DrP's 'three generation' cycle tour… We survived! (well, it was only 1 night!)

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  • DrP's 'three generation' cycle tour… We survived! (well, it was only 1 night!)
  • PeterPoddy
    Member

    Sounds brilliant mate, and you dropped lucky with the weather too I think!
    Just do it again and again. You’ll both love it. πŸ™‚

    -An alfine is a cracking hub gear, but don’t underestimate the LOooooow gearing you’ll need dragging tonnes of camping stuff up hills

    As a “touring with a trailer veteran” I can assure you the only way to go is full MTB gearing. I have a 22/32 low gear on a 26er Inbred for touring and I need it. There’s no rush, no need to kill yourself. Don’t underestimate the power of very low gears. πŸ™‚

    DrP
    Member

    The alfine range is brilliant; it just needs to come down an octave or two!

    I was thinking of you and your single wheeled trailer when we were battling down the narrow paths! It would have been perfect!

    DrP

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Great story DrP – glad you all had such a good time πŸ™‚

    juan
    Member

    I like your bars Ian, what are they?
    Do you thing they’ll work well with a cross bike with MTB disk brake that can be used for road racing?

    DrP
    Member

    Having firstly convinced myself it was a good idea to go camping with a toddler (my own, no less…), I then managed to rope my ol’ man along for some multigenerational tent fun!
    This was the first time I’d taken the tiddler camping, so wanted somewhere nearby in case it all goes wrong, but (on advice of friends) avoiding the ‘back-garden idea’ so it’s NOT so easy to pack it all in and watch cbeebies!

    I’m pretty happy to lug the trailer around packed to the gills, but was grateful for the 8 speed Alfine when the whole shebang was fully loaded, plus panniers and tent on the rack!

    The Campsite was only a few miles up the road, so I thought we’d head down a “Byway for all traffic” rather than take the busier road. Big mistake – it would appear the only traffic this was open to was a Moto Trials bike!! Oh well, we just about managed to drag the trailers through the nettels and over felled trees. Annoyingly I got a puncture in my trailer, but thankfully it was in the presta tube, as I only had a presta pump!

    Dad’s bike and trailer on the only easily rideable part of the BOAT :

    Once the puncture was fixed, we continued on to the camp site…

    Camp was set up in the beating sun – whilst this happened, Miles seemed to entertain himself by being the feral child of the site – wandering into other tent areas and chatting to the happy campers! Within a few minutes he’d already played with a few different groups of kids.





    After a bit of playing and general outdoorsy tomfoolery he’d worn himself out, so atypical for him he opted to have a late afternoon nap. At this time, some friends arrived, and I was cooking tea, so we shared a bevvy and poked the little’un to wake up.
    Tea eaten, the kids basically played in the ‘special den’ they found in the woods for a few hours.


    My van envy was further encouraged… As the evening drew on we hung by the campers, toasted mallows, and chilled..



    Once everyone (mostly me and Dad) became sleepy, we headed back to the tents to settle down – the Kampa bed was brilliant and really kept a wriggly toddler nice and safe, but I think I need to find a better sleeping bag as he wriggled out of the ‘standard’ on at about 2am, and was moaning he was cold. I wrapped the extra blankets over him and he seemed fine after that.
    A little LED light was most necessary to be reading Thomas books to..

    Apart from the old man’s snoring in the tent next door (which caused Miles much amusement!) we had a good night’s sleep and woke about 7am. Despite being pretty overcast in the morning, the tent was still really light from about 5am, but thankfully Miles stayed down (I was a little bit hung over…)
    Breakfast was had in the veranda – Dusty (Museli) and orange juice.

    Checking out the bad a$$ dropped splitty going by!

    Brekkie provided energy for more playing in the den – this time ‘adults’ got involved..

    ..and for feeding to goats at the top of the hill..

