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Beginner Touring family

Old 12-29-14, 08:15 AM
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chapel
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Beginner Touring family

planning on doing some 'touring' with my family come spring. (not sure how much distance is considered touring and with my kid on a 16" BMX-style bike, I don't expect more than a few miles.)
I just bought my wife a Specialized Expedition Sport Low Entry which we outfitted with a rack and a Topeak DXP strap-mount bag


I have my bike which is slowly being built into a touring bike


I just bought an Ibera RA4 rack and BA14 bag

I might get a little handlebar bag for my kid's bike so he feels included.

My wife plans on doing her shopping with the bike and we want to do some rail trails with a lunch for the 3 of us.

Our biggest hurdle right now is a 3-bike rack. She has a Mazda5 and you can't install a 'trunk rack' onto it I guess. I have a BMW 328i, and I'd prefer to have one rack for both cars. I don't want to go throwing a hitch on both cars (it's a pain in the butt on my BMW because you have to drill through the bodywork).
For now, we'll just do some trails we can ride to from home
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Old 12-29-14, 01:38 PM
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Jim Kukula
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I like this question: what is touring? Yeah, I think a picnic ought to count! A day trip with the family, out to enjoy to countryside - perfect! Next thing you know, an overnight at a local park. From there, the world!

Maybe a roof-top rack? Or could you put the little bike inside the trunk?
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Old 12-29-14, 01:42 PM
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Or get a Saris rack (something you can take on and off the car). The little bike goes in the trunk.
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Old 12-29-14, 01:57 PM
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I'm considering Hollywood F2 Over the Top rack. it works with all hatch-based systems that don't like other trunk systems (I guess they can tear off the rear spoilers on many vans, SUVs, etc...)

That and the Thule Archway are on my list.

I think getting a 3 bike now is better than buying a 2-bike now and having to upgrade it later.

Last edited by chapel; 12-29-14 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 12-29-14, 02:15 PM
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Bike day trips with the extended family or just my oldest(almost 8) is one of the things that can be an absolute blast, with the right perspective.
Great to hear you aren't looking to go far, at least not at first. Family day trips should be about the experience more than the distance covered when starting out. Once kids are hooked, then challenging them on distance to get to a specific place is a lot easier.

Stopping for playgrounds, snacks, creek/pond time(throwing rocks, catching crawfish, etc), seeing bugs and nature are all great ways to not overwhelm the younger ones because they have the next stop to look forward to. Obviously on just a few miles, the # of stops will be fewer, but still planning specific stops helps them break up the ride and not make it seem so large.

We have gone from riding a few miles to riding 70 miles over 2 days for overnight camping trips in just a year and a half.

Letting the kid(s) lead sometimes slows the pace since they don't have a good idea of what is comfortable, but it helps them stay alert and involved in the ride since they have to listen for upcoming directions and get to be the first one to everything.

Cant help on racks, other than to suggest a 2 bike rack and toss the little bike in the trunk. I am guessing that has been thought of though.

One thing that could help the experience, assuming your son has fun, is to change out for a multi gear bike. A 16"bmx is 5-7yo, correct? A guess, but I think that is sorta accurate. Our oldest daughter was riding a 20" 7 speed bike at 6.5years. It fit size wise because of the adjustable stem and didn't take as long as I figured to master the hand brakes. Shifting is an ongoing process, she understands it but still forgets to change.
A 20" rigid fork mountain bike with $10 smooth tires could be a godsend when it comes to upping the trip length. A faster speed and longer distance= more options. Craigslist has 20" rigid MTBs around me, I would figure they are fairly common elsewhere too.


Have a blast- day trips with your son can turn into some great experiences.
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Old 12-29-14, 03:03 PM
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we also live near a lot of parks and rail trails. should be fun. I need to yank his training wheels off soon though. I let him use them too long after going from his balance bike to this.
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Old 12-29-14, 03:08 PM
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Touring is a thing you do.. Ride somewhere for the purpose of going somewhere and looking around , and stopping along the way, to see what you can See...

Looks like adding Mudguards on the New Bike will be fairly simple ..

the fork has eyelets on the bottom, it appears.. top mount to the arch in the Lower Portion's casting..

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-29-14 at 03:38 PM.
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