Category Archives: Family Travel

Family Bike Touring – 5 Families Who Cycled Way Further Than We Did

familybike

 

We had such an amazing time during our family bike touring adventure, we’re already dreaming about the next one. Travelling by bike is both a wonderful way to appreciate the beauty around us and to learn some wonderful life lessons. Whereas we’re in love with life on two wheels, however brief, not everyone shares our enthusiasm – though most people were very positive about our choice of self-propelled travel.

We encountered all kinds of reactions about our bike trip, but the common thread was amazement that we’d cycle that far with three children aged 6, 4, and 2. In our experience, family bike touring is a mode of travel unparalleled by any other, and we saw things on our bike tour that we would never have experienced if we were driving down the 401. Plus, as I keep telling people, it’s a lot easier to travel with young children by bicycle than by any other means. Instead of trying to entertain antsy kids while stuck in traffic, you get to get off the bikes and play tag, visit a playground, or simply lie down on the grass when the kids need to burn off some energy or are tired of being on the bikes.

Although some people were pretty impressed with our little adventure, as far as family bike touring goes, we put in very few kilometers (it was still lots, considering we had zero experience). There are families out there who have done incredible bike tours, and they inspire us to get back on our bikes and see more of the world. We don’t have any solid plans for another bike tour yet, but it’s definitely on the back of our minds to go on another tour next spring. We’re being inspired by several families who choose self-propelled travel. Here are five of these families.

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5 Lessons Learned from 500 Kilometers on bicycles (with 3 children 6 and under)

At the end of May 2016, my husband and I decided (somewhat spontaneously) to go on a 560-kilometer cycling trip with our three children (ages 6, 4, and 2).

My husband and I are adventurous people, but there’s no denying that adding children to the mix puts a bit of a damper on how adventurous people become. Recently, my husband and I started thinking, however, that this damper is imposed by society, rather than by any real circumstances.

After all, people all over the world live without the luxuries and routines to which we have become accustomed, and their children seem to fare just fine (as do the parents).

So, despite negativity from some, we packed up our things and set off on the road. It was a wonderful adventure, and we learned a great deal.

Here are five life lessons learned from 557 Kilometers on bicycles (with three children six and under).

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Cycle Touring with kids in beautiful Prince Edward County

Cycling beautiful Prince Edward County

One of the most rewarding things about setting out on a cycling adventure with my family was seeing the beauty of the natural Ontario world, which escapes us when we drive down the 401. We live next door to gorgeous Prince Edward County, but rarely take the time to visit it or to truly take in the beauty of Lake Ontario.

Me, my husband, and three children (ages 6, 4, and 2), left Kingston, Ontario, on May 28th, and started riding our bicycles. On May 28th, we cycled from Kingston to Bath, On, and enjoyed the little town of Bath on May 29th, before continuing to Picton, where we spent the night.

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Small town markets and pirate playgrounds – Bath, ON

 

As most of you know by now, me, my husband, and our three children (ages 6 and under) set off on a cycling adventure on May 28th, 2016. We decided to see how far we would get, with a possible lofty goal of getting to London eventually. The reason doing a trip like this never stressed me out of overwhelmed me is that I looked at it as a 30 kilometer outing. Then the next day, I looked at it as another 30 kilometer outing, and so forth.

It’s now been 17 days since we set off, and we’ve cycled about 375 kilometers. We have seen some wonderful sights, learned some great lessons, and met some amazing people. I’ll be writing a post later on about all the lessons learned, but for today, I thought it was about time I wrote a little bit about the places we have visited thus far.

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Minimalist Packing for a Cycle Tour With Kids

On May 28th, me, my husband, and my three children (ages 6, 4, and almost 2) set out on the road for a 700-kilometre cycling adventure. We had never done any cycle touring in our lives, did not plan this trip out very well (on purpose), and are having an absolute blast nevertheless.

On June 9th, we rode through Toronto and decided to stay at a hotel, since a house that can accommodate 5 cycling tourists downtown Toronto is sort of non-existent. We stayed at a fairly nice little hotel apartment with a fully equipped kitchen, so we did enjoy some freshly cooked dinner (we’re basically surviving on tortillas, canned food and protein bars (plus more junk food than I think I’ve eaten in my whole life put together at this point, but hey, it’s all good. You gotta live a little).

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4 Things we should have brought on our cycling tour with kids

4 Things We Should Have Brought on Our Cycling Tour With Kids – No. 4 is the most important!

 

As most of you know by now, me, my husband, and our three children (ages 6, 4, and almost 2), are on a crazy cycling adventure. We decided to ride our bikes from Kingston, ON, to London, ON, a 700-kilometre trek along beautiful Lake Ontario (and sometimes highway 2). We already sharedwhat we’ve brought on our trip, but we thought you might be interested in what we didn’t bring – but wish we had.

What most of you might not know is that we are total cycle touring newbies. My husband is more of a cyclist than I am – last year, he commuted to work virtually every single day (a 15-Kilometer ride each way). I used to do sprint triathlons, but since my youngest kiddo was born, I’ve been embarrassingly inactive. So my most recent long bike ride was a 30 Kilometer ride during a sprint triathlon (in which I came last in my age group), way back in 2013. I did these triathlons for fun, so I didn’t have proper gear – I just rode my little hybrid bicycle and wore my running shoes. Alas, things are different when you’re cycle touring. You need proper gear. Trust me.

We are learning lots as we go, and here I’m sharing the 4 things we should have thought of bringing before we set out on this trip. Number 4 is by far the most important.

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Cycle Touring with Kids

Cycling touring with kids – our gear

My hubby and three kids (ages 6, 4, and 2) are on an amazing adventure. We decided (somewhat spontaneously) that we were going to go on a cycling trip with the kids. Thus, we are making lots of mistakes and learning along the way. I must say though, that for total newbies, we’re not doing too badly.

We’ve had lots of people stop to admire our gear and a lot of people online ask about it, so I thought it was about time I wrote a blog post about it!

Here is what we are taking on our trip.

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