As a very "casual" family biker I haven't really had the need to figure much out beyond making the pedals go 'round. However, last year my oldes son (14) expressed an interest in biking the C&O end to end. I do a lot of hiking and backpacking with all three of my kids (son 14, daughter 11, son 8) ... and my daughter and I even do a little "packgoating" now and again on the C&O. We just haven't done a lot of biking because my 8 year old just hadn't been able to ride a 2-wheeler.
Well, the youngest finally got the hang of the two-wheeler this spring. And that got us down on the C&O a bit more and made the idea of an thru-bike really gel. So, I agreed to give it a shot ... taking a note from one of the Boy Scout prep lists we found online, I told him (my oldest) that if he could cover 35 miles in four hours we'd go. Well, not only has he been able but so has my daughter ... still too much for the 8 year old (though he has been eagerly joining us for short 10mile prep trips). So hopefully within the next few weeks we'll be setting out! Getting very excited!