1 0 Posts with the tag: Tips & Tricks
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Answering questions from strangers

Posted by on January 23rd, 2012 13 Comments

Rolling through numerous small towns each day for the last eight months, we encounter a lot of new people, and they are often very curious about our journey. Most of the time the questions asked are pretty much identical, and fired off in roughly the same order. The most frequent questions being:

  • Where are you going?
  • Where have you come from?
  • Do the kids like it?

The first two are easy, and if you are reading here, you already know the answers. The last one is a bit different, and I’m still trying to figure out what people really want to know or what their intentions truly are in asking. Half the time, the question is directed to Eden, who usually gets shy and turns away quietly or burrows her head into my leg without answering. Later, when I ask her privately if she’s having fun or likes the bike trip, she smiles and nods. One of our bedtime routines is a daily review, discussing all the things we did that day. At the end, I ask her what her favourite part of the day was, and usually she can’t pick just one thing.

August 26 2011 DSC 3729 548x362 Answering questions from strangers

Exploring a chicken coop in Paonia, Colorado

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DIY Xtracycle Sun/Rain Cover

Posted by on May 15th, 2011 37 Comments

As many of you know, xtracycles are awesome, child-transporting machines. They really come into their own on missions around town with the kids, making things possible with a bike that used to only work well with a car. Out on the open road, things are a little different. The longer rides through rain, heat, and cold that we’ll encounter on our journey call for a little more protection from the elements – even with the multiple seating options that we have planned for.

Big Dummy 548x364 DIY Xtracycle Sun/Rain Cover

We're pretty happy with our DIY seats, but they left the kids a little exposed.

Our answer to this problem was to construct a sun and rain cover to shelter both kids. Inspired by those who have gone before us, we set out to find a solution that worked really well, was lightweight, portable and easy to take on/off the bike.

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Comfortable toddlers while touring

Posted by on March 20th, 2011 4 Comments
Sleeping on the bike 300x199 Comfortable toddlers while touring

The bike ride nap. What greater comfort is there?

When it comes to adventures, part of the attraction for most people is actually discomfort. As humans, we enjoy challenge, and experiences can be enhanced when they are hard to come by, or when they require some sort of physical hardship. Positive memories form when we rise up and overcome that difficulty. However, this fails to hold true when the adventure becomes a family affair — especially with toddlers involved. Young children like ours generally experience adventure at the whim of their parents, so for them, a high level of physical hardship is detrimental, and frankly, just plain unfair.

This is the challenge of adventuring families: how do you capture that thrill of adventure for your family and yourself without subjecting your kids to torture? As parents, we can push through long days of cycling in extreme situations and come out the other side with good memories and a great story — but at a major disservice to our kids. For this reason, one of our biggest concerns while out touring is the comfort and enjoyment of our children.

This goes beyond simple pacification with a hope that they can endure the each day. We desire to find ways for them to not only want to be riding with us, but to thrive while on the bikes. Most of the time this simply boils down to taking it easy, making the right toys and activities accessible, getting off the bikes when they need a break, and keeping them well hydrated and fed. When these needs are met, the kids can make it through almost any situation without issue. However, the entire subject needs to be re-approached when stretching family bike travel from a short vacation into a long-term way of life.

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