I will always remember the first big bike adventure with my daughter. Together we travelled from Vantaa to Hameenlinna, to visit my parents. Four beautiful days, wonderful things to see, riding a bit over 120 kilometers, all that together with my daughter.
There I was riding the last kilometers, and everything was perfect. Nice sunshine, familiar route, bike rolling perfectly and my princess sleeping in the safety of her trailer.
I could feel the joy and excitement of our accomplishment but still I was sad. Our great adventure was coming to end and I didn't want it to. I wanted to keep pedaling, keep exploring and, most of all, keep living life on the road with my girl.
I was able to already feel the warm shower, taste the food and that cold beer given to me by my dad. I was able to see the joy and happiness of my girl meeting with her grandparents. Still, I just wanted to turn around and continue our trip.
At the same time, reaching the goal was a joyful moment but also a melancholy ending to this great trip. So I stopped, to clear my thoughts and to wipe my tears. Yes, this moment was way more emotional than I ever imagined.
After few minutes a big decision was made, this is gonna be a lifestyle for us, me and my little princess. We are going to travel like this, as often and as far as possible.
Since that decision, cycling is now our form of adventure
After that initial trip we have rode numerous multi-day rides and countless shorter rides. And we have enjoyed each and every one of them. No strict schedules just curious, adventurous eyes and the will to explore.
Cycling is an easy and affordable way of family adventuring. It gives a huge feeling of freedom and offers kids countless new things to see and beautiful moments to share.
Even the daily trips back and forth to kindergarten are an escape from the everyday 9-to-5 life. Small moments to spend exploring the world together.
Whenever we can, we pack our bags, load the trailer and head out for overnighters. With one kid that’s really quite simple. For a one night trip we don’t need much and the urban jungle offers an abundance of pit stops with refuelling and toilet possibilities.
Many times we have just cycled out to see the sunset, sleep under the stars and eat an outdoor breakfast. Even those micro-adventures have offered countless great memories, such as eating porridge in the open tent as the sun slides up to the sky.
As an adult I need to be wise and flexible enough to let my daughter be the guide
Sure, routes from point A to point B are great and sometimes you need to plan carefully ahead. But still, our best trips have been spontaneous rides with no exact goals, just riding and navigating by feel.
To be honest, my little princess is my best navigator so far. When she spots a playground, beach or something else interesting, my walkie talkie will instantly shout a command “daddy, daddy stop, what's that?”
And this daddyman loves those stops. I love to see how my daughter explores the world, how differently she is open to everything new compared to my adult thinking.
That’s the biggest lesson so far, learn to look at the world through the eyes of a child again.
In that first trip, I never turned around, nor did I get to the destination according to the original plan. Once I was ready to pedal again, after that emotional stop, my daughter woke up. Immediately she spotted the bridge we were on and wanted to come out of her trailer to see the lake beneath.
For about an hour she walked back and forth by the railing, peeked between every board and spotted a swing along the road crossing ours.
Needles to say, it was time to sway on the swing before we could move on. And needless to say, I didn’t see any of those beautiful, interesting things which my daughter spotted and which gave us so much delight.
Thanks for the lesson honey.