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Father and sons adventure?

Old 03-08-24, 04:38 PM
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Father and kids Italy trip?

I used to do some touring and led high school kids on bike tours all over. That was 20 years ago. Now I have hs kids of my own (13/16) and I want to take them on a trip this summer. Unfortunately I don't have a ton of time, maybe just 5-7 days of biking. My youngest dreams of Italy. Im thinking of a trip in N Italy, maybe Venice to Pisa?They have never been to Europe before. It might be just the 3 of us, but I bet 2 of their friends will come along. The older boys are excellent bikers (road bike for fun and are super fit), the youngest will be slower,but still fit. We could easily do 40+ each day. Im thinking of renting bikes there, (found cycleeurope.com), and maybe getting an ebike to help the younger keep up. We would carry little maybe 1 pannier of stuff each I would guess. They are very comfortable being dirty. Plan would be to stay at hostels along way (they would enjoy meeting people).
Im super excited but would love some advice. Any route ideas?(Flexible on locals) Any input would be great.
Thanks all,
JB
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Old 03-08-24, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by theborland
We could easily do 40+ each day.
Would that be 40+ miles/day in the US or 40+ kilometers/day in Italy?
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Old 03-09-24, 05:18 AM
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It sounds like a wonderful ride. I’d take the route from Venice down to Bologna, Florence, and then on to Pisa, and if there were any time left, down to Livorno.
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Old 03-09-24, 06:00 AM
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sounds fun, but an older dude taking 2 or possibly 4 teenagers on a european cycling vacation?

maybe consider a 5-day tour in the us (assuming you're a 'merkan) where the logistics will be so much easier to start off, and plan for a longer tour in europe next time. if there's a next time, depending.
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Old 03-09-24, 06:38 AM
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Sorry, 40+ miles
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Old 03-09-24, 06:42 AM
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maybe,I led around a dozen bike trips w/ 10-12 teenagers (with another adult), in US/Europe. 2-4 teens who I know can bike seems doable. (Granted I was 20 years younger, logistics where figured out in advance by bike co)...
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Old 03-09-24, 07:49 AM
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with only 5-7 days of riding available, do not discount the minimum jetlag effect of 6 hrs, maybe 9 if you are on the west coast .
The rough rule of thumb is it takes 1 day per hour of time difference to get back to feeling normal, and that kind of fits with my experience over 30 odd years of flying to europe a number of times for biking. Sure, you and your kids are young, but it still comes down to if you fly to europe for only a week or two, you are just getting used to the time change by the time you have to fly back.

I hope you take this into consideration, if you havent thought of that before.
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Old 03-09-24, 10:46 AM
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I second the suggestion of a domestic trip right here in the USA.
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Old 03-09-24, 01:24 PM
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Where are you and the children located? Often getting to the start of the bike riding is more challenging than the riding.
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Old 03-09-24, 04:32 PM
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My comments are oriented towards the Europe option.

If at the end you are boxing up 3 to 5 bikes for shipment home, think ahead about how you are going to take care of that, tools, boxes, etc. Or are you renting bikes? E bike batteries and commercial airlines do not play well together.

Are hostels back to a pre-covid normal yet? Back then, some hostels could fill, meaning you may need reservations in advance.

Back 20 years ago, you likely were using paper maps and a compass. How up to speed are you on GPS units? If you have GPS units, do they have European base-maps? If not, here is one good source, if you have never done this before, there is a learning curve to putting a basemap onto a GPS unit:
https://extract.bbbike.org
For biking, I prefer the Full Openfiets Latin, I use a Garmin for GPS.

Does your phone have an international option? How many of you will have phones?

I believe that getting passports is back to pre-pandemic normal waiting time, but you should check that.
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Old 03-19-24, 11:42 AM
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For the first tour with the kids, I'd be thinking something in the USA like the GAP/C&O or maybe part of the Pacific Coast, just to see how all the dynamics work. Plus, with a few extra kids along that are not your own I'd want to keep it domestic. Add in the "lost" vacation days from international flights coming and going and domestic will maximize your time. I've done several domestic and international tours with my now-19 year old son and they were great experiences for both him and us. First one was a three-day on the GAP, followed by a three-day on the C&O, and the past two years we've done week-long trips in Germany.

In Europe with that big of a group hostels might not be cost effective, as the per-person costs quickly add up to more than a pension or B&B, or even a hotel...
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Old 04-04-24, 05:02 AM
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Thanks for all the comments. I bought tickets, so we are doing this. FYI we are near Boston. We are flying in to Milan. There will be just 4 of us (myself, 2 sons, 1 friend, ages 13,16,17,46).
We are going for 12 days (meeting other family there). Plan on biking for 5-6 days.
Good points all around - jet lag is an issue for sure. (will take a couple of days before biking). Hostel probably doesnt make financial sense, but i think they would be interested in meeting randoms, so maybe we do that one or 2 nights, otherwise, 2 double beds would work. Now Im just trying to figure out route...
Thanks all- it will be an adventure...
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Old 04-04-24, 02:19 PM
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Everyone deals with jet lag differently.

However, I found being outside in sun/weather that I adjust pretty quickly often synchronizing after one good sleep.
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Old 04-04-24, 04:14 PM
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taking a few days before riding is a good plan, and those days will be super fun and exciting for the youngins anyway, seeing new stuff, diff language, culture, everything.
Have fun planning the riding route.
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