Travelling with kids: cycling family trip
Ours is a family on bicycles, of cycle travelers, a normal family that has transformed a sporting passion into a way of travelling with kids, first as a couple, then with children. Travelling by bike accompanied our life in all its phases: from children, to couple, to parents and it accompanied us really well, giving us such intense emotions... to make us want to share with the readers of this site, in the hope of infecting others families.
Travelling with kids: involving your children from an early age in cycle trips: how, where, when and why
Our cycling history begins in 2001, when Simone, in his early twenties, is involved by a friend more experienced bicycle traveler in the complete crossing of the Pyrenees: from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, round trip for 1400 km in 9 days.
Experiences like this can have only two effects: crazy falling in love or irreversible rejection.
For Simone begins a great passion in which he involves his girlfriend Elisa. The Tour of Corsica in 2003 is our first cycle trip together, followed in 2004 by the route along the west coast of Ireland, thus overcoming the difficulty of disassembling and packing the bikes to transport them by plane. From then on, our trips can only be on two wheels, alternating national destinations (tour of the Gran Sasso, tour of Trentino Alto Adige) with other European ones (Crete, Scotland, Norway, Iceland, Finland) or extra-European ones (Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, Vietnam).
In the meantime, we become parents of two little girls. Interrupting cycle journeys is unthinkable, it is more natural for us to adapt them to the growing family. Even our friends seem to like this when, for the birth of the first daughter, they give us a baby trolley. Travelling with kids becomes the answer.
Our first family cycle trip dates back to when the first child is one year old: we decided to visit Holland, a country so bike friendly that we are convinced that the bicycle is the most natural and comfortable way to travel with children. Then we continue with Denmark and the Engadine and, taken by an ever more intense desire, while we are waiting for the second daughter, we complete the tour of Lake Constance, between Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The second child arrives: luckily the cart is a two-seater. The positive experiences made so far make us risk a coast to coast crossing in England when the youngest is six months old. The experiment succeeds and so the family cycle trips in Europe continue: Flanders in Belgium, the Luberon tour in France, Wales, an itinerary between Denmark and Sweden, the Black Forest in Germany, the Atlantic coast of Portugal from Lisbon to Porto, the Inn Valley in Austria, the Romantic Strasse in Germany, Northern Ireland and the Aland Islands in Finland.
The girls grow up and our way of travelling with kids by bike changes according to their goals: from the cart to the bike connected to that of their parents, until today in which they both pedal independently and their trolley has been transformed into a cargo for the transport of tents, sleeping bags, mats and everything we need. The kilometers that can be covered in each stage inevitably decrease a little, but not the emotions...
This makes us understand that we have found a special way to travel with kids, as a family and a team, very natural and simpler than you might think. For this reason we would like to propose in this section some ideas and suggestions for those who want to take a bike trip with their children. In particular we will tell you about:
- How to organize a bike trip with children, what to consider and how to choose an itinerary;
- Reasons why a parent should try cycling with their children and why a child will enjoy cycling with their parents;
- Distances and organization of a day trip by bike with children;
- Evolution of the means by which a child travels according to their age;
- What to bring, how to dress them, how to get organized to cook, sleep, play;
- The best cycling routes in Italy that we traveled with our daughters;
- The best cycling routes in Europe that we have traveled with our daughters.
We hope to introduce you to a way of traveling with kids that, in our opinion, is good for children, which allows them to discover the beauty of outdoor life, to acquire a sense of travel, to know their innate ability to adapt... and it's also good for mum and dad, who continue to do what they love: traveling by bicycle!
ITA - Ho 32 anni e sono piemontese, anche se da qualche anno vivo e lavoro in Lombardia. Dopo un inizio da totale inesperto in questo campo, mi sono avvicinato al mondo dei cicloviaggi e della bicicletta sempre più. Oggi posso definirmi "cicloviaggiatore", e assieme all'altra mia passione - il videomaking - non mi fermerei mai! Cyclo ergo sum, pedalo quindi sono, per cercare di capire perché andare in bici sia così bello, terapeutico, ricco... E ogni volta che provo a capirlo, non ce la faccio, e sono costretto a ripartire sui pedali!