Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-22-07, 05:19 AM   #1
jetbike
Playing with the traffic
Thread Starter
 
jetbike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydo, 'Straya
Bikes: 2009 Colnago Primavera, Campy Chorus 11 speed, 1986 Colnago Master, C-Record, 2008 Surly LHT, 1930's Malvern Star 3-speed.
Posts: 428
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Touring with a Family

Anyone tour with small children under 3? Trailers and child-seats? I'd love to see your rigs and tents, to see how you manage it.

Tell me your stories please, so I can convince my (non-cycling) wife it's possible and, what's more, fun.
jetbike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-07, 08:32 AM   #2
Marylandnewbie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Bikes: Fuji Supreme
Posts: 1,701
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Boy that is quite a challenge. I'm not sure I've seen anyone report on touring with kids that young. I think the youngest I have seen in tour reports is 5-6. We did our first tour when our son was 9. We probably could have done it a year earlier, but my wife wasn't up for long bike rides then.

If you haven't already searched the web you will find a little bit of stuff (much of it repetitive) about touring with kids. You can also check out this site:

http://www.familyonabike.org/stories...nalstories.htm -- which seems to have at least a couple of pieces on touring with little kids.

You could also take a look at: http://www.familyonbikes.com/ which recounts one family's adventuires and includes some stories from other families (including our own).

I won't repeat all the advice you'll find on those sites, but the basics will come up again and again. Good luck and have fun if you get touring.
Marylandnewbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-07, 08:55 AM   #3
CyKKlist
Senior Member
 
CyKKlist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Triangle, NC
Bikes: Trek 520
Posts: 129
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My 3 yr old son has loved riding in his child seat on my bike the past couple of years, and I've bought him a Trail A Bike so we can do some longer rides. Instead of touring with him the next year or two, I'm hoping to do local overnighters instead - leave from our driveway on the bikes, ride about 20 miles to one of several state parks nearby, and camp there using the REI Half Dome I bought for that purpose (should fit me and two kids comfortably). This should be good training both for him and for me, and as he gets older maybe we can extend our range.

My wife was willing to join us on the local overnights until she came down with a severe case of pregnancy this winter (due in July). So hopefully she and baby-to-be-named later will join us in a few years. My wife is not athletic, but she was susceptible to the contagious joy of riding she sees in me and our son. So yes, it's possible to have a reluctant spouse change her mind.

One of the above mentioned links feature two parents riding with their 8 yr old twin sons. That is a great journey they're on -- 14 months on the road by the time they finish this summer.

Good luck!
Ken
CyKKlist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-07, 10:16 AM   #4
TheBrick
Tinkerer since 1980
 
TheBrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: London
Bikes: Coppi racer, Old school BMX, some random a fixed wheel convertion
Posts: 922
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Why don't you try an tandem + trailer or child seat? Buy a cheap 2nd hand to see if you like it one do it up then do some short w/e away. Not abig tour I know but would get you all out together.

Plus with a tandem the trailer is being pulled by both of you and if your wife is nervous about keeping up or just riding in traffic this way she has no worries.
TheBrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-07, 07:39 AM   #5
BigBlueToe
Senior Member
 
BigBlueToe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central Coast, CA
Bikes: Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)
Posts: 3,389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
On a tour down the west coast I met a woman who was riding from Seattle to San Francisco with her little boy, Ben, in a trailer. He was a little older than 3, but not much - 4 or 5? It was a trailer for two kids, and he was in there with their sleeping bags, the tent, etc. (I can't remember if she had panniers too; I think she did.) She and her husband had ridden their bikes all over the country, and she was very strong! Ben had ridden in the trailer since he was a baby and was very used to it. I have this vivid image of overtaking them on a downhill, and seeing Ben's face flattened against the plastic window, watching the Oregon coast fly by. What a childhood experience!
BigBlueToe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-07, 02:25 PM   #6
stuartwickes
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: North West UK
Bikes:
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi,
We toured some 6000km with a 2 and 4 year old in New Zealand. There's a journal at http://familyonabike.org/familyonabi...Storyindex.htm

and pictures of our various set-ups at http://familyonabike.org/stories/Cyc...lyonabike.html

As the kids get older (now 1,4 and 6) I'm actually starting to miss touring with them while they were so young and cute! To say it was easy would be a lie but it was a lot of fun, very rewarding and we have a lifetimes worth of memories already.

Do get in touch if you want any more specific advice. My wife took a lot of convincing but is a real advocate now!

All the best

Stuart
www.familyonabike.org
stuartwickes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 07:54 PM   #7
annetta
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Toronto
Bikes: Linus, Surely Long Haul Trucker, Chariot bike stroller.
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just went on a short non camping trip with a four year old on a junior bobike seat. The seat works well on my city bike but it knocks my surely long haul trucker off balance even with heavy panniers on the front. (not so much when riding as when shes on it and I'm walking beside it) I had to put my smaller panniers under the bobike seat which was tricky. I also had to take the entire seat off to get it on the go bus rack which was also tricky. However....it was much easier to get around then when the chariot bike stroller is attached. I used the bike stroller last year when my child was turning four and we went for two weeks. They tend to sleep so the stroller is the only thing that works.

