August 26, 2013
Adventure Cycling ran its first self-contained family bike tour in July, the inaugural Family Fun, Erie Canal-Niagara Falls tour. We were curious as to whether this new venture would be welcomed by our members. Would they welcome the new format? How would teens handle the rigors of self-contained travel? Could we minimize the additional resources needed for families to equip their children to carry their own gear?
Here's what the Family Fun, Erie Canal-Niagra Falls participants had to say:
“I think a self-supported ride for teenagers is a great idea. We hope to take our grandchildren on a self-contained Adventure Cycling family tour again.”
“Self-contained with kids was a blast. It was awesome to be out there with adventurous families."
“It was a lot of fun to try self-contained in a Family Fun format. Niagara Falls was a great destination and we really enjoyed the ride there."
“I loved that the kids got money to spend at the bike store, and that the carousel museum was added to our itinerary."
Panniers or a trailer can be a huge expense when trying to outfit your child for a self-contained tour. We decided to try the Donkey Boxx pannier as an inexpensive way for parents to outfit their child’s bike. Although not everyone chose to use the Donkey Boxx, we did provide them to all participants as a part of the tour at no additional cost. Not only did the Donkey Boxx work extremely well as an inexpensive pannier, it also served as an excellent refrigerator.
“Our Tour Leader Steve's organization skills and his low-key but strong leadership made for a great trip. Blue and Sue were excellent support staff, always available to assist, but never interfering. Thanks so much. It was perfect.”
I think we are onto something great for families with children choosing to tour together. Stay tuned for a new Family Fun self-contained tour in 2014.
Photos by Steve Powell
ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team — Paul, Madeline, and Arlen — tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, covering all things related to Adventure Cycling's tours department. Check out our 2014 Early, Epic, and Educational Tours today!