Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Back in the saddle with Helly Hansen

In the continuing series of 'things my 8-year-old can do better than me' (cross reference swimming, the FlowRider and boogie boarding), on our last day of freedom/school holidays I went out for a bike ride with my eldest daughter. She's had a new bike for Christmas, her first with gears, and I've been trying to get out on my Pendleton I bought a while back but am daunted by the thought of traffic and (going down) hills. For me it's my first bike since I was about 11, when I ruined the 'shopper' my parents bought me scrambling over muddy bumps near the canal with a friend called Donna Gale. But since I can't improve my cycling unless I actually get on my bike (!) I thought the New Year period was a good a time as any to 'upshift' (that's a technical term - lol!) my ambitions! 


Having a child with you means that no one wonders why you aren't racing along at full pelt - and allows you to ride along the pavement for tiny bits when the road is really narrow (it's for her benefit you know - not mine). I chose a route that was mostly off-road anyway, and that I'd run along in the past - so I knew it well! In total we cycled about 7k, which was probably enough for her - and a good circuit for me to add on to as I learn some local rides. There was one tiny incline, which my daughter jumped off and ran up and then gleefully came down the other side at full pelt screaming 'wheeeeeeeeeeee!' and explaining that it's great when you don't have to pedal. Obviously I'm not allowed to jump off going uphill (and really it was barely worth it!) and use my gears and brake to ensure I don't go careering off at a speed I can't cope with (so any speed then really) in case I go 'endo' (look it up - it's more bikey lingo!).


All geared up

Another reason I was desperate to get 'back in the saddle' (or maybe just in the saddle in the first place?) was some great new kit that Helly Hansen sent me to test out. While I couldn't take part in the popular ‘Winter Duel’ training app because of my running injury (sorry to keep banging on about that), I could test out its latest winter training gear via cycling. And just to go off at a tangent here, the Winter Duel allows you to train in competition with another user – whether it’s your Facebook friend, an Olympic athlete on the other side of the globe or a Helly Hansen ambassador. During the five-week competition, that week's winner gets social media bragging rights. The app tracks distance, time, weather data and route maps.

I have to say the weather was bitter that morning. My poor daughter rushed upstairs once we got home to put on big fluffy socks as her feet had got so cold! Needless to say mummy was doing alright in her specialist clothes designed by Norwegians (who know a thing or two about staying toasty when temperatures dip!). I was wearing the Aspire 1/2 zip Lifa Flow long-sleeve top and the Charger Windblock Tights 2 - both fitted styles that benefit from 360º reflectivity for safety (the safety of others probably, if I'm about!!). I also have a branded reversible beanie that I've been using this Xmas, which as well as being a bit of a style statement, is fab at staying in place and keeping me warm (fully tested with the post-turkey-dinner walks I enjoyed over the festive period - three of them to be precise...).

The fluro-pink top has a wind-resisting high neck and fabric with 'Lifa® Stay Dry' technology to keep you dry, and therefore warm, as you work out. The top was soft and comfy to wear as it is lined with mesh, and there's mesh on the external underarms and down the back to make sure you don't over heat - especially if you've picked up a bit more speed than I did! You can even tumble dry it! You could certainly run in this top - although I needed to add a jacket to my ensemble for a ride. 

On my lower regions I was sporting trousers that are styled like normal running tights (including the zips at the ankles and draw-cord waist) but have the added bonus of soft-to-the-touch windproof and waterproof panels to combat wintery weather. They also feature pre-shaped knees and stretch fabric on the back to give you plenty of movement and have a brushed inside for comfort, so really take the running tights that you might use in the gym or for summer runs up a notch. The finishing touch is the sweat-proof pocket at the waist to keep your devices as dry as you. With my lovely Helly Hansen kit keeping me warm and dry as I cycled, I certainly fitted the cliché of 'all the right gear but no idea'!

I have to say the trip was a success though - it was great to fit in some quality time with just my eldest child before the education system reclaimed her - doing something other than lolling about on the sofa watching Christmas films. Better still, no one fell off, no one got hurt - and mummy stayed warm and dry! 

Do you cycle with your kids? How about as a workout alone or with friends? What are your best tips for a successful ride - and what kit do you consider essential? I'd love to know your side of the story in the comment box below.

16 comments:

  1. Sounds like good kit! I have become a bit of an incompetent bike rider. Oddly enough, I rode my bike all the time right up to my early 20s, but then I moved to London and it became easier to use public transport. I would be a fab bike rider if there were no cars on the road! My kids have only learnt recently so really I should be taking them out for more practice.

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    1. Yes, it's the traffic that bothers me - especially for the kids too. The problem is there just isn't room for cycle paths on English roads! I'm trying to familiarise myself with the local ones though, so family cycling is a possibility!

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  2. that looks like some super kit, I love the Helly Hansen range, it is really good quality. Sounds like some great mother and daughter fun time together. Thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids. I want to go shopping now for some new biking kit!

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    1. It was nice to just be with the older one - the younger one is far better at garnering all my attention! Hoping to make it a regular thing, and I try to go early so it doesn't get forgotten about.

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  3. Ohhhh nice kit! Love the Helly Hansen range, perfect outdoor gear! It's great you two are able to get out together on your bikes :) Sim xx

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    1. I think it's a main mummy motivator actually, to try & stay as active as kids naturally are. I'm an 'older' mummy too, so I think it has made me realise I need to keep up with my kids rather than ever think I'm a bad example!

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  4. I love the look of those clothes, I might have to invest because I'm being an absolute wuss about getting out and running! Thanks for linking to #BloggingToJogging xx

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    1. What's that saying 'there's no such thing as bad weather - just the wrong clothes'? It's no fun being outside if you're cold and wet - so it's worth buying decent kit.

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  5. Sounds like some good kit! I'm on the look out for some new fitness bits so I will be sure to check out the range :) #weightlosswednesday #bloggingtojogging

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    1. There's some great pieces in the range - and better still it's still January sale time!! I think there's more thing son my wish list now than before Xmas, where's Santa when you need him!

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  6. I love Helly Hansen. My boy is getting his 3rd winter out of his coat although it's not going to fit him next year.

    Thank you for linking up with #WeightLossWednesday!

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    1. Always good to know which brands last - especially for children as you want to get as much wear out of something before they grow too much!! Thanks for commenting.

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  7. A good in addition to beneficial write-up. I preferred the item. Appreciate it intended for placing in this article with us.

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  8. When I actually weren't able to get involved in the usual ‘Winter Duel’ exercising practical application owing to this going pain (my apologies to prevent banging for about that), Possible test out it has the hottest the winter season exercising supplies as a result of swimming.

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  9. The highest seemed to be tender in addition to relaxing to help have on the way it is usually repleat having nylon uppers, in addition to there exists nylon uppers within the additional underarms in addition to decrease the spine to be certain you won't in excess of warm -- especially when you've got selected a tad bit more swiftness in comparison with Used to do! Ceremony slip dried the item! You could potentially absolutely function in this particular major -- while When i was required to squeeze in a jacket to help the attire for just a drive.

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  10. Those clothes looks very nice. Helly Hansen is one of products that I love. Great post. Thanks. Click here to see more bike.

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