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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I would like to go on some trips like Yeti and others take; weekend-long bike trips out into the desert. I have three young kids, and that kind of thing just isn't an option for me right now. I hope that will change in the fairly near future though. So, I planned and executed a cycling trip more geared to my family's ability and tolerance level.

I had several goals for this trip. I didn't want the distance to be too long. 20 miles or so was enough for my wife and the kids. I didn't want the camping to be too primative. Showers, bathrooms, and water available were a must. Also, I wanted to have enough time that the trip wasn't all about the bikes. So, we went from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning.

We bikepacked to an RV park. Now, I know what you are thinking. You're right. The place we ended up staying was ******* heaven. The place was a healthy mix of snowbirds, trailer "trash" and migrant worker types. Everyone was very nice to us, looked out for the kids, and very accomidating. We had a swimming pool. We had clean bathrooms. We could have had electricity if we wanted. We had a sink to wash dishes in. We had showers.

Day one. We left home, rode 16 miles, stopped at a steak house and had hamburgers for lunch/dinner. Everyone said they weren't hungry, but the food was good, and the plates were clean before the waitress took them away.

We arrived at the RV park at about 3:30. We set up camp, and let the boys hit the pool. They stayed in the pool for about three hours. We had a light dinner, then went to bed.

Day two. We had breakfast, and played around until the pool opened. Then it was 7 hours of swim-time, with about 30 minutes for lunch. The boys had a blast, and it was fun to watch them. About dusk we cooked dinner, and went for a walk.

Day three, up early, pack up, and ride home. The ride home took about 1.5 hours, at a comfortable pace for my wife and my 8 year-old son.

All in all, it was a great trip. Everyone wants to do it again, and the weather was perfect.
 

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Fat'r + Slow'r than TMB
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Cool to get your kids out doing something outdoors and family related. Everyone needs to do more of that in families.
 

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Captain Obvious
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awesome.
 

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Sounds like the perfect intro to bike camping.

Love the shots of the rowdy kids.
 

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had it in the ear before
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awesome, they'll remember that forever.
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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You need an optigrab on those glasses.

Looks like much fun. I have yet to do the overnight camp on the bike with the little one. This summer I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Since we are going to be doing this again, any advice on leveling the racks? I have racks on two of the small bikes, but one tilts forward and one tilts backwards. How important is that? What I have works, but I don't like it much.

Also, since we will be doing this again, is it worth it to buy some small panniers? If so, any recommendations?
 

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That's pretty cool. I've done my fair share of camping, and I will definitely take my son someday, but I don't know about carrying all the camping gear by bike. Philosophically, it crosses a line for me. Something along the lines of: bikes are for fun, not work. But I'm sure your kids will remember this trip for a long time, and will look forward to the trips to come. Very cool.
 

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My Own Private Idaho said:
Since we are going to be doing this again, any advice on leveling the racks? I have racks on two of the small bikes, but one tilts forward and one tilts backwards. How important is that? What I have works, but I don't like it much.

Also, since we will be doing this again, is it worth it to buy some small panniers? If so, any recommendations?
It is tough to tell from the pcis what sort of setup you had on each bike for carrying stuff. What did you bring along?

I won't pretend to offer good advice on what setup to use if you do this again. I've done two 7 day bike trips, but they were supported from camp ground to camp ground so I didn't have to worry about carrying all my gear.

I will say that if I ever got into it, I think I would use a Bob trailer or a Burley Trailer instead of full on panniers.
 

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That`s great, O.P. Idaho! As long as you make it fun for the kids, you can probably convince them to get more adventurous eventually.

Looks like a BOB parked in one shot along with the racks? Are the bikes kiddie models that they`ll soon be outgrowing? If they are, maybe it isn`t worth a lot of trouble to perfect something that`s pretty much doing the job already for a "temporary" bike. And if they have 24 in wheels, that could be part of why the racks fit funny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was pulling a BOB trailer. My oldest son pulled a Nashbar trailer. My wife and the two other boys all had racks. My wife has a Giant Cypress, and the rack on her bike is nice and level. My other two sons have a Redline Conquest 24 and a Specialized Hotrock. The rack on the Redline tilts toward the back, and the rack on the Specialized tilts towards the front. The Redline should fit for another year, maybe more. The Specialized won't fit after a few more months.

If I did get some small panniers would the tilting rack prevent their use?

I have a metal shop at my disposal. I'll probably just go ahead and make some new rack mounts and fix the tilt, then I should be able to get some small bags. The bags would transfer to a larger bike anyway, and the small bikes have been spoken for when my kids outgrow them.
 

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LCI #1853
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Bully for you!

One really good reference that the Adventure Cycling folks offer is a handbook called "Pedal Pioneers" for planning and carrying out touring and bike camping trips with youngsters. I use it a lot when teaching the LAB youth cycling classes, as well as for the Cycling Merit Badge program for the Boy Scouts...

Tom
 
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