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Inspiring Families: Bike Touring With Kids

Posted August 5th, 2011

A few days ago on Twitter, someone asked us which sites to check out for information about bicycle touring with kids. We thought for a few minutes, and then we realised just how many great families are out there pedalling around.

What we really admire about these families is that they’re not waiting for ‘someday’ to travel with their kids. They’re getting out there and making it happen, despite the often cited idea that once you have kids you have to ‘settle down’ and ‘be sensible’ – in a very traditional sort of way.

So, if you’re looking for some bike touring inspiration for you and your children, look no further than these blogs.

Pedal Powered Family1. Pedal Powered Family

This family is made up of dad Reuben, mom Heidi, 4-year old Eden and 2-year old Harper. They’ve done a number of shorter tours, and are currently on a 20,000km bicycle tour around North America, Mexico and Central America. They call their trip an ‘exercise in adventurous living’ and ‘a way of increasing and strengthening the simplicity in our lives’.

What we learned from them: You can use cloth diapers, even on a bicycle tour! We checked with the Pedal Powered Family about 3 months into their tour, and they said the cloth diapers were working out great.

Want more family cycling inspiration? Read the rest of the list.

    Posted in Inspiration

    A List of Inspiring Family Bicycle Tourists

    Posted August 5th, 2011

    A few days ago on Twitter, someone asked us which sites to check out for information about bicycle touring with kids. We thought for a few minutes, and then we realised just how many great families are out there pedalling around.

    What we really admire about these families is that they’re not waiting for ‘someday’ to travel with their kids. They’re getting out there and making it happen, despite the often cited idea that once you have kids you have to ‘settle down’ and ‘be sensible’ – in a very traditional sort of way.

    So, if you’re looking for some bike touring inspiration for you and your children, look no further than these blogs.

    Pedal Powered Family1. Pedal Powered Family

    This family is made up of dad Reuben, mom Heidi, 4-year old Eden and 2-year old Harper. They’ve done a number of shorter tours, and are currently on a 20,000km bicycle tour around North America, Mexico and Central America. They call their trip an ‘exercise in adventurous living’ and ‘a way of increasing and strengthening the simplicity in our lives’.

    What we learned from them: You can use cloth diapers, even on a bicycle tour! We checked with the Pedal Powered Family about 3 months into their tour, and they said the cloth diapers were working out great.

    Linda, Phil & Luca2. Linda, Phil & Luca

    In 2010, Linda and Phil took advantage of a 3-year career break from Phil’s work to embark on a world bike trip with their son Luca. They puttered around Europe for a while, and then flew to Southeast Asia, where Luca has been treated like royalty everywhere they’ve been.

    What we learned from them: That it’s possible to bike tour while you’re pregnant and that the BoBike Junior seat is one of the few bicycle seats for kids that will fit with panniers.

    Family On Bikes3. Family Adventure Project

    Not one or two kids, but three kids! Kirstie and Stuart have been cycling with their growing family since the first one was just 3 months old. They have heaps of stories from their family bike trips and an equipment list for what they call ‘Cycle Toddling’ and this summer they’re cycling across Europe.

    What we learned from them: That you can take even a young baby cycling (with a car seat in a trailer), but you might need to modify your routine a bit!

    pedouins4. The Pedouins

    Imagine one bicycle, with mom, dad and 3 daughters! That’s the Pedouin family, and they’ve pedalled all the way from their home in Kentucky to Alaska on their quint bike. It’s no light rig either, with 5 riders and all their gear!

    What we learned from them: That life on the road has lots of lessons for kids; learning isn’t just for school.

    Family On Bikes5. Family On Bikes

    This family, including twin teenage boys, has just finished cycling from Alaska to the southern tip of South America. They’ve got a host of resources, including making the decision to go, homeschooling and what young kids get out of bicycle touring.

    What we learned from them: That sometimes making the decision to go is scary but it’s also very rewarding.

    And a few more to check out:

    Do you know of another impressive family on tour? Leave a comment and share your favourite family bike touring blogs.

    A Bike Touring Feast: Our 3-Course Gourmet Camping Meal

    Posted July 20th, 2011

    There’s just something wonderful about a good meal at the end of a long day in the saddle, and although any food tastes good when you’re hungry, it’s fun to go all-out once in a while.

    Last weekend, we did just that. Together with some friends, we each took responsibility for a dish and between us, we turned out some truly fantastic camp food. The best part is that it’s all so flexible. This meal is vegetarian, but could easily have meat if you prefer, and most of the ingredients should be available in most countries, or easily substituted.