    Here’s another pic of the ‘beast’ that got us safely to and from our little adventure:

    All in all, it was a fun overnight trip, though despite only being one night I’m feeling pretty knackered today!
    Like all things with kids, particularly a very energetic and danger seeking toddler, the ‘relaxing nature’ of camping isn’t quite ‘so’ once you are fetching kids out of piles of stingers, or untangling them from barbed wire, but once I’d ‘let my hair down’ and went with the flow, we had a great time!

    Things I’ve learnt from this, which (if the wife allows) I’d like to take into a multi day tour with Miles..
    -Toys and books are probably as valuable as fancy lights and ‘all the gear’
    -Bring a pump that will work on ALL your valve types…
    -Even if the site’s only a few miles away, it’s still quite an adventure getting there fully loaded up!
    -An alfine is a cracking hub gear, but don’t underestimate the LOooooow gearing you’ll need dragging tonnes of camping stuff up hills – I think I need to drop about 8-10 teeth on the front chainring as I was only ever in gears 1-4 the whole time. I could have done with several lower gears.
    -Bring lots of blankets as my little one for some reasons refused (sub consciously) to stay in the sleeping bag!
    -The thing that makes camping with kids most fun and easier for adults, is surprisingly, more kids – they behave better around other kids, entertain themselves more, and a generally happier.
    Happy kids = happy adults!!

    I really would like to go for a multi day adventure in the next few months – will liaise with local riding buddies and see if i can find any takers as it really would be a barrel of laughs with several dads and kids getting muddy in the Sussex countryside!

    DrP

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Juan I know he has On One bars on that bike, can’t remember the name though

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Multi-dayer with kids in the Sussex hills? Er, is there a B&B nearby? πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon itstig
    Subscriber

    They look like midge bars.

    DrP
    Member

    They are indeed midge bars – nice bit of flare to them, thugh it’s hard to hold them ‘in’ the curve of the drop…might look for some with a flatter section there. I think salsa do some..

    DrP

    simonm
    Member

    fantastic.

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop
    Subscriber

    What an adventure.
    It’s a shame more dads and grandpas aren’t like you.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    Very nice, great pics and makes me wish I had kids (momentarily of course) πŸ™‚

    DrP
    Member

    What an adventure.
    It’s a shame more dads and grandpas aren’t like you.

    What a lovely thing to say – thank you πŸ™‚

    DrP

    ciderinsport
    Member

    I did my first trailer camping at the weekend too! I was one of four kids aged 40+ πŸ™‚

    We rode, we drank, we slept in tents on the beach!

    DrP – I would be happy to drag my kids along for a night or two, even at 13 & 16 I think they would love it!

    CIS

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Cool write up mate… You must hate that Thomas the Tank book by now though. We partied the day it got taken to the charity shop πŸ™‚

    marsdenman
    Member

    Looks like a great time was had by all!

    Brekkie provided energy for more playing in the den – this time ‘adults’ got involved.

    is it just me that thinks that shot looks like you just put the boot in πŸ˜‰

    joemarshall
    Member

    Looks brilliant. Really want a weekend soon for Rose and I to go camping now, haven’t done bike trailer camping this year yet. Have promised I’ll take one of her friends camping at some point, I wonder if two kids + camping gear would be too much for the bike trailer…

    I certainly used the bottomest gear on my mountain bike last time we went camping – coming up the hill out of Bakewell (Intake Lane), with 20 miles in my legs already I actually had to push in the end! And I had a lot less gear than you – I have an ultralight tent, a 500g sleeping bag, super-light cut down thermarest from my pre-parent days, plus I am lazy and tend to plan cold food + pub dinner which saves on the stove and pans. It all went in my double trailer with no panniers which is nice.

    You are right about other kids too – it is amazing the way a 3 year old can meet another one, introduce their cuddly toys (‘this is Mr Alligator’ ‘Hello Mr Alligator, this is Piggy’ ‘Oink Oink’ ‘Snap Snap’) and then happily be off playing in minutes.

    DrP
    Member

    I actually had to push in the end!

