How to Bike Tour With Children

May 27, 2014

We field lots of questions here in the Tours department. Recently I responded to one that came in by email and it made me smile. A member with very young children asked if Adventure Cycling had tours that family members who don't ride bicycles could participate in. He was finding it impossible to justify a ride solely for himself, away from his family. 

I was happy to tell him that yes indeed, Adventure Cycling provides that option. Non-riders can be a part of our fully supported events, although there are some conditions to be met. These participants pay 75% of the tour fee, must provide their own transportation and make their own arrangements at campgrounds or motels. However, these folks are fully a part of the group and share in the camaraderie, off-bike activities, and general fun that these events provide. 

When his children are a little older I suggested they consider a Family Fun tour. These trips have a child-focused design, and Adventure Cycling offers both fully supported tours, like our Great Allgheny Passage tour and self-contained versions, like the Erie Canal – Niagara Falls tour, conducted on rail-trails or other car-free paths.  

But this particular member’s children are 2 and 4 years old, which poses challenges for family bicycle touring. I started pointing him to various resources found on Adventure Cycling’s website, and then to other blogs, articles and first-hand stories affirming and celebrating bicycle travel with youngsters. I was smiling widely as I wrote that daunting as it may seem, it can be deeply rewarding to cycle tour with children. I suggested that he start small, remember to have fun, to sleep enough, to get off the bike and into a playground, and to enjoy the family time together. By starting out riding to a local campground or nearby motel for a bike overnight, the family may end up traveling across the continent, producing young adults who adore being on a bike, on a tour, with their parents.

And that would be an enormous reward.

Post by Mandy Hale | Top photo by Dennis Coello | Middle and bottom photos by Tom Hale

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ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team — Lydia, Darrah, Mike, Mandy, and Arlen — tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, covering all things related to the Adventure Cycling tours department. Check out our 2014 Guided Tours today!

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