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Old 06-14-11, 10:27 AM   #1
RaisingMN
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Planning my first overnight camping tour with the kids

My kids (5yo boy, 3yo girl) and I have been building up some mileage this Spring and are now planning our first overnight camping tour for saturday/sunday. The route is 24 miles with one moderate climb. There are good rest points every 4-5 miles and the roads have bike lanes or wide shoulders.

The kids ride an Adams tandem pulled by my 80's Univega Sportour. Another family is joining us at the campground and will haul all our camping equipment.

The trick will be to keep the kids happy and cooperative. My daughter (stoker) tends to pinch her brother when she gets bored and things quickly go downhill from there. I've been working on my cruise director skills to keep them entertained.

We'll be carrying: water, snacks, sunscreen, bug repellant, jackets, tire pump, and flat repair kit. Am I forgetting something?

Wish us luck
Glen

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Old 06-14-11, 10:51 AM   #2
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Frisbee, favorite toy, stuff animals, chalk, whatever the kids normally use to play with around the house/playground. Try tying a favorite small toy to each of their handlebars to take their attention off each other. Another idea is "I spy" games. All this just buys some time, so lots of breaks to burn off stream.
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Old 06-14-11, 12:53 PM   #3
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Wow. What a neat, brave idea. Good luck.

My youngest grandkids take a plastic grocery sack with them when we walk. Pick up various treasures along the road. Might consider that. Something to show off when they get to camp.
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Old 06-14-11, 05:27 PM   #4
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"Wow. What a neat, brave idea. Good luck." --Cyclebum

Well put, I wish you luck as well, Glen.

Brad
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Old 06-14-11, 06:43 PM   #5
RaisingMN
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I really like the treasure bag idea. We get a lot of mileage out of "I Spy" already, but that reminds me to learn some silly camping songs to teach them en route. Our longest "urban tour" so far has been 19 miles over 6 hours - with plenty of playgrounds, parks, sheltering from a thunderstorm at Dairy Queen, and a movie along the way.

-Glen
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Old 06-14-11, 09:30 PM   #6
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You are ambitious! Having the friends meet you and carrying your gear in their vehicle is great.

Lots of breaks and food, drinks, snack stops, bathroom breaks and playground breaks will help amuse everyone.
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Old 06-18-11, 11:51 PM   #7
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"The best laid schemes of mice and men / Go oft awry" - in this case, 2 mice and a man. Weather proved our undoing. We made it to almost the exact half-way point before a thunderstorm forced us to head home. I had been watching the weather Friday night and Saturday morning - keeping an eye on a system that had been stalled over the campground but sliding off to the east. After we left the house at 9:30, the system gained energy and expanded west. We dealt with a light shower (kids in their raincoats) for a few miles, but once the lightening/thunder started, I reconsidered the situation. My 5yo son was heartbroken but somewhat consoled by the idea that we could drive to the campground if the weather improved. We rode through two downpours on the way home - already soaked to the bone so no real reason to take shelter. Fortunately, it was 80F and the kids weren't cold. They were actually singing songs in the midst of the heavy rain and seemed to enjoy the experience. The rain lingered for the rest of the day so we stayed home. Our friends toughed it out and will return with our gear tomorrow. I'll try this again - someday.

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Old 06-19-11, 06:37 AM   #8
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Those kids are probably too young to know how lucky they are. They will figure it out though.
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Old 06-19-11, 06:57 AM   #9
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I'm impressed your kids are on the trail a bike so young. My 4.5 year old took one straddle of the Giant trail a bike I bought, and he didn't like it.

You need to adjust the helmets on both kids, they're too far back on the head.
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Old 06-19-11, 11:25 AM   #10
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My 5yo is almost 6, but he's always been fearless (flying around on his Razor scooter since he was 3). His 3 1/2 year old sister simply assumes that anything he can do, she can do. It's amazing to see this in action - especially in the swimming pool, where they've both become far more advanced than their peers.

While their natural competitiveness leads to their individual progress, it also makes cooperation a challenge. I think the tandem trail-a-bike has been a great exercise in teamwork simply by requiring them to pedal together. It also puts them in a position to have a dialogue with each other instead of constantly battling for my attention.

I've struggled with their helmets. We have a assortment of them, but none stay level on their heads without an uncomfortably tight chin strap. I've been trying to make gradual adjustments to the straps and padding, but they obviously need work.
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Old 06-19-11, 11:28 AM   #11
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All I can say is: you are brave!
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Old 06-19-11, 12:03 PM   #12
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You should read "Momentum is Your Friend," by Joe Kurmaskie. It's a great story of his cross country cycling trip with his two young sons.
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Old 06-19-11, 03:25 PM   #13
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RainsinMN, I understand competetive siblings, my two daughters are still at it, and they now have families of their own! I also think mine would've enjoyed the riding in the rain moreso than if all went to plan.

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