Cycling for all in the Peak District

The Peak District National Park is a fantastic place to cycle, with routes suitable for all ages and abilities.

From flat, smooth surfaces for beginners to some of the most challenging routes you can attempt – the Peak District has it all.

The cycle routes throughout the national park allow you to explore the spectacular countryside, taking in the smells and sounds on the many traffic-free trails and quiet lanes.

There are a range of routes available including:

  • For families – the gentle Manifold trail allows you to cycle the path of the disused Leek and Manifold Light Railway.
  • For explorers – the Tideswell and Millers Dale route is 20 miles in total, so can be completed in a day, taking in the sights of the limestone dales, a former railway and a historic plague village.
  • For adventurers – Multi-day routes are perfect for an adventurous cycling holiday, such as the Pennine Cycleway, which is well suited to those who can handle a challenge. This is an epic 355-mile trek, encompassing three national parks as you wheel between Derby and Berwick-upon-Tweed. Not for the faint-hearted, but ideal for those who feel at home on a bike.

I want to ride my bicycle

Learning to ride a bike is something we all remember but nowadays, with the roads busier than ever, it can be hard to find a safe place for the kids to practice.

In the Peak District, there are a huge number of beginner-friendly flat routes perfect for those early bike rides. However, teaching children to ride isn’t a walk in the park and needs a good deal of patience! Here’s a few tips for getting started:

TIP ONE: They’ve only got little legs so don’t get kids tackling hills just yet – find a flat, smooth surface to give them the best chance of getting the wheels turning.

TIP TWO: It’s important the bike is the right size. The height of your child will determine the size of wheel the bike needs to have, from 12 to 24 inches. Your child should be able to put their toes on the floor when they are sat on the saddle and able to stand over the top tube. Stabilisers, while not an essential tool for learning to ride, will give some much-needed confidence to those who are a little nervous.

TIP THREE: The most important thing when teaching your child to ride a bike is to make them feel safe so that their confidence grows. A great way of doing this is to place your hands under their arms. This allows them to be in control of the handlebars whilst knowing you are there to keep them safe. For the adult, you’ll find this position to be less back-breaking too!

You can do it!

The most important thing is praise, praise, praise. Tell your child they are doing a great job – even if they’ve barely moved a metre. Bike riding is all about confidence.

If you don’t have a bike or aren’t too sure about investing in one just yet, there are plenty of cycle hire locations across the Peak District National Park with models available for all ages.

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