    I find when the trailer is fully loaded, pushing (on the bars) is really hard as the ‘forces’ are all wrong. I make much better progress with the power coming from ‘low down’ i.e the wheel – seems much more stable.

    I wonder if two kids + camping gear would be too much for the bike trailer…

    Depends on the trailer – I think mine has about a 40kg limit stated – 2 three year olds by themselves may be getting towards this limit…? (Miles is about 17kg, and he’s not big for his age).

    You can really see the tyres squishing as the bikes/pans/chairs/toys get loaded on!!

    DrP

    joemarshall
    Member

    I find when the trailer is fully loaded, pushing (on the bars) is really hard as the ‘forces’ are all wrong. I make much better progress with the power coming from ‘low down’ i.e the wheel – seems much more stable.

    Yep. I think where I went wrong was in forgetting that this particular track goes up just under 100m in 1 km, and finishes by going across a pretty bumpy field. I should have gone out the back end of Bakewell on the road, 2km longer but I’d have ridden it all. The last bit I just couldn’t pedal at all, even in bottom mountain bike gear and I had to push and sort of heave it along, pushing from as low down on the bike as possible by holding the bars and the down-tube.

    Depends on the trailer – I think mine has about a 40kg limit stated – 2 three year olds by themselves may be getting towards this limit…? (Miles is about 17kg, and he’s not big for his age).

    Ours is 45kg weight limit I think, 32kg of two skinny kids, 1.2kg of tent, 2kg of sleeping bags (if only I could afford some lighter bags for the kids – theirs weigh more than mine!), 1kg for 2x thermarests, 2 kg for clothes, wellies, raincoats, 1kg for emergency snack, 1kg for teddies, books, night time nappies etc. 1kg for blankets. I think I’d have weight spare to stick a stove in (1kg including fuel + pans) if I really wanted to.

    Assuming we’d camp up somewhere near a shop to buy food, and near somewhere to get dinner I think it would be doable if all the stuff squeezed in. I think I could just about do it with proper cooking too. I actually have some fancy panniers and a rack (and an all important triple chainring) on my road bike, so if I stuck to biking on road I reckon I could easily do it.

    Oh, and slime in the bike trailer tubes. You don’t notice it at all, but it works brilliantly in those low pressure fat tyres – Rose’s trailer got a load of bramble thorns in the wheel a bit back, you could see the slime oozing slightly when I took the thorns out while it fixed the puncture, and it needed a little air when we got back, but no repairs needed.

    soma_rich
    Member

    Daniel and I did this a few years ago, he was a bit bigger than Miles so was on the Tag-along which helped as its not a dead weight.

    Kids, bikes and camping it can only be a win!

    DrP
    Member

    I actually have some fancy panniers and a rack (and an all important triple chainring) on my road bike, so if I stuck to biking on road I reckon I could easily do it.

    Do it – One of the best things I did was to (rapidly on friday night!) install the rack and use the panniers.
    It takes the weight off the trailer, and allowed me to carry the tent on the top of the rack – that’s a few kg saved ‘from the trailer’ right away.
    Also, having the panniers was great as it’s easier to get bits in and out of them, and they are dead easy to lift on/off the rack once you get to camp, so it allows your ‘stuff’ to remain neat in the tent.

    My pannier bags are REALLY cheapo halfords basement bargain ones – they were Β£3 each so I picked them up years ago. This is the first time I’ve used them! They do OK, but I can see the benefit of properly secured ones if you did proper touring etc.

    The other thing with the trailer isn’t so much the weight, but the physical size of camping stuff. Bags, roll beds, camp chairs – all quite light but large items.

    I’d really love to build up a sort of ‘roof rack’ type affair for the top of the trailer – a bit like a rack for the back of an MX5!

    It would allow light but bulky things to get strapped to it!

    DrP

    DrP
    Member

    To add to this – I’ve just booked the ferry across to Guernsey for a weekend trip with the bikes/trailer in July!!
    Won’t be camping though – MrsDrP “ain’t into that hobo shizzle..”!

    DrP

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