Author Topic: Age for Two Fathers/Sons Summer Tour  (Read 560 times)

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Offline BikingBrian

Age for Two Fathers/Sons Summer Tour
« on: December 15, 2013, 12:29:37 pm »
The dad of one of my son's classmates is also into bicycle touring! That gives the possibility of a combined father/son "big" tour.

Although I have a tandem, the likely scenario is four people riding single bikes. The boys are 8 years old now, clearly too young to ride their own bikes, but for future planning, any thoughts on "right" age? I'm thinking old enough to be safe on the road, young enough to still want to go with dad.

Timing would be summer, so I'm thinking Northern Tier, Transamerica, or Pacific Coast. The kids don't get as long of a summer break as they used to, and we live in Southern California, so that would drive it towards being a Pacific Coast tour. I've done most of the Pacific Coast so I realize there's some sections of 101 which would tend to bump up the minimum age. (Though the worst parts are in Southern California, which we could easily skip.)

It's just an idea at this stage, so any thoughts are welcome. We would have the opportunity to do shakedown tours, etc., close to home before going on a big trip.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Age for Two Fathers/Sons Summer Tour
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2013, 05:35:14 pm »
I suggest you find an off-road trail to start with. If you do, you could start with the kids next summer. Perhaps the Mickelson Trail in South Dakota or the Katy Trail in Missouri or the Erie Canalway in New York. This would get you and your boys some easy, safe touring experience without creating undo risk. It would also give you something to judge their maturity level and their ability to handle a longer trip.

When you do take the longer trip, I recommend the TransAm. The greater level of infrastructure and support along that route will help you cope with the challenges of the road. Other than safe riding skills, I think the key thing for you to judge is how well the boys can cope with the physical and mental challenges of such a trip. Especially if time is limited, it will be essential to see how well they can press on even when they might not feel like it.

Offline Coldbike

Re: Age for Two Fathers/Sons Summer Tour
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2013, 04:28:05 pm »
8 year olds are plenty old enough.  I would think about off road or gravel road just because i think it is more fun than the highway.  My 6 year old is coming this summer for a week or so of logging road touring.
If you felt nervous, a Follow Me Tandem would let you tow a 20" wheel bike when the kid gets tired.