, why not stop off at the workshop housing experts who can look over your bike, giving it some much needed TLC.

Bike outline

Bangor – National Route 5


Voltaire may be the perfect place for you after a long and tiresome cycle. Your legs may be aching and a little unstable but Voltaire’s all-encompassing menu serves as the perfect distraction. Let your eyes float over the words, your mouth watering at the sight of Vegan burgers and fries, curries, pizzas and more. If water just isn’t doing it for you anymore then why don’t you scan over the multi-coloured, fresh mocktails.

Follow along the National Cycle Network tasting Sustrans 12 recommended Vegan restaurants in 2019.

£13 million raised Prudential RideLondon


£13 million raised for charity.

This year’s RideLondon event has beaten the 2017 record of £12.75 million and has brought the total money raised for charity in the first six years of the world’s greatest festival of cycling to more than £66 million.

Prudential RideLondon was created by the Mayor of London and agencies in 2013, growing to become the world’s greatest festival of cycling. The event is managed by the London & Surrey Cycling Partnership (LSCP), a partnership between London Marathon Events Limited and SweetSpot Group Limited.

This event sits within the Mayor’s and TfL’s cycling programme.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said:

“I’d like to pay tribute to every cyclist who helped raise this record-breaking amount of money for charity at 2018 Prudential RideLondon. Their efforts will help some fantastic charities make a real difference to people’s lives”.

The first launch of Prudential RideLondon in 2013 saw 16,000 riders raise more than £7 million, with the following years seeing a significant increase in the number of cyclists and the money raised. 2014 saw 20,709 cyclists that broke the £10 million barrier, 2015 saw 25,564 finishers raising more than £12 million and setting a new fundraising record for a cycling event in Europe. 2018, may have been the hardest year yet as riders fought through the strong winds and heavy rain but came out champions raising a record £13 million.

£300,000 was raised for Charity of the Year, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Children’s Charity by a team of more than 450 riders.

Macmillan Cancer Support raised more than £500,000, with Alzheimer’s Society, British Heart Foundation and Prostate Cancer UK among the many other charities that raised six figure sums.

This year’s event has been impressive and a milestone in cycling, but what will 2019 bring to the table?

The 2019 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 takes place on Sunday 4th of August!

Registration is now open.

Registration closes on Friday 4th of January 2019.