Real.Bike.People. The Parkinson Family

Our Real.Bike.People. series provides us with the opportunity to get out and meet the people who ride Ribble bikes. In our latest post, we meet The Parkinson Family. The quieter roads of lockdown provided Anna and Joel with the opportunity to venture out with the kids to spend more time together making memories all aboard their two wheels.

Family rides.

Anna and her husband Joel, plus four children, Darcey, India, Huckleberry, and little Ottilia have enjoyed riding their bikes together during lockdown and are now wanting to make more memories on two wheels.

‘Lockdown gave us the perfect opportunity to all venture out as a family’

Anna

Anna, you have such a big, beautiful family, how did you all get into cycling?

I have always enjoyed cycling, I used to live in central London and it was so convenient being able to just jump on a bike to get to work. 

I was a district nurse so I used to cycle around to visit my patients. Since moving away from the city and having young children it became a little more tricky. However, now that the children are at a more independent age and can ride a bit themselves we’ve found ourselves slowly managing to get out and about as a whole family on our bikes.

Three-year-old Ottilia enjoying the ride.

Which bike do you ride and why did you go for that particular model?

I’ve recently traded my 20-year-old faithful friend for a rather fancy Ribble Hybrid AL (leisure edition) bicycle.  

At first, I couldn’t decide whether to go for a hybrid or mountain bike. But I didn’t feel that throwing myself down mountainous terrain with a kiddie on the back was entirely appropriate. Now, I prefer the more gentle trails and roads, so the hybrid was definitely more fitting. 

‘I prefer the gentle trails and the hybrid is perfect for that.’

Do you, your husband and children all ride together?

Yes, we do, my husband Joel has a Ribble Hardtail MTB, the HT 725 and our children Darcey, 8, India, 6, Huckleberry, 5, and little Ottilia, 3, all come along for the ride too!

Family race – but think Huckleberry is made for off-road riding.

Have you gone out together during lockdown?

Lockdown gave us the perfect opportunity to venture out as a family – less cars on the road, more free time together and more families out on their bikes helps boost your confidence to think, we can do that too!

Making memories.

What is it like going out as a family together?

Really good fun! We’ve made some lovely memories together and I think a few holidays in the future will be built around cycling. 

Are any of you competitive? Or is it just nice and steady all the way?

Haha, I think I’m the most competitive out of us all.  At the moment it’s just nice and steady all the way, but I can imagine as the children get more confident and older there will be a few races here and there. 

Dad Joel is always on hand to fix the flats.

Where are the main places you ride?

Mainly around cycle paths in Lancashire.  I try and stay off busy roads with the children when my husband is at work and unable to cycle with us. We cycle to the local shops and sometimes nursery drop offs.

Huckleberry is definitely destined to be an off-road rider.

Top tips for fun family rides.

What advice do you have for other families wanting to get out on bikes together?

1. Do it! It really is so much fun and you’re getting some fresh air and exercise. I have found that cycling is so good for the soul, especially given the current situation. 

2. Always take a picnic, there’s usually a hidden picturesque spot to take a rest and enjoy the views.

3. Always be prepared for the wonderful British changeable weather! 

Picnic-ready.

4. Pack a puncture repair kit.

5. If you’re out for the day keep your eye on the clock. You don’t want to be caught out and have to race to be on time for the school run. For instance, the exact same thing happened to a friend of mine last week. After that, I saw her name appear on the trophy section of Strava for cycling a stretch of the route with a new record time haha.

‘We absolutely love the bikes and the days we get out together.”

I am absolutely loving the bike and hope this encourages more people to get out and about.

This photo was taken by 8-year-old Darcey.

Have a look at the range of hybrid bikes HERE.

Or if you fancy a look at the mountain bikes have a gander HERE.


4 Comments
  1. It all looks very nice and it’s great to see a family out cycling together and I encourage that.

    Sadly, the parents don’t seem to believe in the value of cycling helmets. It is only my opinion, of course …. but it would be good if the parents set a good example.

    I know that many will see me as a ‘killjoy’, but I’m not, I have simply seen even very experienced cyclist have accidents and hit their head on the road …. their helmet saved them!

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