Anyone who’s interested in bike touring with kids has likely heard of the Vogel family.
Nancy and John – the parents of twin sons Davy and Daryl – have taken their family on all kinds of two-wheeled adventures.
In 2011 they finished a 3-year ride from Alaska to Argentina and before that epic trip they biked 9,000 miles around the U.S. and Mexico.
It is that initial big bike adventure – through 19 U.S. states and five Mexican states – that Nancy describes in the book Twenty Miles per Cookie: 9000 Miles of Kid-Powered Adventures.
We dove into Twenty Miles per Cookie during a recent bike tour across Europe (our first family bike tour with our son Luke) and found it to be an inspiring and refreshingly honest account of bike touring as a family.
Nancy doesn’t just describe the rosy parts of the journey, like meeting ‘road angels’ along the way, but also the many challenges from bad weather to physical exhaustion.
One quote that really stood out for us was this one:
In my many years of traveling I’ve found adventure is, many times, only one step away from disaster. It springs from the unknown – from having no idea how we will meet our basic needs. It is stressful, but the kind of stress I can look upon and say, “What an unexpected turn of events!” It’s those days that make for the most memorable experiences, and are, therefore, the most rewarding days of a journey.
That – in a nutshell – is what we took away from this book: the message that adventures might not always be easy but they are worth having. Adventures are something that we personally will continue to prioritise as a family, even though sometimes they push us to our limits.
The only thing that disappointed us a bit was the book’s length. Some of the stories left us hanging. We really wanted to know more about the details of the trip but before we knew it we were turning the last page.
Overall, however, it’s a good little read and definitely worth a look if you are thinking about bike touring with kids. If you want to know more, check out the Vogel’s website Family On Bikes or watch the video below.