Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Minimalist Adventurers

A family from France recently passed by, spending two nights in our RV park. They are on a one year tour of the Americas on bicycles! They have three young children (two girls and a boy) aged about 5, 7 & 8 and are home schooling the older ones as they go. They have two hi-tech European bikes, both equipped with reclining seats at the front for the older children. These seats have pedals which can be engaged or disengaged if and when the children feel like helping pedal. When disengaged, they act as footrests. The youngest child rides in a trailer behind dad. They have minimal camping gear consisting mainly of a lightweight tent which is actually two tents fastened together forming a small covered common area between the two. Cooking is done on a single burner propane stove. Mom’s trailer carries the tent, sleeping bags and stove. They have no cooler and groceries are bought as they eat them.

I asked them how drivers treat them and he told me they take up a whole lane riding side by side and drivers have generally been very good, waiting to pass. They had only had one very close call when a car passed them at high speed with only centimeters to spare.

They had already done South and Central America and were on their way to the USA and Canada, averaging 50 kilometers per day. RV parks and campgrounds with showers are a once in a while treat because of their scarcity so they usually ask to spend the night in someone’s yard along the way. When they were parked beside us, they must have had ten showers each!

I neglected to ask how they deal with parts like tires along the way. That must be a challenge.



  1. What an amazing family! 40 km per day; they are almost like the pioneers!

  2. It kind of makes us appreciate our gueen size bed, two fridges and air conditioning!

  3. We borrowed a similar tent 3 years ago from my brother-in -law while touring France and Italy. We didn't listen carefully to assembly instructions as we had 2 Canadian tents!!!

    My super husband finally figured out that the rain fly goes up first 3 or 4 poles. Stake one end then yank it along and stake the other end (accordian style).Then you hang the tents inside the rain fly.

    VOILA You also have a nice center vestibule between the 2 tents or eave one tent out and you have a mini living room. They cost of fortune in Europe 300 to 600 euros.
    Cheers, Shelagh

  4. Oh to be so young and to have so much energy. Bravo to them.

    I think I have seen these bikes which we use in Holland for handicapped children.

  6. Hi Croft,
    Fascinating! I'd love to see a picture with the trailers behind, how about it?
    Elaine in Saltair Bc

  7. Sorry, I did not get a photo of them on their bikes. We did not notice them arrive and they left before we got up.

  8. I always wished to have the European spirit. They are so adventurous. Few Americans would do what they do and I don't mean just biking. Everything.