How we Bicycle Tour with a Baby – some frequently asked questions.

Where are you riding?

We are riding from Barcelona, Spain to the Baltic Sea in Germany and then down to Berlin. Check out our rough route.

How long will this take?

We don’t really know but we estimate about 5 months.

How many kms in total?

5000km give or take 1000 🙂

How many kms do you do per day? 

40-60km depending on how evenly spaced towns are.  This is about 3-4 hours or riding – it is much slower with all our luggage and toddler.

It isn't always easy to manoeuvre the trailer around through the bike paths.

It isn’t always easy to manoeuvre the trailer around the bike paths.  We had to unhitch the trailer for this one – Amaya slept on!

Where do you stay?  

We mostly camp unless it is pouring with rain and then we might treat ourselves to a cheap hotel.  So we are obviously carrying sleeping bags, tent, cooker and sleeping mats.  We also use warmshowers.org, which is a fantastic hosting website for cycle tourers. Thanks to all the amazing people who have put us up!

Cool campground on el camino de Santiago in Spain

Cool campground on el camino de Santiago in Spain

She is a natural camper!

She is a natural camper!

This WAS a peaceful campground in Dinan, Brittany until we were invaded!  There were plenty of other spots they could have parked!

This WAS a peaceful campground in Dinan, Brittany until we were invaded! There were plenty of other spots they could have parked!

Where does Amaya sleep?

She sleeps on a sleeping mat next to us.

Amaya asleep

What do you do for food?  

We prepare our own.  We have a small cooker (Trangia that runs on metholayted spirits).  Our menu will adapt to whatever food is available. One of our go-to meals is pesto pasta with tuna fish, onion capsicum and zucchini (anything tastes great after a day of cycling!)

Amaya helping with the cooking!

Amaya helping with the cooking!

Sometimes supermarkets are difficult to find or worse, closed!  We rode up and down the street a few times before finding this one.

Sometimes supermarkets are difficult to find or worse, closed! We rode up and down the street a few times before finding this one.

Lunch stop

Lunch stop

Is it dangerous?  

Yes. Our biggest concern is being hit by a car or truck.  We just hope this doesn’t happen.  Accidents can happen anywhere even when one isn’t attempting something adventurous.

Do your bums get sore?

No.  We have buns of steel  – heh! No really, they don’t. We have Brooks saddles which are made of molded leather and are super comfortable. Our padded bike pants help too I’m sure. So while our legs hurt everyday – our bums are happy.

The first 400km were agony but they are a dream now!

The first 400km were agony but they are a dream now!

What kind of bikes are you riding?

We are riding custom built Surly bikes.  They are touring bikes that Michael has spent a lot of time getting just right for our journey.  The baby trailer is a Burley d”lite and is affectionally called “el cochecito magico” (magic buggy).

Shosh's Bike

Shosh’s Bike

How heavy is Mic’s bike with the trailer?

Including Amaya (but not including Mic) we estimate the whole setup to be 80kgs.  Not particularly easy up hills!

Mic's bike and el cochecito magico

Mic’s bike and el cochecito magico

Is it challenging with a 2 year old?

Yes, but it would be regardless of whether we were riding or not.  I think this question warrants an entire post.

What does Amaya do in the trailer?  

She sings songs, reads books, sleeps, plays with her toys and looks out the window.  She loves it!  Check out the clip below for a small insight…

If there are any other burning questions feel free to ask in the comments 🙂

Celebrating the number 2 in Brittany!

So we are sorry about our silence of recent date – we have been enjoying some amazing weather in Brittany and have been too busy cycling to blog.  Unfortunately this all came to an end about a week ago when the heavens opened and we (with the exception of Amaya) were significantly drenched.

Since the mechanical elephant of Nantes we followed a stunning canal deep into Brittany.  We passed castles built into cliff faces with witches hat turrets, enjoyed coffee in ancient town squares, camped in a forest where legends of King Arthur are told, scoffed crepes, wound our way along the flat tow path of the canal, passing river barges going up the locks, and cherishing the car free environment with the birds providing the soundtrack.

Impossibly beautiful cycling

Impossibly beautiful cycling

An amazing castle in a city called Joselyn along the Nantes-Brest canal.

An amazing castle in a city called Joselyn along the Nantes-Brest canal.

Amaya continued her passion for graffiti along the canal

Amaya continued her passion for graffiti along the canal

We had both been anticipating this section of our journey and it didn’t disappoint – this is France at its best.  It has been one of those experiences where we wished we could somehow take away more than just our memories and a few photos.  If only there was some way of capturing those moments in a more substantial way and transporting them with us…

She is really burying her nose into that flower!

She is really burying her nose into that flower!

This was a cool campground in an old guys backyard - total cost of 3.80 Euros!

This was a cool campground in an old guys backyard – total cost of 3.80 Euros!

Meanwhile there have been a few causes for celebration: Amaya’s second two-year-old molar finally poked through, her age caught up to her teeth on the 15th, it has been two months on the road, we made it to Roscoff which marked the end of our 1300km cycle path that we had been following since entering France, and we passed 2000km!

Sometimes we even find it hard to believe that we have managed all of this through simple pedal power!  That we have actually transported ourselves from Barcelona to Brittany on bicycles!?!?!

Excited to have made it all the way to Roscoff on our 1300km cycle path.

Excited to have made it all the way to Roscoff on our 1300km cycle path.

Cycling through a beautiful forest on bike paths

Cycling through a beautiful forest on bike paths

We are now in St Malo where we are catching a ferry to Portsmouth and then visiting Jonny (Shoshanna’s brother) and Helen and their new baby, Henry in London.  We then make our way back onto the continent and meet up with my parents  and ride through Belgium and Holland for a few weeks and then up into Germany and the Baltic Sea and down to Berlin.  Fortunately there is a lot of cycling ahead of us.

Lighthouse St Malo

Cycling up from the small ferry into St Malo

Cycling up from the small ferry into St Malo

We played for hours on the beach with the fortified city of St Malo all around us.

We played for hours on the beach with the fortified city of St Malo all around us.