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Quickrelease.tv » Family Cycling book

 


Archive for the 'Family Cycling book' Category


Oct 01, 2009

Putting a new spin on learning to ride a bike



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Gyrowheel

I’m all for ridding the world of stabilisers (US = training wheels). They prevent children from learning how to ride their bikes. The Gyrowheel wants to change all that.

I can’t say that it will. Learner ‘running bikes’ are much more fit for the purpose, of which the Like-a-Bike is still the cream of the crop despite many and varied imitations.

The Gyrowheel is a child’s bike wheel stuffed with electronics, a battery and some seriously clever gyroscopes. It ain’t no Segway but at $100 a pop, it’s a lot cheaper.

But at one hundred bucks it’s about eighty five bucks more than most people will pay for a child’s front wheel.

Sadly, I can’t ride the 12-inch Gyrowheel. Even though I’m small, I’m not that small. However, at Interbike, I was able to feel the wheel and can report that it’s pleasingly odd to hold. It wobbles and wants to pull out of your grip.

Alongside Cannondale’s Simon, a neat piece of electronic suspension vapourware, the Gyrowheel was possibly the most innovative product at Interbike. And for innovative read ‘interesting’, ‘head-scratchingly different’ and ‘who’s gonna buy that?’.

The Gyrowheel press release makes some high claims for the product:

Gyrowheel replaces the standard front wheel of a bicycle and is installed the same way as a standard bike wheel.  When powered on, Gyrowheel’s inner disk spins up. It then senses unbalanced riding and re-centers the bike underneath the rider’s weight when the bike starts to wobble, whether riding straight or turning. This action not only helps to keep riders from falling over, it also fosters and reinforces correct riding technique, resulting in a natural and smooth transition to conventional two-wheeled riding.

Gyrowheel comes equipped with internal rechargeable batteries and a charger. It operates with one button and has three stability settings – high, medium and low. As a rider’s skills and confidence improve, the stability setting can be adjusted. When powered off, Gyrowheel behaves like a standard bike wheel.



I was prepared to whizz by the booth, laugh at the product, and move on. That I stayed awhile had everything to do with the product and nothing at all to do with the fact the booth was staffed by cute women.

“The vast majority of children who tested Gyrowheel learned to ride in less than an hour,” said Gyrobike’s marketing director Ashleigh Harris.

That’s all well and fine but that’s how long it takes to teach even a four year old child how to ride a bike using the scoot-weeee-scoot method. I use this method at a local primary school and offer a one-hour guarantee: if the tot isn’t pedalling independently by the end of an hour, they can come back for another hour.

Gyrowheel balancing solo

I’ve taught lots of kids. Just a couple have required that second hour. However, there’s a brilliant niche for the Gyrowheel, a type of student I find it hard to teach. Kids with balance problems or learning difficulties take much, much longer to get stable on two wheels. Some I’m still teaching. The Gyrowheel could be perfect for these kids.

At the moment the Gyrowheel comes only in a 12-inch version but a 16-inch version is in the works. I’d also like to see a 24-inch version and perhaps even an adult version.

A bike with a Gyrowheel fitted can just about balance by itself for a few metres, as demonstrated in the pic above. It’s a clever wee thing and could be an excellent training tool for hard-to-teach children but, in the meantime, the method I outline below in my ‘Family Cycling’ book (click the pages to flip through on Issuu.com) works fine for the majority of newbie nippers.



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Apr 24, 2009

‘Family Cycling’ book on tour



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No, not a book signing tour, just a family bike tour. We practice what I preach…

We’ve just returned from a week-long, lodge-based break in the Scottish Highlands. Normally we ride from B&B to B&B or from campsite to campsite but it was good to call a posh lodge home for a week, taking lots of micro rides in the area rather than an A to B tour of a region.

Below are my favourite pix from the trip. As you can see, the weather was bright and sunny, just like last year’s bike trip to Scotland. Thinking of booking a trip to Scotland? Call us to find out when we’re going next, that’s the guaranteed good weather week!

IMG_0471

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FamilyCyclingPaperback

The new ‘Family Cycling’ book doesn’t include any of the pix above. But maybe a second edition might. If the book sells out, that is. If you want a copy of ‘Family Cycling’, it’s cheap-as-chips over on Amazon.co.uk, but if you’d like a signed, personalised copy I’ll do you one. I’ll throw in the postage and can even seal with a SWALK (I draw the line at locks of my hair, mainly because there’s not much left).

For American readers, paying me direct, via PayPal, is very probably the quickest way to get hold of the book because it’s not yet available on Amazon.com (although it’s available for pre-order for delivery in October!). Delivery to the UK or to the US, or to anywhere, really, is in with the list price of the book. So, it’s £11.99 in real world book shops so that’s how much I’ll charge.

If you want me to sign the book to a person, and with a specific message, let me know. I have the hand-writing skills of an ape, mind.

Send me your requested text in the wee box below, or via an email to carltonreid@mac.com, and pay the £11.99 here:

Email text for signed copies

The book can be previewed in page-flippy mode on Issuu.com, including the intro and, embedded below, a chapter on teaching a child to ride a bike:



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Apr 15, 2009

Here’s how to get a signed, personalised copy of the brand new ‘Family Cycling’



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FamilyCyclingPaperback

I do weddings, christenings, bar mitzvahs…and now, book signings.

If you want a plain vanilla version of ‘Family Cycling’, it’s cheaper over on Amazon.co.uk, but if you’d like a signed, personalised copy I’ll do you one. I’ll throw in the postage, too.

For American readers, paying me direct, via PayPal, is very probably the quickest way to get hold of the book because it’s not yet available on Amazon.com (although it’s available for pre-order - in October…). Delivery to the UK or to the US, or to anywhere, really, is in with the list price of the book. It’s £11.99 in real world book shops so that’s how much I’ll charge.

If you want me to sign the book to a person, and with a specific message, let me know.

Send me your requested text in the wee box below, or via an email to carltonreid@mac.com, and pay the £11.99 here:

Email text for signed copies

Thanks! The book can be previewed in page-flippy mode on Issuu.com, including the intro and, embedded below, a chapter on teaching a child to ride a bike:



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Mar 02, 2009

Final cover for ‘Family Cycling’



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Thanks for all the great feedback. Here’s the final, final, final cover for ‘Family Cycling’ from Snow Books of London.

The design is done, the cover is done, the text has been tweaked. Soon, the book goes to press and then nice shiny copies will be available from April 6th.

FamilyCyclingFinalCover



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Feb 27, 2009

UPDATE2: Which cover do you prefer?



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My Family Cycling book for Snow Books of London goes to print very soon. Chapter One can be viewed in page flippy mode on Issuu.com, or embedded below.

The cover on the Issuu doc is an early version. Here are the two four five latest cover options (’excitment’ will be fixed). I’ve got a favourite, but which cover do you prefer, and why? All comments gratefully received, either below or on Twitter. Feel free to mix and match with the back covers, too. Covers 1 and 2 were uploaded yesterday but, following comments on Twitter.com, two new ones have been added, this time showing smiling faces.

Cover 5:
FamilyCyclingCover6

Cover 4:
FamilyCyclingCover4

Cover 3:
FamilyCyclingCover3

COVER 1:
FamilyCyclingCover2

COVER 2:
FamilyCyclingCover1



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