Bikepacking Europe with kids

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Familyadventure
Posts: 2
Joined: 2 Jan 2019, 6:35am

Bikepacking Europe with kids

Postby Familyadventure » 2 Jan 2019, 6:50am

In August my family and I will embark on a year long cycling adventure touring Europe. Our kids will be 5 and 7 and our plan so far is to begin in Roscoff and head south on the Velodyssy. We will be camping as much as possible. We will be travelling at the speed of our extremely determined 7 year old, towing our youngest when necessary. My questions are: Have you done a European tour like this with kids and what advice do you have? Does anyone have advice on routes in Spain and Portugal (flatter and quieter the better)?

Oldjohnw
Posts: 1143
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Bikepacking Europe with kids

Postby Oldjohnw » 2 Jan 2019, 8:05am

No practical advice from me, I'm afraid. But great respect and very best wishes.

Have a brilliant time. It will surely be memorable and life-affirming.
John

Cycling and recycling

hufty
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Joined: 28 Jan 2011, 7:24pm

Re: Bikepacking Europe with kids

Postby hufty » 2 Jan 2019, 8:33am

No real advice other than to go for it. But just to check early on in the thread, do you mean bikepacking as in carrying minimal kit in frame bags and tying stuff to the forks and so on, or did you have the "more traditional" pannier racks and panniers set up in mind? [EDIT: or maybe a trailer?]
Please do not use this post in Cycle magazine

Vorpal
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Location: Not there ;)

Re: Bikepacking Europe with kids

Postby Vorpal » 2 Jan 2019, 9:12am

A year! What a fantastic experience for the kids!

I've taken my two kids touring, but never for so long. Denmark & the Netherlands are both child-friendly and bike friendly, but maybe the south is better for the winter months :)

Have you toured with your kids before? The will need play stops and things like that. When my kids were that age, I looked for playgrounds and touristy things for them to do, and planned stops approximately every 2 hours. The 7 year old may be determined, but the younger one might get bored.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

hoppy58
Posts: 204
Joined: 9 Mar 2011, 3:07pm

Re: Bikepacking Europe with kids

Postby hoppy58 » 2 Jan 2019, 10:10am

Have a look at Cass Gilbert's various blogs etc...he and his wife have travelled extensively with their little un, mostly bike-packing on their Surly Ogres.
See this months Cycle and also...

http://www.bikepacking.com/plog/cycling ... 9IXahNjwtY

Oldjohnw
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Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Bikepacking Europe with kids

Postby Oldjohnw » 2 Jan 2019, 11:08am

My doctor travels widely with her young family, although in terms of weeks, not years. She says she could only do it with a trailer as well as panniers. Packing is easier and, of course, you can take more stuff.
John

Cycling and recycling

hoppy58
Posts: 204
Joined: 9 Mar 2011, 3:07pm

Re: Bikepacking Europe with kids

Postby hoppy58 » 2 Jan 2019, 2:45pm


pwa
Posts: 9434
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Bikepacking Europe with kids

Postby pwa » 2 Jan 2019, 3:57pm

What are you doing about school?

m-gineering
Posts: 124
Joined: 23 May 2015, 12:01pm

Re: Bikepacking Europe with kids

Postby m-gineering » 2 Jan 2019, 5:24pm

Familyadventure wrote:In August my family and I will embark on a year long cycling adventure touring Europe. Our kids will be 5 and 7 and our plan so far is to begin in Roscoff and head south on the Velodyssy. We will be camping as much as possible. We will be travelling at the speed of our extremely determined 7 year old, towing our youngest when necessary. My questions are: Have you done a European tour like this with kids and what advice do you have? Does anyone have advice on routes in Spain and Portugal (flatter and quieter the better)?


Friedl & Andrew might bear checking out: http://travellingtwo.com/
Marten

Touring advice for NL: www.m-gineering.nl/touringg.htm

simonhill
Posts: 2350
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: Bikepacking Europe with kids

Postby simonhill » 2 Jan 2019, 6:22pm

I'm sure you are aware, but depending on Brexit you may have problems staying a year. Schengen (immigration rules) only allow 3 months in every 6 months to non EU citizens.

Thehairs1970
Posts: 113
Joined: 11 Aug 2018, 9:30am

Re: Bikepacking Europe with kids

Postby Thehairs1970 » 2 Jan 2019, 10:43pm

We used the Velodyssey to go south this year. The road sections were fine but the old railway sections were very slow. They have a sandy top surface and this gets very soft if it rains. We switched to the side roads on the second day and they were quiet and much faster which led to more relaxed days. We cycled as a family - two adults, one 17 and one 14.

We have had two family tours in Holland. So easy and therefore enjoyable. For these two holidays we had a 4man tent which had small pods at each end and a central area. https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=sunnc ... ZjydqEFf2M

This allowed a bit of privacy for me and my other half but meant we could eat indoors together if we needed to. However, it was heavy - 9.5kgs. I towed a trailer with that in and some other bits. I used this one and got it second hand. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Avenir-TRA083- ... B004UA8BWA
I also had front and back panniers, as my wife did, whereas the kids just had rears. It'll be heavy for the adults as I doubt your kids will be carrying and it isn't as flat through France.

Be careful with the heat. Kids suffer much quicker than grown ups.

Sounds like an exciting plan. Enjoy!

Familyadventure
Posts: 2
Joined: 2 Jan 2019, 6:35am

Re: Bikepacking Europe with kids

Postby Familyadventure » 4 Jan 2019, 11:58pm

Thanks for all the advice! In answer to your questions:

I have done a bit of touring before but not with the kids and not for a long time.
We are hoping to avoid a trailer but we are yet to attempt packing our full kit. We are not wedded to any one system so very much open to advice.
We hope to spend at least a week in the Netherlands at Easter as a mini-practise run.
In terms of school, I am busy writing a project based curriculum that takes in many of the real world learning opportunities there will be along the way.

Keep the suggestions coming!

SeedCycle
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Joined: 4 Feb 2019, 3:35pm
Location: Sintra- Portugal

Re: Bikepacking Europe with kids

Postby SeedCycle » 4 Feb 2019, 8:58pm

Familyadventure im Portuguese if you need something, i can help you planing you trip, im in Sintra near Lisbon.
For shore the most beautiful road in Portugal is N2 start in Chaves near the spanish border and end in Faro middle Algarve, but you have no camping parks in the way, N2 is one of the most big roads in the world just 738,5 km in the interior of Portugal, if you choose the cost line from Caminha (north Spanish border) until Vila Real de Stº Antonio is like 900 km (more our less) but all the cost line have nice campings and also nice spots for wild camping.
If you need more info
info.seedcycle@gmail.com

Vorpal
Moderator
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Re: Bikepacking Europe with kids

Postby Vorpal » 5 Feb 2019, 9:16am

In the past, I have needed a trailer for capacity with family camping gear, however, that was with a child back tandem. I suspect that the same would be true if my youngest was on his own bike, but I'm not certain. We might manage if two adults had front & back panniers, and the kids each carried a couple of panniers.

My kids, especially the youngest, don't do so well with drinking whilst cycling. Neither can manage getting bottles out, drinking, and putting them back while pedalling & steering :lol: And my youngest doesn't always think to drink when we stop, so I stop regularly and remind them to drink.

Also, ice cream. :mrgreen:
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom