Cycling for fond family memories

By laurel.stowell@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

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HAPPY DAYS: Cycle enthusiasts Kim Beban, her 6-year-old son RJ Muir and his aunty Ethel Muir go for a spin. PHOTO/ SUPPLIED
HAPPY DAYS: Cycle enthusiasts Kim Beban, her 6-year-old son RJ Muir and his aunty Ethel Muir go for a spin. PHOTO/ SUPPLIED

Whanganui's Kim Beban and her son RJ have done a lot of fun family bicycle trips during the still, hot days of summer.

"We made the most of those days," she said.

Miss Beban had cycled in Wellington as a teenager, to school and work and on outings with friends. In Whanganui last year she started noticing the fun her sisters-in-law Ethel Muir and Jurita Phillips were having on bikes.

Both had trailers to carry children, and they would all go for bike trips together.

Ms Muir, a nutrition and physical activity co-ordinator at Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority, was encouraging her whanau as well as her clients into healthy and fun physical activity.

Miss Beban thought it looked good but she hadn't ridden a bicycle for a long time.

"I told her I wanted to go out and take my son to experience the environment, and spend time with family doing fun things."

Her sister-in-law taught her how to ride again, in the safety of the Hurworth Place cul de sac.

RJ didn't need to learn. He was already tearing around on his own bike on their section.

When Miss Beban was confident they all took to the streets in single file, with experienced cyclists ahead and behind to ensure safety.

"It was intimidating with the traffic. You really have to have eyes in the back of your head," she said.

Now she joins the family outings - often riding up the marina and across the river to Kowhai Park, where they stop for the children to play.

Then they get off their bikes and walk through town for a rest, before cycling back to their house in Puriri St.

And they've started using their bikes for other errands. On Monday evening they were planning to ride together to St John's Hill School for a parent-teacher interview.

Miss Beban is now trying to get her 20-year-old daughter on a bike as well, with a trailer behind for her 10-month-old baby. She said RJ was especially loving all the family activity.

"I just love spending time with RJ. I love the fact that he just wants to get out there and do things. He is very much an outdoor boy."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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