Bicycle Travel > Youth Bicyle Travel

tour with small children

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I'd say give it a try, but be flexible with how it all goes. 

We took our then-two-year-old on an overnight bike trip three years ago.  Not the greatest experience, but I'm glad we tried it.  She did much better at 3 and 4. 

I would suggest stopping every hour or so, not every two hours, and having very modest mileage goals. 

Also, food bribery is allowed on bike trips.  We've found that a granola bar or a bag of gorp (with M&M's of course!) or dried fruit can be an instant kill switch on fussiness!  Just keep plying them with treats, healthy and otherwise, and it'll keep things much more fun.  And marshmallows at the campsite are a must!

Rob Levin

For longer rides, I highly suggest ditching the kid seat and getting a one-kid trailer like the Burley Solo or Chariot. First, they are safer. They also give the child much more "play"room where they can have books, stuffed animals, small toys, etc. Also easier for napping. Our son loved riding in his trailer, even on longer rides.

We also found that cars seemed more respectful of us when we were pulling the trailer (with the flag attached) compared with riding on bikes with no trailer.

Wow, I'd been thinking the little guy would prefer to be up close to me, in the child seat on my bicycle.  But now I see the benefits of using a trailer.  I hadn't thought of him being able to have the entertainment of toys, books, snacks, etc. in the trailer.  We used to have a trailer, years ago, when our kids were small, and it zipped all the way closed, with a screen front.  Great idea.  I'll have to do some shopping.

I also like the idea of not having the child seat on the bicycle for long rides.  Then I can pack my bike the way I usually do.  I have a BOB trailer and the hitch works fine on my bike even with the rack/panniers I have.  A Burley should work okay too.

The food bribery and stopping more often are good ideas too.  I hadn't thought how long 2 hours would seem to a child that small. 

We did a two-day overnight tour with our son when he was two (or so) on the C&O Canal. We pulled him in a Burley Solo trailer using our tandem, on which we had front and rear panniers. He didn't complain at all, and actually seemed to enjoy it. Of course, we stopped often to let him play in the dirt with his trucks, run around, etc.

The sooner you get a child in a trailer, the more comfortable he'll be in the long term. Our son loved it! He now rides on the center seat of our triple bike.

I have a 15 month old and a 3 year old and we are going to tour the Oregon coast this summer.  We are pulling a double chariot and a Weehoo which is similar to a tag a long, but is a recumbent so my 3 year old is sitting upright and doesn't have the responsibility of sitting on a bike sit and hanging on.  There is a 3 point harness on the Weehoo also.  The 3 year old will be able to choose where he wants to ride.  The weehoo mounts on the seatpost, but has plenty of clearance over my rack(I just can't pack on top of the rack). 


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