10 tips for bike touring with your children.
Have you always dreamed of bike touring the world with your children? It is possible and it is time you make it happen. It will be fun, adventurous, memorable and will help to raise children who are open to the world.
Your bike tour with your children can be as short as less than 100 miles within a week or several months long covering hundreds and thousands of miles. It all depends on what works for you and your children.
The 10 tips below will help you have a successful bike tour with your kids at a destination of your choice. This article will suggest some dos and don’ts for bike touring with your children.
Work as a team
For your first bike tour and when bike touring with younger children, it is important to start with a trailer cycle. It allows the children to pedal when they can and to take breaks when they are not feeling very strong. Be kind and loving to the kids. Encourage them to participate in pedaling whenever possible. Be realistic with your expectations on the kids.
Invest in a good and appropriate bike
You will need a bike that is strong enough to carry your luggage and tow a trailer or a trailer cycle. It should have the appropriate horsepower while being light and easy to shift gears. Experts recommend bikes with aluminum frame and recommend against bikes with carbon frames. Aluminum is more sturdy, strong and durable to manage the long distance and heavy weight.
Take breaks frequently
Children get tired fast. They have a low concentration spun. They will therefore get bored of cycling continuously and may get cranky. To avoid tantrums and moodiness, take breaks preferably after every hour of continuous riding. Bring along some papers and crayons for your trip. The children can take the breaks to engage in other exciting activities such as drawing. You could also plan your itinerary such that you cycle for say maximum 3-5hours in a day and the rest of the time is spent on other recreational activities.
Bring a camera along
Give the camera to the child. They will be excited about the new sceneries and taking photos for most part of the tour. It is an excellent way of beating boredom among the children.
Do not use a tandem
This is true especially for younger children. A tandem will require them to cycle with the same power and speed as you. It will be tiring for them and will take away the fun from the rides as they will have to focus all their energy and focus on the cycling.
Bring your iPod, phone or a portable music system to play your child’s favorite music as you ride.
If possible, pack the bare minimum. Unlike a car, a bike has only limited space and can carry only so much weight. Remember for the most part you are the one powering the bike. However, ensure you pack the essentials such as a camping tent (if you will be camping), repair kits, food, water and clothes. For clothes bring one or two change of clothes only. You will be covering a lot of distance and you need to be as energy efficient as possible. A big luggage will compromise your efficiency.
For your first bike tour with your kids, consider starting with a short distance in a location near your neighborhood. For instance, you could identify a campsite about 20miles away from your home. Ride to the camp site, stay overnight and ride back home the following day. It will give you the excitement of an overnight ride while making it manageable. Eventually you can try out weekend long bike tours, the weeklong tours and gradually progress to longer tours outside your country.
Choose your biking route carefully
When biking with children, it is not the ideal time to go for advanced terrains. The number one factor to consider when selecting a route is safety. Go for the safe and quieter routes most of the time. Avoid congested routes with challenging terrains.
Do not be scared to go alone
Embarking on a biking tour with your kids on your own can be scary especially the first time. However, it offers more freedom than travelling with other families as you can go with the pace of your children, decide which routes to use and the kind of activities to incorporate in your tour. It will be a great opportunity for you to bond with your children.
If you have never gone on a bike tour with your children but you have been considering it, don’t be scared, you can do it. Start small with an overnight tour a few miles way from home and grow to longer tours. Remembers that kids get bored fast so plan frequent breaks, plan for other activities and bring along your kids’ favorite music.
David is an avid cyclist. He’s travelled to over 10 countries with his bike. He writes a lot on bikes and biking at his blog. When not attending to his blog, he’s biking in the neighborhood.