Right now no one in my family even owns a bicycle, although I just bought one off ebay. We live in a terrible town for bike riding because of hills and no bike trails, so the fact is that we aren't going to be avid cyclists here at home.
I want to take a family bike trip in Europe. I did this as a teen, and my experience was that as long as it's flat, it's easy. It will likely be me, my wife and our two children, aged 13 and 12, although my wife will have to leave us after about 10 days. That work thing.
I'm going to share very tentative trip plans, just so I can get an answer to my question, which is coming. My thinking is that we will fly into Munich perhaps, spend a couple of days, then train to Saarbrucken, Germany. From there, bike up the Sarr and then the Mosel to perhaps Cochem. I don't know whether we will tackle any of the Rhine. Then we will take a train to Ulm or Regensburg and then down the Danube through Vienna and Bratislava to Budapest. Then train back to Munich to go home. I figure we can do a very leisurely 15 to 30 miles a day. I had entertained the idea of camping, but we will stay in family-friendly hostels or other places, as I don't want the weight of a tent and sleeping bags.
Now for my question. I welcome any advice about the above, but I don't know what to do about a bike.
Option one (preferred by me): Buy a small folding bike such as Citizen Tokyo that I can put in suitcase. Leave suitcases at bell desk at hotel, tour, then return and repack pack and come home.
Option two: Buy a cheap bike after we get to Europe and then dump it at the end of the trip (the price to bring a bike home is more than we want to spend on a bike to being with). The question is where would we find cheap bike and how much would it cost?
Option three: Rent a bike in Europe.
Obviously all three have advantages and disadvantages. My only real problem with the folding bike is that it may be hard to get panniers big enough to hold our stuff but small enough not to drag the ground or hit our heels. I also worry that a rental bike might be a piece.
The folding bike would have the advantage of getting on trains easily, but my guess is with a little more work we can get any bike on a train.
Any thoughts any of you might have are welcome and solicited!