The great outdoors



As soon as school finished on Friday we headed out on our bikes making the most of the spring sun before the heat of the summer arrives. Although the sun was shining bright it was still rather chilly and fresh, almost perfect conditions for someone that overheats with ease.

Last year it was almost impossible to go on a bike ride with Livvy, not because of the weather, although that did play its part some days, it was due to her helmet. She would totally refuse to wear it, we had adapted her normal cycle helmet to cover all the open spaces that allow air to flow in and we also used some flexible UV blocking film to make a visor to shield her face from UV, it did the job it was intended for fully blocking all uv from her face and scalp, however Livvy did not get on with it at all, she found the flexibility in the face visor too distorting to her view.

Livvy’s day to day visor is an adapted welding mask therefore the visor is stiff and doesn’t flex. Often in the past we would allow Livvy to go without her cycle helmet and just wear her normal visor which does protect against UV but offers no protection from a fall from a bike. As she’s got older and more adventurous we felt the need to start putting our foot down and only allow her on her bike with an actual cycle helmet, we don’t live by any busy roads however to get to some amazing cycle routes in the heart of Sherwood Forest we do have to cross a main road and cycle along it in parts, the last thing we needed was something happening to Livvy all because she wouldn’t wear her helmet. The tears would start falling down her face at just the idea of wearing the adapted helmet, ‘I hate it! I can’t even see anything when I wear it!’ And with that our cycle adventures became less frequent.

We looked at everything on the market to try and come up with a solution. The only thing we could find was a motor bike helmet. We showed Livvy a picture of one and her face lit up, ‘can I have one? Where is it from?’ We ordered her one and it came in time for Christmas. Coincidently, Santa had also brought her a new bike which matched perfectly to her new motorbike helmet.


It’s changed our family bike rides, we used to try to go out together but Livvy wouldn’t even get a mile in and she would start to get frustrated with her adapted helmet. It would mist up with her breath making her view even worse, unable to wipe the mist away with her glove as she wouldn’t want to let go of the handle bar whilst not able to see clearly.

The first time we went out with Livvy and her new motor bike helmet she managed 7 whole miles with very few stops, it was an amazing difference after not being able to manage one mile before, it showed us how unpractical the old helmet was and how much it was holding her back, we had considered the notion that maybe Livvy just wasn’t cut out for cycling and was using her visor as an excuse to not go out on her bike. This definately isn’t the case and we can now look forward to many bike rides through Sherwood Forest with two happy children.

It may have taken a while to get Livvy’s cycle protection right, but I think she will agree it’s been worth the wait to enable her to fully appreciate the great outdoors.




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