A ride to remember

“Fat Mum Slim” blogger Chantelle Ellem opens up about how a little leap of faith turned out to be one of the best decisions she’d ever made.

Personally, I was both excited and slightly scared when Bupa invited me to join them for the Tour Down Under in Adelaide to take part in the Bupa Family Ride with my girls. But, as a lover of any challenge, of course I jumped at the adventure.

Have you ever heard of the Tour Down Under? It’s Australia’s premier bike race and Bupa is one of the sponsors. Not only is the race a big deal for the bike racing world, Bupa pumps up the community element by making it super family friendly and encouraging everyone, no matter their riding ability, to get involved with the Bupa Family Ride, the Mini Kids Tour and a heap of family friendly activities at the Tour Village. 

Last weekend the girls and I flew to Adelaide to take part in the Tour Down Under. Now, I'd never heard of this race before. My husband is HUGE into sports, so I'm sure I'd probably heard of it before, but kinda tuned out and pretended like I was listening. Yes, I'm that wife sometimes. For those like me who also didn't know, it's Australia's major bike race. It's a big deal.

Hubby couldn't join us for the ride (despite loving bike riding) so I dragged my little sister along with us. She's a certified personal trainer and high school physical education teacher, so I knew that she'd totally love it. She just adores doing anything active, also anything that involves chocolate works for her too.

We flew into Adelaide on the Saturday, grabbed a hire car and headed straight to Glenelg, which is a beautiful part of Adelaide close to the beach. Check out this view.

Glenelg, Adelaide

Later that afternoon we headed into Adelaide City to the Tour Down Under Village (think lots of stalls with lots of great family-friendly fun, and bike-related information). Bupa had set up a Team Family Zone, where it was all about getting the family together to have fun, and connect with each other. They’re committed to helping families be healthier and happier, and this Team Family Zone ticked all those boxes!

They had lots of fun games that the whole family could do together. We had to assemble a bike, and for the record, I did mine in 22 seconds! There was also temporary tattoos, sunscreen and even a free coffee for Bupa members. It was so nice to see people from all over come together to have a good time, but most of all it was wonderful to see families, including my own, have a blast in such a great environment.

Lulu loves a character, so she was thrilled when she got to meet Boo the Owl from the Bupa Optical team.

Young girl meeting character

On the Sunday morning we headed to the Bupa Family Ride. Around 200 families had signed up, and more than 500 people were ready to ride on the same track that cycling superstars would be riding on later that day - and we were joining them. It was such a fun, positive atmosphere, and beautiful to see so many families spending quality time together, connecting, on their bikes.

There were young babies on the back of their parent's bikes, kids giving it a go, and I could tell they were thrilled to be taking part in the family ride, but also aspiring for lofty goals for their later years.

Girl on bike
(She was just testing it out for size, she put a helmet on for the ride, promise!)

And then we rode. You know when you try something and you're not sure if it's going to be good, or not-good, or awesome? That's how this bike ride was. We'd never done it before, but it was awesome. I used to ride my bike everywhere as a kid, but had been on my wheels less as an adult, so I wasn’t sure how I’d go. We had a blast. It was such a nice thing to do as a family, to be together, to ride together and to have fun together.

I see more riding in our future.
Young girl with bike helmet

We've been joining in the Make Life Good Challenge. It's a collaboration between Bupa and Fat Mum Slim, encouraging people to make life better by living healthier, happier lives. You can take a look at the challenge here. The challenge for this week is to Ride a Bike. 

You don't need the Tour Down Under to get riding, grab your bike and your family and head out for a cycle together this week – even just ten minutes together can make a huge difference!

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