(1) Bike equipment. I've got a nice road bike; my wife and the three older boys each have multi-use bikes; the 4-year-old has a trailer. Add a couple years to each of their ages . . . what sort of equipment would we realistically need? Should the 18-year-old have a road bike? Could the 14-(or 15-)year-old and the 11-(or 12-)year-old handle the cross-country trek on their own, or do we need to consider getting one or two tandems? The 14-(or 15-)year-old is on the scrawny side and is the least athletically inclined. I'd be more worried about him than I would be about the 11-(or 12-)year-old, who has spent his whole life trying to surpass his elder brothers in just about everything. What about the 6-(or 7-)year-old? What would he need? What would be the best way to do this?
(2) My wife is concerned about excessive speeds on downhill stretches. She's worried about safety - one of the kids losing control of their bike. How can I address this?
(3) Physical ability: I don't have any doubt that I could do this. I don't have any doubt that my eldest son could do this. My wife is not in the greatest shape but she's not bad. (She'd rather go to yoga than ride a bike, but she's trying to be a good sport about the fact that the rest of us really seem to enjoy being on our bikes.) What about the three younger boys? Could they pull it off? Am I completely nuts?
(4) Any general suggestions about how to get a reluctant wife to get excited about this idea?
(5) How long should we plan for? I'm thinking at least three months and probably more like four. I have my eye on the Trans-Am route. One advantage: we homeschool. That gives us some freedom and flexibility; we don't have to rush back for school. Just my job, but I think I might be able to arrange to be gone for four months.
Thank you. . . .