One of the worries I've got is that once I get kids, my adventure days on two wheels are over, atleast for a long time. I'm desperatly trying to convince my wife that it cannot only be done safely, but also enjoyably for everyone involved... I'm yet to convince her.
I do believe, that if you travel shorter days, with each stopover lasting several days, with a variety of exiting child friendly activities en route, then this can be quite doable with children of all ages. These activities include:
- Pools and beaches
- Amusement parks
I'd also really like to hear about people who has actually done some serious adventuring with children, whether it be by 4x4 or bikes. Many of the challenges would be the same regardless of what type of vehicle one uses, i.e. all issues related to entertaining kids at stopovers, general health and security, etc.
I guess some of the most important differences would be:
- Real and perceived safety: A child is more fragile than grown ups, and hence may suffer greater injuries in the event of an accident. As even small "fender benders" can cause severe personal injury on bikes , and as you are the one making the full risk asessment and choises on the behalf of your child, you also have to carry the full responsability of anything bad happening. Can you live with that? Looking at the statistics, you only read about those where an insurance claim has been made. I went down the day before yesterday, it hurt me a bit, but may have crushed a child.
- Riding enjoyment: Children repordedly sleep well on bikes, but en-route entertainment and nourishment can be difficult. Further, children may not cope as well with the discomforts of riding as well as the grown ups, leading to shorter legs, longer brakes and stopovers, as well as specific riding conditions which are not riden at all. But waht would I know??
Check this site out for child riding belts http://www.childridingbelt.com/enghome.htm
Here is an article about riding safely with kids http://motorcyclecruiser.com/streets...ing_with_kids/
All in all, my personal asessment is that the risks are acceptable, and that shorter trips, could be perfectly enjoyable, but I would not bring a child in diapers. I'd think that shorter trips would be far easier than longer ones as children may get bored when novelty wares off, and longing home for routines and playmates calls. Maybe dividing an RTW into bit by bit? Doing 1-2 month trips/legs with plenty of time at home inbetween??? Instead of spending one year doing it, maybe consider using vacation time and spending 8 years doing the same trip?
Then again, what do I know? I have no kids as of yet, but we are considering some pretty soon, and the issue bugs the hell out of me. I want both, but can I have both?
I'm looking forward to read the other comments on this thread.