    First up: corn fritters with sweet chilli sauce, and served over a salad (this was our dish). Just mix a 300g can of corn (drained) with 2 eggs, 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup grated cheese. Fry with a little oil in a non-stick pan (a small non-stick frying pan and spatula are part of our standard bike-touring kitchen).

    Corn Fritters

    Serve over salad, with a bit of Thai sweet chili sauce.

    Corn Fritters

    Next, Simone & Trevor got chopping and working on the main course. They had a good selection of vegetables: onions, green beans, red and yellow peppers and carrots.

    Simone; the happy chef

    Simone tipped a bit of coconut milk and Thai green curry paste into one pot and stirred, adding the vegetables a bit at a time.

    Thai and Sweet 'n' Sour Curry

    She saved some vegetables for a second main dish: a sweet ‘n’ sour vegetable mixture. To this dish, she added a can of pineapple as well as the vegetables, and a bottle of sweet ‘n’ sour sauce.

    Thai and Sweet 'n' Sour Curry

    This was all served over rice, and was fantastic!

    Curry & Sweet 'n' Sour

    After all this goodness, we barely had any room left but we still had desert! Alicia made this course. She picked a sweet number with coconut milk, sugar, bananas and lychees. It’s really simple. You just heat the coconut milk with a bit of sugar (brown sugar is nice).

    Alicia cooking Bananas and lychees in coconut milk

    Then add in some chopped bananas and a drained can of lychees.

    Bananas and lychees in coconut milk!

    It was super sweet, and would be a great energy-booster and warming desert on a chilly autumn night. We enjoyed it in the summer too, but it would be especially nice in cooler temperatures.

    What great bike touring meals have you made? We’d love to see your recipes and ideas for going beyond the typical pasta and tomato sauce that fuels so many cyclists.

    A Pick-A-Path Bicycle Tour: Meet Indiana June

    Posted July 2nd, 2011

    Indiana JuneA bike tour can be full of decisions. Should you pick the dirt road or the city route; should you shelter from a storm in a hotel, or hide out in your tent?

    Most of us make these decisions on our own but today we heard about Indiana June, who’s going to let everyone else – that’s you! – call the shots for her bicycle tour.

    On August 6th, Indiana June will load up her bicycle with four panniers and a tent, and take off for a bicycle tour.

    She’ll be on the road for at least 3 months, maybe as long as one year, and the public will be able to vote on all the important decisions that come up along the way.

    We asked her why she choose this particular format for her bike tour:

    “I literally wrote down a list of all the things I love in life and then came up with a way to combine them all at once. I love spontaneous travel, I love meeting new people, I love telling stories through written and spoken word as well as through sketches and paintings and of course I love cycling from place to place at my own pace.”

    “I always remind myself that life is about the journey, not the destination – now it’s time to put that philosophy to the test,” she says.

    Indiana June is no stranger to quirky ways of travelling. In 2007, she did a 20-country roadtrip through Europe in a purple ice cream van.

    And in case you’re wondering about that name, no, Indiana June isn’t her real name. She’s actually Diana Tansey but a fat-fingered customs official once entered the name ‘Indiana June’ into his computer, giving Di the inspiration for her on-the-road character.

     

    8 Tips For Better Bike Touring Photos

    Posted May 23rd, 2011

    Don't just admire the view. Capture it.When you first start cycling, it can seem hard to take good bike touring photos.

    Too many of us have returned home with dull photos that show little more than empty roads and hardly reflect the exciting trip we remember. Andrew & I should know because our first year of bike touring photography was hardly inspiring. We’ve learned a lot since those early days, however – largely thanks to other cycling photographers who showed us a few tricks.

    In this post, we give you 8 tips for better photography during a bike tour. The advices comes from us and from bike tourists who are known for their great picture-taking skills: Paul Jeurissen, Dennis Koomen and Harry Kikstra.

    1. Know Your Camera. “Sometimes you have to quickly change shutter speed and aperture or maybe your ISO. If this takes you 5 minutes, probably the situation is gone. To learn how to use your camera, read the manual then go outside and take a few of the same pictures but with different settings. Try it with close-ups, landscapes, high-contrast and low-light situations etc. Go home and look at which picture you like the most and remember the settings for these specific situations,” says Dennis.

    Continue Reading 8 Tips For Better Bike Touring Photography