Last edited by annetta; 06-11-12 at 08:00 PM. Reason: grammer
annetta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 08:23 PM   #8
mikhalit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bremen, Germany
Bikes: Poison Chinin IGH
Posts: 365
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
jetbike, I just described briefly my experience in the neighbouring thread. Good place to read is the "travelling two" blog, I do find our experience is very similar to theirs, plus the guys have gathered quite a bit of useful information.

It is definitely possible, and moreover, it is easier to go touring then to stay at home, at least for us, parents of twins! I'd only avoid starting touring if there is a hard period for your kids, like difficulties with falling asleep, etc.

Some issues: on our first tour when our twin daughters were 5 month old, girls had problems falling asleep and complained a lot in the evening, then we resorted to staying in hostels and it solved the problem. Keep in mind, it was twins specific issue, both babies not wanting to share the mother with the sister... Something very hard to deal with in a small tent. Issue #2 was riding in bad weather. If girls woke up during the ride and the weather was bad and trailer cap closed to protect the inside from the rain they have complained a lot. That was our major stress during the daytime i think. Try to avoid doing first tours when the weather may be bad.

Apart from that our time is easy and nice. Now, one year later, camping is absolutely not a problem, rather the opposite. The major advantage is that your spend 100% of your time with kids, at home it is never so, there are house duties, job, distractions, etc. On tour there is nothing but your family. And a very refreshing change of atmosphere. We don't even need practically any extra paraphernalia, only the necessities. First tour rig looked like this, now it looks more like this, this year we tend to carry less then before. My wife rides normal four panniers setup. Check our Dresden-Prague tour album for the photos when they were under one year.

But listen to your wife, she may feel some things may be harder for her and kids than for you. It should be a great time for all of you. And do not overdo the cycling part, your first priority shall be a good time with the family. After all your children don't really need cycling, they need a good time with you.

It may be a good idea to start with a couple of overnight trips. Preferrable in such way that you don't have to use a train or whatever to get you to the begninning of the trail. Just do 30-40 kilometres one way first day and same much to return the next day.

PS. Issue #3. It's really hard to setup the tent when babies (or toddlers, i don't know how to call them in this age now) have discovered it's fun to mess with the tent fly.

Last edited by mikhalit; 06-12-12 at 02:55 PM.
mikhalit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-12, 01:29 PM   #9
strangebrou
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Bikes: 2010 Cannondale Supersix Hi-Mod, 1987 Centurion Ironman Expert, 1984 Trek 520, 1981 Peugeot beater
Posts: 46
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a friend who last year did a tour of New Zealand with his wife and two kids (ages 5 and 2). Here is a link to a video of their tour where you can see their setup. The five year old rides a tandem with him (but in a forward recumbent position) and the two year old rides in a trailer. His wife rides solo. He has some other videos and a website promoting touring as a family, but most of it is in Spanish or Basque.
strangebrou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-12, 02:49 PM   #10
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Bikes: Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
Posts: 17,960
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 162 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marylandnewbie View Post
Boy that is quite a challenge. I'm not sure I've seen anyone report on touring with kids that young. I think the youngest I have seen in tour reports is 5-6. We did our first tour when our son was 9. We probably could have done it a year earlier, but my wife wasn't up for long bike rides then.

If you haven't already searched the web you will find a little bit of stuff (much of it repetitive) about touring with kids. You can also check out this site:

http://www.familyonabike.org/stories...nalstories.htm -- which seems to have at least a couple of pieces on touring with little kids.

You could also take a look at: http://www.familyonbikes.com/ which recounts one family's adventuires and includes some stories from other families (including our own).

I won't repeat all the advice you'll find on those sites, but the basics will come up again and again. Good luck and have fun if you get touring.
Well, I've done a sagged tour in Colorado with a nursing 6 month old (I pulled the trailer) and another sagged tour with a 2.5 year old (and a 7 year old) in Kansas. Both kids survived it and are even semi normal. I wouldn't do it with a child seat, however.

Once our kids turned 4, we put them on the back of a tandem. A tandem is about 1000 times better than a trail-a-bike. I was even able to find tiny little clipless shoes (the cleat was almost bigger than the shoe) which helped immensely. I didn't have to worry about the kid coming off the bike. I have seen little kids on trail-a-bikes go one way while their parents went another way...Ouch!
__________________
Stuart Black
New! Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
New! Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-12, 08:28 AM   #11
EriktheFish
Silly Party Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NH
Bikes: Rans Stratus XP
Posts: 345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There's some great links and discussions on this page regarding touring with kids:
http://www.adventurecycling.org/foru....php?board=6.0

We rode cross country with our then 11/12 year old and he loved it.
EriktheFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:34 PM.