Family on Bikes

A Family Cycles from the Arctic to Patagonia


Boise, Idaho, USA
August 31
Our family of four (with 13-year-old twin boys) dreamed the impossible dream and reached the unreachable star! On March 21, 2011 we pedaled the final mile to arrive at the end of the world in USHUAIA, Argentina! We spent three years cycling 17,300 miles through 15 countries starting in Alaska to get there.


Familyonbikes's Links
OCTOBER 2, 2011 12:32AM

How I changed motherhood

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Once upon a time I thought my adventuring days were over the moment Mr. Sperm met Ms. Egg. How wrong I was…

Adventure is a funny thing. The dictionary defines the word as “a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome,”certainly not something one would do with kids. Yes – with kids.

But then, I’ve never been a dictionary sort a’ gal.

I remember that day back in 2006 when my husband came home and announced that he wanted to take off with the boys to cycle the world. Cycle the world? As in – pedal a two-wheeled contraption in far flung places around the globe? With kids?

And I remember my response to the man. “Are you outta your mind? Have you gone mad? We are parents, dear husband. As in – we’ve got two little human beings in our care. Parents don’t just take off and ride bicycles around the world. With their children.

Or do they?

The more he talked about heading out for the adventure of a lifetime, the more I started thinking about it… Maybe he wasn’t mad after all. Maybe I was the crazy one to think that I needed to do what society expected of me. Maybe doing the “typical” parent thing wasn’t the best thing going for me or my kids? Maybe we should head out to see the world on our own terms. You know… like, grab life by the horns and hold on for the ride?

It wasn’t long before I knew I would be crazy not to do it. The way I figured it, I only have one chance at this thing called life. I have one opportunity to live life to the fullest. If I don’t take advantage of these fleeting moments I’ve been given, I’ll lose the chance. My sons will grow and mature and develop into young men with lives of their own. They won’t want to travel with ol’ ma and pa.

And now – years later – my sons have celebrated a birthday or two on the road. As a family, we’ve cycled 27,000 miles through fifteen countries. We’ve spent something like 1400 nights sleeping next to our bicycles in just as many unique locations. We’ve pedaled over 15,000 foot passes, through barren deserts, and in tropical rain forests. My family and I drank mate in Argentina, scuba dived in Honduras, partied during Carnival in Ecuador, and were chased by a bear in Canada. We stayed with an indigenous family in Bolivia and at a migrant workers’ camp in Mexico. We pedaled past penguins, guanaco, iguanas, big horn sheep, and bison.

We’ve lived life on our own terms. We’ve made our own path through life and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that parenthood doesn’t have to mean the end of adventure. These days with our children have been one of the highlights of both my life and my husband’s. And it’s been the childhood dreams are made of for our sons.

I know the day will come when I’ll be old and gray and sitting in my rocker looking back on these days of adventure with my family. I’ll reflect upon the memories we’ve made and the unique experiences we’ve shared. And I’ll be forever grateful to my husband for coming up with such a cock-a-nanny idea as cycling the world. With children.

And I’ll also know that we’ve shown the world a thing or two. Adventure doesn’t have to end the moment Mr. Egg meets Ms. Sperm.

This post was originally written for and appeared on The Yummy Mummy Club.

How I changed motherhood is a post from: Family on Bikes. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive your free e-book: Bicycle Touring with Children; A Guide to Getting Started.

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WOW. I love this. I read a post of yours a while back and felt inspired. I hope to one day go on a very long bike/road trip w/ our two boys. Right now, we are in the foreign service and country hop (our boys are 5 & 7) and it feels like an adventure - but not as daring as yours. I also love the quote - " me." Wonderfully inspiring. What an accomplishment.