Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

Kids touring, next summer

cracklecrackle Posts: 216
edited October 2007 in Tour & expedition
Apologies in advance but I've double posted this from another forum (God forbid I know) in an effort to trawl the maximum amount of idea brainpower

Whilst idly watching the approaching winter my thoughts turned to the summer hols. 'This year,' I thought, 'I'm going to plan it in advance, something different we can all look forward to.'

So, having thought on it before but having always put it off due to age etc.. I think this summer coming, not only would the kids be old enough to do it but they'd enjoy it too.

So I was wondering if anyone has any ideas or done something like that themselves. My kids will be 10.5 and nearly nine by next summer, they both enjoy camping and the youngest in particular is a good cyclist.

My initial thoughts were, on the continent, warm but not hot, with interesting non-cycling diversions and 20-30 mile days. Also I hadn't discounted using a company who supplies bikes and tents and stuff, otherwise I shall have to purchase some new kit for everyone.

These people sort have the right kind of setup, even have kiddi tandems:-

http://www.bretonbikes.com/

anyone tried them?
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Posts

  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    From experience.....

    Let the kids do the planning!

    Guidance and discussion, but let them have "ownership" of the tour and they will enjoy it more.

    It is also worthwhile having a couple of weekends and days out to practice skills.
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • cracklecrackle Posts: 216
    Cunobelin wrote:
    From experience.....

    Let the kids do the planning!

    Guidance and discussion, but let them have "ownership" of the tour and they will enjoy it more.

    It is also worthwhile having a couple of weekends and days out to practice skills.

    Yes indeed: Wise counsel.

    I shall point them at the thought only. One of the things I like about the company I linked to is the tandems. Even if I only take one it means I can take it in turns to haul tired children. I can also link in to the start of Le Tour this year (Scottish holidays) and I know they're quite intrigued to see it and catch the publicity caravan goodies.

    I've also done enough cycling with them now to know their limits and what motivates them on. It's an early thought though so we'll see how things develop once I've planted the seed.
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  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    Second all of the above and would add.....

    Some kit can be worth buying - good tents don't get grown out of for example nor does cooking equipment etc. Even if the kids go off cycle touring they can still use that kind of gear as teenagers for D of E etc ...mebbe!

    I'd go for France - maybe northern Provence (Nyons?) - almost guaranteed good weather - in my expereince head winds and horizontal rain don't bode well for happy holidays and heat - up to 30 during the afternoon - can be coped with by starting a bit early - thus finishing early too for a swim in the pool!

    Food & drink is available everywhere, cycling freindly etc. Spain is more rural & spacious inland - distances too long? and prob too far to drive.

    We've cycle toured - kids carried bulky stuff - sleeping bag & mat,jacket, own knife fork spoon etc & we took the rest! We practiced a couple of longer rides without gear, and shorter rides/weekends with. Made sure we stopped at a campsite with a pool every night and had a few days at one place to really relax.
  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    Take the kids to Le Tour.

    This year, I took mine (and quite a lot of other people's) to a roundabout outside Cassis in searing temperatures. We had to walk 3km from the station to get there and wait 4 hours for the race to pass by. We had only a few cans of juice and a packet of biscuits between us. To any experienced parent, this had to be the excursion from Hell. But guess what?

    They absolutely loved it and said it was the best day of the whole holiday (which included a pool at the villa and a swim in the Med!) I have a geat photo of them all, marching back up the road with a spring in their step, draped in musettes, Tour umbrellas, direction signs and Skoda hats.

    As for a holiday, you could do worse than the Loire. Mostly flat, very scenic, and lots of excuses to stop and admire the castles. Show them a photo of Chambord and say, "wouldn't it be fun to cycle there!"


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • We did our first touring holiday with Breton Bikes 3 years ago. My children were 8 and 13 at the time. They thoroughly enjoyed it and we learnt a lot about touring and suitable equipment. we have done two more 2 week tours since in Brittany and Normandy and had a great time. Breton Bikes were friendly, experienced and had good kit.
  • Hi there,
    Nice idea and also better that the kids plan it out, that will get their teeth into it.
    As for advice on touring, last year I did Venice to London and the first section , Venice to Stelivo, which is 188 mile was totally traffic free. Venice would be a great place for all to see, there are several campsites and supermarket so it need not be expensive. From Venice to Bassamo del Grappa I am sure there is a cycle route without traffic, you need to google that bit but from Bassamo del Grappa, 40 miles from Venice, you got totally away from the road routes , tarmac with little coffee bar just for cyclist. They even have camping places for free as long as you are staying 1 night. If you want to see pictures of this route go on
    http://s95.photobucket.com/albums/l140/cycletouringjoe/
    Look for sub Albums
    Choose Album, Venice to London
    Scroll to the right and click on "view as slideshow"
    Press F11.
    When the show is over press F11 to resume toolbars.

    Hope you all have an excellent time.
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