Touring with children

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Touring with children

Postby Scotness » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:36 pm

Hi all - this is my first post to the site, so I'd just like to share a recent experience.

I've just returned from a 3 day tour with my 9 year old son. We cycled on the Darling Downs just north of Toowoomba and did 115km's. Not much for an adult but pretty darn good for a littlie - our highest total on one day was 55km's.

Here's a few points I noticed when cycling with kids:

- It will take them a while to get used to the balance of a loaded bike, epsecially at speed where it could start fish tailing -- and when dismounting!
- About 40 kmh was the safest top speed I let him travel at
- The hills are hard but if they know good gear selection and usage that helps alot -- and hills are certainly a character building exercise
- As an adult it can actually be harder because you can never get up to your top speed or momentum -- up, down hills and on flats are all significanlty lower -- my sons flat cruising speed was about 10 kmh
- It's a good idea to cycle behind them so you can keep an eye on what they're doing and the occasional tendency to wander too far on to the road
- Definitely pick quiet country roads - but I've got to say on our entire trip not one car passed too close to us - they were all fantastic.

It's alot of fun and a great bonding thing for a parent and child

Scot
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by BNA » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:05 pm

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Re: Touring with children

Postby RonK » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:05 pm

Good to see a parent introducing his children to the pleasures of cycle touring. 55km's in a day is quite impressive for a 9 yo. Well done!

All good advice - I'd add you need plenty of water and snack stops along the way to keep the kids energy levels up.
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Re: Touring with children

Postby Scotness » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:00 pm

Thanks Ron - actually we didn't take any snacks which was a mistake in retrospect - but not really a major one as he didn't ask for any ~ but it wouldn't have hurted. Anyway we're both looking forward to another trip - my gut feeling is he could sustain 70-80kms for 3 or 4 days in a row, so the next trip will be bigger.

Scot
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Re: Touring with children

Postby il padrone » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:56 pm

Persist! It all gets better after the mid-teenage doldrums. Now 13 days into an 18 day tour with two late teen children and one friend, with 11 other old fogies. It is all proceeding well and the kids are learning how to tour and seem to be enjoying the delights quite well. Tonight settled in St Helen's after a windy day's ride of 47kms along a BEAUTIFUL coastline. Early camp today for a wash up and shopping before heading to the Bay of Fires and Great Musselroe Bay.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Touring with children

Postby RonK » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:04 pm

il padrone wrote:Tonight settled in St Helen's after a windy day's ride of 47kms along a BEAUTIFUL coastline. Early camp today for a wash up and shopping before heading to the Bay of Fires and Great Musselroe Bay.

It is indeed a stunning ride along to coast to St Helens. So did you venture up Elephant Pass for a pancake?
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Re: Touring with children

Postby il padrone » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:00 am

Just packing up now to head out to Binalong Bay. We skipped the Elephant Pass pancakes and stuck to the new Tasman Hwy (I've done that a couple of times already). Along the way we discovered the White Sands Resort (with some very nice beers). It was like entering a very different world - almost like a spaceship had landed. Will post photos in a week or so.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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