April 19th marked World Bicycle Day! Just in time for the beginning of spring (or autumn, for those in the southern part of the globe), The World Bicycle Day is a great opportunity to hop on on a bike and explore the urban and nature scenes around your area. If you’re thinking about making this a family thing – then it’s the perfect day for you.
Many of us have dreamed about the times when we’ll take our kids on a family bicycle trip, but only a few of us have made this dream a reality. It may be the fear of our children not enjoying such an adventure (“I can’t ride anymore/ I’m tired/ I want to go hommmmeeeee”), or the idea of the endless preparations for such a trip – which scares us – but to be honest, it’s not the kind of adventure that is too complicated to accomplish…
This is the place to overcome this fear and plan your perfect Family Bike Trip! If you’re still not convinced, many bike shops and tourist agencies offer great, organised biking excursions for the entire family. We are here to give you some great tips as to how you can actually go on that family trip and live that dream. The keyword for this kind of trip is “gradually”. Do a bit more each day, not everything at once. You all want this to be a trip to be remembered – and not as the worst one ever.
- Location: Location, location, location. It’s true when it comes to real estate, to business – and also to family trips. Location IS everything. Choose your destination wisely and keep in mind a few things that can’t be overlooked such as: “how are we getting there?”. If the drive to the starting point is a long one, consider starting your actual bike trip the next day. Tired kids after an exhausting drive may not be the best partners for a semi-extreme adventure. Try to find a location which also offers attractions that aren’t necessarily bicycle related – especially for first timers, bicycle trips can be something that gradually grows on you.
- Routes: Two things that are better left at home when going on a family adventure: Ego and the sense of recklessness! When choosing your destination, be sure to choose a destination which offers organised routes -preferably ones that are marked and mapped – with water stops and, if possible, restaurants or eateries along the way (routes inside vast parks with an active tourist information desk are a real bonus!). Don’t try and reinvent the (bicycle) wheel, your kids (and your partner) won’t appreciate it…. There’s nothing like going around in circles to take the fun out of a trip in nature with kids. As for the Ego… ask for directions, recommendations and any other useful information you can get. People are happy to share their great experiences and, if asked, will be kind enough to warn you about the less positive ones.
- Better Together: Travelling with other families can be a great motivation boost for both parents and kids. Friendly rivalry is not overrated when it comes to travelling. Another bonus when joining forces with other families, is having the option to rest, leaving a parent behind with unwilling or tired kids, making it possible for the rest of the group to go on biking.
- Sleeping is IMPORTANT: This well known fact is vividly demonstrated on family trips, especially trips involving exhausting activities. Take care of all sleeping arrangements ahead, while considering kids’ ages and bedtime requirements (such as extra or special size beds).
- Safety!!!! A classic “last but not least” – starting at approved camping sites, going through approved and maintained riding routes and of course covering all the safe riding aspects including helmets, approved kiddie chairs and mechanical checkups for your two wheeled vehicles, safety is NEVER something that can be overlooked or be over emphasised. Biking is fun – be sure to keep that fun feeling going until you’re back home, exhausted, smiling and not able to move because of the sore muscles (in a good way!)
Happy Bicycle Day and Happy Travels!