Children love cycling – it’s fun, and it’s fast and gives them a sense of freedom and independence. Cycling is fantastic for your children – once you have torn them away from their games console, it helps them get a large piece of their recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
After the initial cost of buying a bike and the essential safety equipment, cycling costs very little. As we all know, cycling is big in Mallorca. However, there is very little information on the safe spots to take children on a bike ride and all of the amazing opportunities there are for them to get involved in cycling here on the island.
The Manacor – Arta Vías Verdes
The Manacor – Arta Vías Verde or Greenway is the perfect environment for children and families of all ages to enjoy a bike ride. The 29km length greenway follows a path of a disused railway track between Manocar and Arta and is restricted to cyclists and pedestrians. With its compacted earth and gravel surface and minimal profile, even the youngest cyclist will be happy. The greenway can be accessed from several paces: Manacor, Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, Son Carrió, Son Servera and Arta. Most of the access points are from the disused Railways stations. Son Servera access point also has a bike rental station.
The Palma to S’Arenal Cycle Route
To us Expats and locals this is a well-known route, but it should not be dismissed for those encouraging their children to ride a bike. The purpose built cycle path has the ideal surface for children to learn on and is virtually flat so easy for the kids to ride on. A little bit of caution will be needed in some points of the route such as the road intersections and from the other users. The route can be started at Club de Mar going east toward the centre of Palma. The path hugs the coastline and you will pass Parc de Mar, Palma City Beach, Portixol Marina, El Molinar, Ciutat Jardi Beach, Can Pastilla, Cala Estancia, Playa de Palma before reaching S’Arenal.
Paguera Trail Park
Now that we have covered some places for the little ones to enjoy time on a bike, what about places for the more advanced rider with a lot of energy and a suitable mountain bike. The Paguera Trail Park lies on the northern out skirts of Paguera and has been purpose built by Calvia Council and Rad-International. With easy access from the Rad International Bike Rental Station, the park consists of 9 trails, 3 of them rated as easy. For the time being the trail park is free to access and is open all year round.
If your children are progressing to riding on the road, Cami de Muro is an ideal place to start. Starting from Santa Maria, Cami de Muro runs parallel to the Ma13 Inca Highway in a north-easterly direction. This quiet road is flat and runs through vineyards and farmland and is frequented by cyclists all year round. Many more quiet lanes intersect Cami de Muro making circular routes via Binali, Sencelles and Costitx a possibility.
Joan Llaneras Escola de Ciclismo
For the very keen child cyclist who’s looking to advance their cycling skills the Joan Llaneras Cycling School would be a good place start. Joan Llaneras is a former World and Olympic Points Race champion track cyclist and has set up a school for 7 to 16 year olds run at the Palma Arena Velodrome. The philosophy of the school is not to form champions but to try to make the children better people through the values that sport give us.
Track cycling is all about speed, stamina, technique, tactics and nerve. The school will teach your child to ride a fixed wheel bike and progress them to riding all the various disciplines of track cycling and more.
Bimont Bike shops has recently started another Kids Cycling School called Bimont Jove. The school is run outdoors at Par Bit and they teach your child to ride a bike, perfect their techniques while enjoying the outdoors. If the school is run as well as the bike shop it will be a good school to go to!
Cycling Check List
Now you know where to go, pick up the following equipment to take with you:
- Correct sized helmet – it’s the law here in Spain to wear a helmet while cycling!
- Cycling gloves and a piece of high visibility clothing.
- A spare inner tube, the correct size for each bike (in case of a puncture).
- Tools needed to change the inner tube, tyre levers, spanners and small hand pump.
- A water bottle or bidon attached to the bike.
Enjoy and Ride safe!
Written by Jon Sowerby (Bicimetrics)