Happy Isla bike Evelyn. Recently it was my daughter’s 6th birthday. As she’d pretty much outgrown her little Saracen it was time for a change. Queue the Isla bike Beinn. Seven speed, light as a feather and just the right shade of pink (see gallery below). She loves it, despite it’s local park debut involving a king size crash, loose teeth and a rather unfetching swollen lip (on her birthday no less). Still, children – and girls in particular – are made of sterner stuff. She was soon back in the saddle and determined to give her father repeated palpitations. The bike is magnificent. Arriving pre-christmas to avoid last minute grief, the bike was set-up beautifully, a light, bright, high quality bicycle, designed to cherish, encourage and inspire. A decent bike of course, is half the battle.
To see a child grow in confidence on a bike is a thing of beauty. Little legs progress from spinning a tiny gear furiously to smoothly pushing larger ones. Cornering involves less geometry and more assurance (there’s no Pythagorean rule to explain some of the angles I’ve seen). Smiles widen, even in bracingly cold weather. At a recent Cardiff JIF children’s session, 8 or so kids, wrapped up in a vein attempt to inoculate from the weather, whipped around the slalom cones, ducked under the limbo bar and flung their arms in wild star jumps to fend off the cold. I’m convinced all of this gusto was just for show. The kids were impervious to the January chill, such was the extent of their obvious enjoyment.
The excellent Isla bikes are made specifically for children. The range is available via Isla’s website, though I recommend giving them a ring for a chat. The Beinn is a beautiful example of a fast, light and responsive child’s bike. I might have bought the bike but I couldn’t buy that smile. A kid’s natural environment is outdoors.