What could be nicer than doing an awesome bike tour – or even a biking holiday – with the kids? However, if you want to make sure your dream holiday doesn’t turn into a nightmare, it’s worth taking some ideas to heart. The latest episode of Heroes Inspire Heroes provides you with the essentials you need to know when you plan your next bike trip.
Most of the time you’ll find our mountain bike family out on the trails seeking their next adventure on 2 wheels. Get these valuable insights from a family who know how to avoid common stumbling blocks and tick all the boxes for an epic family bike adventure!
Season 2 of Heroes Inspire Heroes focuses on educational content providing parents with useful information needed to transform their kids into mountain bikers. Discover the series and the latest episode below.
Destination and timing are everything. “With my kids I naturally do different tours from the ones I do with my mates,” says Holger Meyer, ex-World Cup professional and father of two. When choosing a tour, parents may sometimes have to learn to rein in their own wishes. It’s a fine line between “yawn” and “ouch”.
So keep your eyes on the prize! Start with a two-hour trip through the local woods to keep everyone happy. But as skills and experience increase, so do the expectations of the family tour. While kids have a ton of energy, it is important to remember that they are not diesel engines, that energy can run out quickly. So, cruise at a comfortable speed allowing everyone to relax and chat. No sprints to the top of the pass please! They empty the mini power packs in no time. When energy and mood levels start to drop, time to pull the chocolate bars and gummy bears out of the backpack.
WORDS OF EXPERIENCE, OR: A SHERPA REVEALS ALL. INDISPENSABLE ON TOUR
Keyword: backpack. What else needs to be in the bag along with sweet energy foods? Most important of all: rain gear. Even if exemplary parents have checked the weather forecast before the grand tour, a short shower can put a damper on the nicest tour. As mentioned, plenty of power bars, apples and mini salamis. Fresh tap water is the best filler for drinks bottles. Soft protectors for back and knee, tools, pump and two spare inner tubes – and you’re ready to go. Stop! Don’t forget the first aid kit. Make sure that the GPS and phone are charged. Analog natives still carry a good, old-fashioned map. And model parents shoulder the big bike backpack – taking the weight of their kids’ shoulders.
THE MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENTS FOR THE PERFECT BIKE TOUR FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
To ensure that the shared tour ends in the ultimate high-five (and not in deep frustration), it has to be one thing above all else: exciting. Nothing can be more annoying than endless uphill forest trails, especially on a bike that’s far too heavy. Imagine if your bike weighed half your body weight … If you invest in a high quality children’s bike, it will pay dividends on any tour. More and more bike spots have lift facilities that whisk man and machine up to the peak in a flash. The kids love it – and it’s easy on their physical batteries. They will empty those on the descent faster than many parents expect. On the subject of downhill: children need excitement without being overstretched. So light single trails are better than gravel highways. Parents go first: kids learn best by copying. If Dad or Mum go first (assuming they have good technique), the youngsters will just follow on behind – without the parents having to explain much. Learning by doing is always good! But, naturally, sometimes the children can also go first. That way they learn to estimate speed, find the perfect line – and be the master of their trail.
OFF ON A BIKE HOLIDAY! OUR TOP 5 FAMILY-FRIENDLY BIKE SPOTS
Two mountain railways, a family-friendly bike park and endless flow trails, along with uncomplicated camping and good but affordable eating – that’s Livigno, Italy. The duty-free alpine valley between Ortler and Bernina is one of the top spots (not just) for biking families. But Sölden in Austria is not far behind. The newly-founded “Bike Republic” offers well-signposted flow trails, a perfect lift infrastructure, a village pump track and authentic mountain huts in Tyrolean style. The purest children’s paradise is Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, Austria, high above the Inntal valley. The bike park is popular with young and old with its training parcours, alpine flow trails and a mega pump track – as well as typical Tyrolean hospitality. Switzerland has long been a biking mecca. The Arosa Lenzerheide biking centre offers endless possibilities for high alpine trails, which are also suitable for ambitious teenies. Even if Dad has to dig a bit deeper in his pockets here – the magnificent mountain scenery and Swiss flair come free! Fancy a week of biking, chilling and feasting? Then the biking station of Massa Vecchia in the tiny Tuscan town of Massa Marittima is the right place for you. Here everything revolves around biking. It starts with the in-house pump track and ends on bold enduro tours with a 4-wheel drive shuttle service. The Italian paradise for biking families!