Last week i had the privilege of guiding 12-15yr old kids on their first bike tour ever. What a blast.
The story starts 2 years ago when i met the Anne-Marie, the founder of Ca Roule Pour Moi out of Montreal. I was touring in the Eastern Townships with friends and she was leading a tour of her own. She told me about her not for profit geared at getting kids bike touring. I asked if i could guide a trip and the rest is history.
We spent seven days cycling through parts of the 5000 km Route Verte here in Quebec. Everyone carried their own personal gear, as well as food and other supplies.
Day 1: Camping at the infamous sugar shack, Erablière Charbonneau
Day 2: Glamping at Park Yamaska
Day 3/4: Team building at Jouvence retreat center
Day 5: Living large at the stylish Beatnic Hotel
Day 6: Poutine and swimming at the Auberge Harris
It was pretty cute to hear all the kids talk about their anxieties before the trip and each day. When we'd stop for a break, you'd often hear someone say...."but i'm just getting into it. Do we have to stop?" Together we faced thunderstorms, bobos, bike repair, racoons, fire, singing and so much more.
35 Strata Montessori kids, ages 12-15, took a bus down from Ancaster, Ontario to meet us for the trip. The kids basically took us on a bike tour. In line with the philosophies of both Ca Roule Pour Moi and Montessori, the kids did all the meal planning, buying of food, cooking and cleaning. Gourmet to say the least. The four teachers that run the school also came along for the ride.....no doubt to sample all the great food. It was a great opportunity to learn more about their teaching philosophies of empowerment through independence and the joy of discovery. That's the way it should be.
Ca Roule Pour Moi and their sister company Two Wheel View run bike trips for both adults and kids, all over the world. They pepper the experiences with team building exercises, appreciation and the great outdoors. It's almost like a summer camp for kids, but something you could do with your whole family. I hope to guide with them again in the future and highly recommend getting you and yours out to do some bike touring and spend some quality time. If you've never done it before or don't have the equipment, a guided tour like this a turnkey way to get up to speed. They supplied everything you'd need to do a trip like this.
Growing up at summer camps, we used to do a lot of Canoe tripping. Everyone loves it. Bike touring is very similar, except you don't have to pack all your food and you get way more exercise. It's a similar pace, so you can really take in the natural surroundings and spend time chatting at a relaxed pace. Although i love canoeing, I think bike touring is a lot more accessible for people. Giver!
Yes, of course kids can go bike touring. Our bodies are made to do this type of excercise and even young kids can handle it. Leave the Netlfix at home and gift them with the experience of a life time. Touring companies exsist all over the world and are an easy way to get started.
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Bike touring is different than other types of travelling in that you don't really know how far you're going to get every day. This can make planning accommodations difficult and stressful, but it doesn't need to be.
In this post, I share some of the techniques I use to find accommodation on the fly so you can enjoy the ride and not stress about where to rest your head that night.
Stay tuned for more free-cycling adventures & inventions.