6 Reasons Why Family Bike Trips Are Awesome

08/07/2016 08:12 am ET
In the town of Matera (a UNESCO world heritage site)
Luca Rivetti
In the town of Matera (a UNESCO world heritage site)

When my boyfriend first invited me to join his family on a bike trip, I thought he was joking. Family vacations can be trying at best and this wasn’t even my family. But I just returned from my second cycling trip with them and am already looking forward to our next time. Ranging in age from 28 to 74 across three generations, we had an amazing time (read about it in my article, Biking With Family Through Puglia in Barron’s Penta Daily).

Here is why I think biking tours are a great way to vacation with the family:

Break time!
Daniela Petrova
Break time!

1. NOBODY HAS TO PLAY HOST

Unlike hosting everyone in your summerhouse or renting a house together, you don’t have to worry (or worse, argue over) whose turn it is to do the shopping, cooking, cleaning and organizing the entertainment.

Lunch at a farmhouse along the road
Daniela Petrova
Lunch at a farmhouse along the road

2. YOU CAN BE ALONE AND TOGETHER AT THE SAME TIME

The beauty of biking is that you can ride alone, cycle alongside someone else indulging in a long meaningful conversation or you can all bike together, talking and laughing and, in our case, marveling over the great food we’d had at breakfast.

The breakfast spread in one of our hotels
Daniela Petrova
The breakfast spread in one of our hotels

3. THERE IS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

We cycled 200 miles through Puglia. But we also swam in the pristine waters of the Adriatic, enjoying the beautiful coves and beaches. We explored the ancient cities in the area, learning about the history and admiring the architecture. We walked through quaint villages and tasted the local delicacies. In the afternoons, some of us chose to nap or check out the boutiques or sample the most unusual gelato flavors we could find in town.

Gone swimming!
Daniela Petrova
Gone swimming!

4. BONDING THROUGH SHARED EXPERIENCES

Cycling allows for more immediate, intimate experiencing of your surroundings. We biked through olive groves and fields dotted with bales of hay, passing farmhouses and pastures with horses and cows. We rode through small towns and villages, greeting old men and women hanging out in front of their houses. We delighted in the sudden whiffs of rosemary while cycling by roadside gardens and stopping to gorge on figs from a tree by the road.

Taking in the Puglian countryside
Daniela Petrova
Taking in the Puglian countryside

5. YOU CAN SHOW OFF ALL THE HOURS YOU’VE SPENT IN THE GYM SINCE THE LAST REUNION

You can challenge each other and organize mini competitions, especially uphill.

Ok, we weren't the most competitive bunch but just saying...
Daniela Petrova
Ok, we weren't the most competitive bunch but just saying...

6. YOU GET TO ENJOY THE COMPANY OF THE LOCAL GUIDES WHO BECOME PART OF THE FAMILY

Our two Italian guides, Andrea and Luca, became part of the family over the course of the week. Andrea biked with us, making sure we didn’t get lost. Meanwhile, Luca scoured the local markets and shops for the best fruits, vegetables, bread, cheeses and meats and orchestrated a culinary exploration of Puglia during our snack and lunch breaks. 

Family selfie with our guides, Luca and Andrea
Luca Rivetti
Family selfie with our guides, Luca and Andrea

Read more about our trip in Puglia, Italy: Biking With Family Through Puglia (Barron’s Penta Daily).

Visit my website for more stories.

Follow my travels on my blog: DanielasTravels

 

Follow Daniela Petrova on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DanielasTravels

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