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


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!


Log in to post a comment

Forgot Password?

Enter your email address and we'll send you an email that will allow you to reset it. If you no longer have access to the email address call our memberships department at (800) 755-2453 or email us at

Not Registered? Create Account Now.