How to Plan a Family Biking Vacation

Damiano Rivera de Rosales logged more than 2,500 miles on a bike before he was two years old. His trick? Two bicycle-loving parents who are determined to have adventurous vacations with their son.

Several years before Damiano was born, Ignacio Rivera de Rosales and Daniela Diamente discovered the Route Verte, a 2,500-mile network of off-road trails and paths in the Canadian province of Quebec.

"Right away, we were like if we ever have a kid this is going to be the first bike tour we go on," Ignacio Rivera de Rosales said. "I remembering thinking, 'this is exactly the type of thing I'd want to take my kid on.'"

It wasn't until a year later, after meeting a family of four that was bicycle touring from Oregon to San Diego, that they realized their idea was really possible.

"It was really encouraging for us to see this regular family doing this," Diamente said.

More: Riding With Kids 

Damiano was born soon after and by 2010 they were ready to tackle the Route Verte. Rivera de Rosales and Diamente are honest about the adventure. They were woefully unprepared for how different bike touring was with small children. For one, pulling a buggy with a child on back, plus all the necessary gear, is hard work.

But they quickly worked out the kinks and ended up having a fabulous and active vacation.

Rethink How You Vacation

Prior to their bike tour with Damiano, the couple would purposefully seek out the most secluded campsites possible. That all changed on the Route Verte bike tour.

One of their first nights, the couple chose to camp in a spot recommended by a man they met in a nearby town.  

"It was gorgeous," Diamente said.  "But then the sun started to go down and I've never seen so many mosquitoes in my life."

They also wondered how they were going to address basic needs, such as giving Damiano a bath.
Rivera de Rosales and Diamente realized their old camping ways weren't going to work.

"We needed to be organized and we need to have a place with bathrooms and something for him to do," Diamente said. "So the next day we found a place that at first Ignacio was resistant to because it was a big campground with a pool, lots of people and it was like $25 a night."

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