How to Plan a Family Biking Vacation

Their experience, however, forever changed how they viewed the big family-friendly campgrounds they had once spurned.

"Kids were all over the place and there was this instant play group," Diamente said.

Stick With the Stuff You Know

Rivera de Rosales and Diamente are avid cyclists. It's not so much a hobby for them as a way of life. 

Diamente is executive director of El Grupo Youth Cycling, a non-profit organization in Tucson, Arizona. Rivera de Rosales is Pima County Department of Transportation bicycle and pedestrian safety educator and is head coach at El Grupo. Plus, they completed several bike tours before their son was born. In short, their camping and cycling skills were dialed in.

That's not to say rookie cyclists can't take their family on a bike-touring trip. But be sure to work out some of the kinks before taking the entire family on the road.

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Be Flexible

Diamente stresses flexibility on any activity-based vacation. If a bike tour isn't realistic, consider creating a home base and taking long bike rides from there.

"You can even take turns," Diamente said. "So, maybe it's something like, alright you ride with the kids today and I'll take my longer ride and then I'll ride with the kids tomorrow while you take your long ride."

Be Willing to Stop at Any Time

"We'd be riding along and all of a sudden he'd be like swings, swings!" said Diamente. "So, we'd say OK, we're going to stop because that's going to make you happy and if you're happy then we're all going to be happy."

The couple suggests checking out the local sites along the way.

"Stop at the cool-looking lunch spot," Diamente said. "Hit the playgrounds, whatever. It shouldn't just be about getting the miles in."

Forget the Toys

Rivera de Rosales and Diamente started out their family bike tour with a couple of toys, but soon ditched them.

"Damiano really didn't need them," Diamente said. "At his age, all he was interested in was a spoon and a tennis ball."

Team Up

Rivera de Rosales and Diamente don't plan to repeat their Route Verte anytime soon. They say at two years old, Damiano is at an awkward age, where he's too young to bike and too old to sit all day in a buggy. So, they've come up with another way to marry family time and their love for bicycle touring.

This time around, the couple plans to meet the grandparents in Italy.

"We're going to keep it pretty flexible," Diamente said. "So one day, maybe we'll leave early in the morning and bike to the next town, but meet up with Damiano and my parents for lunch. It's a great way for Damiano to spend time with his grandparents and for us to get some riding in."

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About the Author

Kirsten Korosec

Kirsten Korosec is the tennis editor for When she's not on the court, she can be found hiking, rock climbing and participating in endurance events.
Kirsten Korosec is the tennis editor for When she's not on the court, she can be found hiking, rock climbing and participating in endurance events.

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