I’d like to share my perspective as I try to plan a bike trip for next summer. I’m looking at lots of options at this point, and I think the trip would be about 6 days.
The trip would be oriented towards kids between 9 and 11. The route becomes secondary to things like stopping points, swimming pools, good food, and some kind of other entertainment. Cost really isn’t a factor.
So, I first created a WikiMapping project for the Bicycle PA Route S, which you can visit. The turn connections are mostly done except for the west end. To use Routing, click on a start and finish point, to get a cue sheet for any part of the route.
Ive been trying for 30-40 miles a day since my daughter is currently 8. I started to think about kids’ attention span too. And if my whole family were to do the ride it would probably be hotel oriented to remove the stress of camping and increase comfort.
If you go to About/Help-View Options in the WikiMapping project, you can turn on some of the options I was looking at. It looks like this:
I’m thinking about going only as far to York and then heading south to Baltimore. From there, I would take Amtrak back, but I can probably get someone to pick us (and our bikes) up.
Day 1: Bike to Phoenixville (kayak)
Day 2: Bike to Morgantown (pool)
Day 3: Bike to Lancaster (water park)
Day 4: Bike to York (historic area)
Day 5: Bike To Northern Baltimore suburbs (bike trail to pool)
Day 6: Bike to Inner Harbor/Home (museum)
For a family of 4 that isn’t roughing it, this works out to about a little over $200/day.
As you will see on the project, I considered using the C&O and the Allegheny Passage. That would make for a good trip too, but days might be too long for a 9 year old if we aren’t camping.
WikiMapping is working well for planning a trip. I still need to look up hotel options on google maps, but the WikiMapping project gives me a place to keep track of the opportunities.
One of my goals is to get other families with kids around 9-12 years old to do these kinds of trips with us. When we bike with other families, everyone seems to enjoy themselves more. I still need to come up with more alternatives.