Family on a Bike On Tour 2004/5
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Family on a Bike on Tour 2004/5

'In Search of Families In Search of Adventure'

Our Family on a Bike 'In Search of Families In Search of Adventure' tour was a nine month family adventure taking in New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, the USA and Canada. Two adults, two toddlers, two bikes, two trailers, and too many miles, meeting other adventurous families, writing real-life stories of family adventure. You can read about how we got on in our postings from the road.

While the tour was many things - an expedition, research, writing, project, holiday - our goals were simple:
- to be together as a family
to experience first hand different ways of adventuring together
to meet other families that adventure together
to learn about the natural world, other places, cultures and people

We road tested a few different styles of adventuring as we made our way around the world by varying our budgets, durations, locations, modes of travel and focus. And this gave us a personal feel for the different ways families can travel together. See the overall route map here.

The New Zealand Leg: November 2004 - May 2005

Our first leg was a long term, independently organised cycle expedition to what many consider to be the world's capital for outdoor adventure.

Travelling by bicycle we pedalled our way (and pulled the kids) from the southern most tip of New Zealand to the most northerly point. Travelling light, camping out, living out of panniers, we spent six months on the road, riding right through New Zealand's natural splendours.

It was a financial and physical challenge, eeking out our budget over six months whilst keeping enough fuel in our bellies to cover a meandering 4000km from end to end through New Zealand's diverse physical and climatic environments.

Like a small nomadic tribe, we were relatively self contained and self sufficient, lugging all we needed with us, stopping off here and there to gather and top-up our supplies from the towns, villages and communities we passed through. And as we travelled we sought out others who shared our quest for family adventure.

Our time in New Zealand included time learning to sail on a yachting charter in the Bay of Islands, something we hope has set us up for another great way to adventure as a family.


The Western Samoa Leg: May 2005

Our second leg was an island adventure, a more leisurely month spent soaking up the sun in Independent Samoa in the midst of the vast Pacific ocean.

With the help and guidance of a local eco-tourist agency, we developed an itinerary that took us into local communities, and allowed us to explore the environmental treasures of these tiny islands on foot, by bus and in sea kayaks.

A little foray into packaged adventure and a journey into a cultural environment quite different to anything we had experienced before.

The USA and Canada Leg

Our third leg was a two month adventure in logistics. Travelling without bikes now, we used a rental car and trains to make our way across the USA and Canada, from Los Angeles to New York. Our six week road trip took us into many of the extraordinary National Parks scattered along West Coast America and also in British Columbia. This was followed by a two week railroad and big city backpacking experience taking us coast to coast in America visiting Seattle, Chicago, Washington, Boston and New York.

In six months in New Zealand we carved a trail up the country; in a month in Samoa we circled the islands a couple of times; but in two months we barely scratched the surface of the vastness that is North America.

We followed a more conventional tourist trail, seeking out small scale adventures hiking, canoeing and kayaking in and around nationally recognized areas of outstanding natural or environmental significance. And relying upon trains and automobiles to skip some of the vast distances between the places we wanted to visit. Mixing hotels, motels and campsites, stuffing all our gear into rental cars, in a style of traveling more recognisable as a (very, very long) family vacation.

Three different kinds of adventure experience, one little, one large and one in between. And a thousand little adventures within each one. You can read about how we got on in our postings from the road.


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