We are stoked to have checked off our first bike-packing tour with our little one in tow. Though biking and backpacking have always been hobbies of ours, bike-packing was a new experience. We were fortunate to also have had two great friends join us. None of us had special bike-touring gear- we just made do with what we had.
Our trek was a 36km stretch of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail in British Columbia, Canada. A truly stunning area, but I may be biased. We did an out-and-back totalling 72km with ~800m elevation gain on a sandy and loose gravel trail. We did not quite expect how treacherous the trail was going to get. Two of us were on mountain bikes, and two on road touring bikes. As you might imagine, the mountain bikes fared the trail far better and the road bikes were a slip sliding mess. That is, however, a piece of this story that will forever make this trip so memorable. It was tough and a blast all in one.
We’re so fortunate that Kismet (our daughter) is always up for any sort of adventure. Biking is one of her favourites. It’s always, “faster, mom!”, “more bumps, dad!”. She’s 2 years old and full of so much character. We brought options for her, both the shotgun seat for some fun up front and the chariot if she needed down time. I can’t imagine doing another bike-packing trip without either. Kismet is the light when she’s up front, full of conversation and song. When in the back, she has toys, books, and a place to rest her head (in a good neck crook fashion).
We were slow up the mountain and made camp along the trail a little earlier than planned as the sun was already on its way down. In the end, we discovered that it was exactly how it was meant to be. That site was perfect, big, quiet and had a fire pit and water source. We set up the tent, cooked up some pad thai and drank wine & hot cocoa. Kismet stayed up well past sundown and slept in nice and late into the morning. After oatmeal, we packed up and finished the trek up to the lake for lunch and then flew all the way back down.
This trek was our trial run for a 4 day, 215km bike-packing tour we have planned. Stay tuned for overnight adventures with toddlers 2.0
Story and photography by Katia Mordak.