We haven’t been able to do a bicycle tour for some time. We want to do one this year, but we are a bit rusty, plus we need a few practice runs to see what it is like with Oliver. This weekend was our first practice run. We borrowed a Mec bicycle trailer from a friend and cycled up to Gulf Islands National Park reserve and stayed at the McDonald campsite. The total distance was 30 km and it was a good introduction to cycle touring with kids.

Lessons

Cycling with Oliver is a lot different than just cycling with the two of us. Here is what we learnt from this weekend:

  1. Our tent is way to small, even though Oliver is a child, our 2 person tent is too small, we will need to get a larger tenting, we are thinking of the Mec Volt A/C 3 person or something similar
  2. Take lots of breaks, Oliver didn’t like being in the trailer for longer than an hour at a time and time your breaks with a playground
  3. Rain or shine? Stick with shine, Oliver loved being outside and if it was raining it would not have been that much fun
  4. A couple of toy cars and ball are all you need for hours of entertainment when your camping
  5. A trailer with carrying capacity is a great way to bring extra stuff
  6. Camping with a child isn’t that much more work than staying home all day with a child

Oliver


Although Oliver can’t talk in sentences, we know that he had a good time being outside. From trying to help me setup the tent to exploring the great outdoors Oliver loved every minute of it. The only time Oliver was unhappy is when we forced him to wear a helmet in the trailer. The trailers don’t seem to be well designed to fit a helmet so we had to find a way to make it work. Once we did he was happy, but this is a bit of a challenge.

The Campground


The McDonald Campground is one of many areas included in the National Gulf Island Park Reserve. Although near the highway to the ferry, this small forested section was pretty quiet and was pretty nice. Because it took us half a day to ride to the campground, it felt we were really far away from Victoria, but in reality Tanya’s office was only 10 minute drive away. Sidney was a 10 minute ride from the campground, which is where we at dinner.

The forest in the campground, I would say 100 – 200 year old Doug fir cedar forest.

The Next tour

We both felt that this was a smashing success. Oliver loved camping and it we think we are ready for a longer trip. There are so many options around here we already dreaming of our next trip. But first, we need to get a bigger tent and find a solution to carry Oliver.