- Never doubt your child
- Don’t doubt your child – even for one nanosecond
- Remember that kids are capable of a lot more than you think
- Make distances kid-friendly
- Keep kids in the loop
- Eat frequently
- Make sure bike and clothes fit properly
- Keep snacks in cut-off water bottle on handlebar
- Make list of daily chores while on tour
- Have kids help with decisions
- Study the map with kids
- Get plenty of sleep
- Take advantage of cool hours when hot
- Take advantage of warmer times when cold
- When you have a tailwind – ride fast and far
- Take lots of breaks
- Don’t ride against a headwind – it’ll only wear you out
- Keep distances manageable for all
- Let kids take as many toys as they can cram into their space
- Take lots of days off
- Take time to smell the roses
- Learn something in every single place you go
- Eat local food
- Encourage the kids to play with local children
- Carry layers, layers, and more layers
- Play games during breaks
- Have smaller, weaker children on tandem
- Take advantage of cultural events wherever you are
- Pack equipment in waterproof bags
- Stop at the city park so the kids can slide down the slide
- Try to avoid winter
- Plan lots of time off the bikes
- Ask permission to set up your tent in unusual places
- Give your child lots and lots of hugs
- Choose roads with wide shoulders
- Trust your kids – they know more than you think
- Tell them you love them
- Go in front so your child can follow your example
- Let kids lead so they feel more in control
- Give kids a designated place for keeping their toys
- Look for kid-friendly destinations
- If you find a water park, stop (even if you’ve only pedaled three miles)
- Pack wool clothes if you’ll be in cold temps
- Take breaks by drainage tunnels so they can play under the road
- Carry most of the weight on your bike
- Have flashlights for all for reading in the tent
- Sleep out under the stars regularly
- Drink lots of water
- Stop for ice cream!
49 Tips for a long distance family bike ride
About Nancy Sathre-VogelAfter 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.
What are we doing now?
Nancy is an artist and metalsmith making wearable art from recycled metal and antique components.
John is busy either hiking or planning his next long-distance hike.
Davy is studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Boise State University.
Daryl is studying Computer Science and Software Engineering at University of Texas Dallas.